Blue Ocean

Canyoning (aka Gorge Walking / Scrambling) routes in the Brecon Beacons

Canyoning Wales
Canyoning in Wales with Blue Ocean Activities

Route 1-River Mellte & River Sychryd 
Full route (activity time approx 3hrs+)- Most Popular!

This is our best-selling route! Taking place in waterfall country this route allows for a variety of challenging waterfall scrambles, crawls, jumps & traverses, with great rock formations, and hidden caves to explore.

The start of this route involves scrambling, low-level jumps and a crawl through.
As the route progresses so does the difficulty of the challenges. After exploring a hidden rock formation, and smaller waterfalls you start a scramble up a waterfall cascade.

You then head towards the Ivy pool and a beautiful area of waterfall jumps. There is a waterfall that you can walk or crawl across to access higher jumps up to approximately 14ft. At this point, if you book the shorter 2hr route detailed below, your trip will end and you head back on a shortcut to the starting point.

If however, you book our full 3hr route, your experience continues. You will take a short hike to the old Gunpowder Works where a picturesque plunge pool hosts a selection of higher jumps including the highest jump in the area, known locally as ‘Loonies Leap’ – approx 22ft! 

River Mellte & River Sychryd 
Route 2- Short route (activity time approx 2hrs)

As per the description above our 2hr experience ends at the waterfall jumps where the highest jump is approx 14ft. If you want the full experience and complete the biggest jumps in the area then please request our default 3hr route above.

Upper River Mellte (approx 2hrs) Route 3

This is a very scenic location that has some of the largest waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons. On the downside there are only two main jumps, one of which can only be used in low water, however, these can be taken repeatedly and the main jump is slightly higher than Loonies leap (Route 1) at approx 25ft. There tend to be fewer challenges than Route 1 and no crawls, caves or mines in the area. There is however a great waterfall that you can walk behind and another that you can traverse when river levels are low.

Extended Route- Full Day  approx 4hrs

The above two routes are several miles apart, it is possible to start on the Upper River Mellte (Route 2) and walk down to the last jump of Route 1 (loonies leap), however the walk connecting the two routes is not very interesting it is a fairly long and slippery walk, for these reasons we do not recommend this route. We have also found that our 3hr route is an optimal time to maintain everyones interest and excitement.

Activity Duration

Our times  listed are actual activity times. We do not add travel time or time “on site” getting changed etc. Duration is based on an average group size and can also depend upon river levels, and the overall ability of your group.

Alternate Routes in the Brecon Beacons

Clydach Gorge  near Gilwern, Abergavenny
This route has the option of a 50ft ‘dry’ abseil off a viaduct before getting changed to take part in the wet gorge which is really suited for children.   The route is not as interesting as the above routes and is prone to rubbish being dumped. If there are other groups present you can end up waiting around (something we always aim to avoid) as such this route is not recommended or used by ourselves, if you want to abseil then why not try our abseiling experience.

Trecastle, Brecon
This route is also rarely used, we would not really describe this as Gorge Walking (or Canyoning ) more of an adventure walk with an inclusive 30ft abseil, the route follows a mountain stream and once at the peak of the mountain the abseil takes place- the area is fairly exposed without any trees or forestry although it is fairly rugged and remote. There are no deep rivers or plunge pools so there are no big jumps and challenges tend to be fairly tame (except for the abseil).

All the Videos & Photos on this page were taken from the routes we use in the Brecon Beacons – Copyright Blue Ocean Activities.

Abseiling
Abseiling in the River Mellte and Sychryd gorge has been banned for conservation reasons by the National Park Authority. However at the start of Route 1 there is a separate crag that can be used for abseiling and climbing this can be added to make a full day of activity – Please see our abseiling activity page for details.

Jumps
As mentioned the highest possible (and safe) jumps in the area are a maximum of 22ft-25ft which is more than enough for most groups, however if you have the urge to jump much higher then you may be interested in Coasteering which takes place in West Wales (2½ hrs from Cardiff), this location that has been used several times for the Red Bull International Cliff diving championships, jumps can go up to as high as 40ft!

If you would like to arrange a booking for Canyoning in Wales,  we require a minimum of four people per group. However, if you don’t have four people, don’t worry! We have plenty of open events you can join.