Pistyll Rhaeadr

A day off during half term and we were determined to get fresh air and to stretch our legs. A couple of years ago we had celebrated a birthday in Oswestry and spent a Friday afternoon driving out to the waterfall at Pistyll Rhaeadr for a scrabble over the rocks around the the waterfall.I had not really paid much attention. At the time I hadn’t paid much attention to where we were and how we got there. But two years later with kids in need of a run out it seemed like a good idea to go back.

A quick trawl through Google gave us all the information we needed. Rather to my surprise we all managed to get of bed on time this morning and we were off just after 9.00am. We almost bagged ourselves some lunch on the way down. We were halfway down the A483 when a cock pheasant in full plumage tried to cross the road two or three hundred yards ahead of us. There was a car between us and the pheasant and there was a bit of dithering from both the car and the pheasant as to where they should go. Sadly for the pheasant the car driver was not going to sacrifice herself and even more sadly the pheasant having turned back hesitated and turned again and was clipped by the car and was bowled over in a burst of feathers.

It looked in reasonable nick as we bowled past but there was a howl of protest when I suggested I should stop to dispatch it and bring it home for supper. So we continued the drive.

As we turned off the mail road beyond Oswestry and head into the low lying mountains a mist descended. It was more like low cloud. Not rain as such but laying a cold layer of damp over everything. It got denser as we drove up the narrow track through the valley that eventually lead to Pistyll Rhaeadr. By the time we got there the air was thick with it. We could hardly see the top of the waterfall. Just a gush of grey movement through the air and the noise of it coming down. As we walked closer and onto the metal bridge at the bottom we got a better idea of the size of it, 240 feet from top to bottom, taller than Niagara Falls and the tallest waterfall in England and Wales. Looking up we could see the white water spuming over the lip and a small arch that had been created in the black rock.

We did the scramble up to the top of the falls with a vague intention of eating our picnic up there. It was steep and wet and the youngest child started to complain but we we made it to the top. Once we got to the top of the falls we wandered around the rocks. The ground was deceptively marshy a pile of leaves or area of grass would sink down six or seven inches covering our walking boots. Some of the mud went deeper and Cora managed to lose her balance and went down face first arms in the air into a large puddle of mud. Great gloops of it had to be emptied out of her boots. We abandoned having the picnic outside and picked our way back to the car park to eat within the shelter of the car.

We drove back via Bala. The mist was thicker in the mountains and cleared down by the lake. the rest of the family fell asleep and i drove on. A lot of driving without a pub lunch.

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