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The falls from the viewing platform
Conwy Falls after heavy rain

Conwy Falls (Welsh: Rhaeadr y Graig Lwyd) is a waterfall on the River Conwy at Bro Garmon in Conwy County Borough in Wales. The falls and surrounding area are a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[1] The nearby cafe, adjacent to the A5, is an interesting example of the work of the Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis, of Portmeirion fame.[2]

The falls, woodland and wildlife[edit]

The falls are located in the last gorge section of the river Conwy at a point where it plunges 50 feet (15 m) into a deep pool.[3] The falls are accessible via natural paths through the preserved woodland of the SSSI. Polecats and other wild animals, including 32 species of bird, inhabit the surrounding woodlands, which extend to approximately 9.5 acres (38,000 m2).[4]

Salmon ladder[edit]

The River Conwy is a salmon river, and there are two salmon ladders at the falls. One is a disused Victorian wooden ladder that was destroyed by a storm soon after being built, and incorporating steps hewn into the rock. The second is a modern ladder, built in 1993 at a cost of nearly £1m, which can detect and count every fish that enters.[5] This ladder—not visible to the public—consists of some 30 pools set in a zig-zag pattern within a piped tunnel.[6]

There is a water gauging station at the Falls, measuring the flow into the fish pass. When low levels are detected, the flow is diverted over the falls, rather than through the pass, to ensure that flora in the gorge is protected.[7]

The cafe building[edit]

The first cafe at the falls was simply a wooden hut.[8] In 1938 the Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis was consulted with regard to the design of a new building, the original design being for a building perched on the rocks above the falls, but this was never built. The current building dates from the 1950s and, although rather different from Williams-Ellis' design (drawings of which are displayed in the cafe's main room[8]), is nevertheless an excellent example of his style, the cafe being "provided with a pediment in the Georgian style and an open loggia on the upper level."[9]


  1. ^ Sayer, Zoe; Rebecca Terry (2006). All Terrain Pushchair Walks in Snowdonia. Sigma Press, p. 59.
  2. ^ Clough Williams-Ellis, by Richard Haslam & Clough Williams-Ellis, published by Academy Editions, 1996
  3. ^ RoughGuides.com - Conwy Falls
  4. ^ BritainExpress.com - Conwy Falls
  5. ^ Conwy Falls - the salmon ladder
  6. ^ New Scientist - Technology: The fish ladder with a twist
  7. ^ Environment Agency - Conwy Catchment Abstraction Management Strategy, April 2004
  8. ^ a b Conwy Falls cafe - History
  9. ^ Clough Williams-Ellis: The architect of Portmeirion : A memoir, by Jonah Jones, published by Seren, 1996
  • Conwy Falls fish pass tunnel, R.Byles, from International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences and Geomechanics Abstracts, Volume 32, Number 4, June 1995, pp. 189A–189A

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°03′55″N 3°46′45″W / 53.0652°N 3.7791°W / 53.0652; -3.7791

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conwy_Falls — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
5892 videos foundNext > 

North Wales Conwy falls Kayaking

Conwy Falls.

Conwy Falls

Some retro footage from the MUCC archives.

Conwy Falls Waterfall on the river Conwy

The Conwy Falls on the river Conwy just through the forrest from the Conwy Falls Cafe near Betws Y Coed.

Chloe Leavers Live @ Conwy Falls Cafe

Chloe Leavers Live at the Conwy Falls Cafe, nr Betws-y-Coed, 5th March 2011. Great Coffee and Beautiful Music. What more could you ask for? A proper chilled ...

The Main Conwy Falls

via YouTube Capture.

river conwy A5 road bridge to conwy falls

kayaking the conwy.

Conwy Falls, Waterfall, Snowdonia, North Wales

after very heavy rain. now is a good time to come and look at our spectacular waterfall in Snowdonia just outside Betws Y Coed. be sure to pop into our cafe ...

Chloe Leavers Live @ Conwy Falls Cafe - the last song.

Last song of the set at Conwy Falls Cafe, 5th March 2011.

TRR Dipping High Line - Conwy Falls

Technical Rope Rescue practice at Conwy Falls, Betws Y Coed. The technique you see is called a Dipping High line. http://www.ogwen-rescue.org.uk ...

Conwy Falls

Sweep of both segments of the falls before briefly looking downstream then ending off with another look back at the falls' entirety.

5892 videos foundNext > 

37 news items

Daily Post North Wales

Daily Post North Wales
Tue, 19 May 2015 03:17:04 -0700

RWE Innogy UK wants to generate 4.5MW of “green” energy - enough to meet the needs of 3,200 houses - at its Conwy Falls project near Betws y Coed. Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) will decide whether to grant planning consent. A number of ...


Mon, 21 Oct 2013 04:09:51 -0700

The pair, described as experienced paddlers, were on the River Conwy yesterday when they overshot a safe exit point and ended up in a steep gorge at the Conwy Falls. The men, one in his late 20s the other in his early 30s and from mid- and south Wales, ...


Tue, 19 May 2015 16:58:55 -0700

... to be the world's longest subterranean attraction with three miles (five kilometers) of track, including a bloodcurdling 21-meter freefall. Zip Below Xtreme, Conwy Falls Caf, A5 (Pentrefoelas Road), Betws-y-coed, Snowdonia, Wales, UK; +44 016 9071 ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Sun, 15 Mar 2015 00:00:25 -0700

“The free fall is very scary. I did it five times in a row to try to get used to it, but it was still just as frightening the fifth time as the first.” The words of Pete, a caving instructor and former soldier who fought in Afghanistan, are ringing in ...

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 23:22:30 -0700

Sean Laxen, nine, from Horsford, died in August 2007 after he fell into water after slipping on rocks at Conwy Falls in the Welsh town of Betws-y-Coed. An inquest in 2008 heard how Sean had slipped on rocks at the water's edge and drowned. Coroner John ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Thu, 11 Jun 2015 23:00:19 -0700

Welsh sheep farmer Howell Williams and Chris Blake of The Green Valleys stand on the banks of the stream, next to Williams' 5kW hydropower plant on his farm in Brecon Beacons, Wales. Photograph: Andrew Aitchison/Asden Awards. John Vidal. Friday 12 ...

ITV News

ITV News
Thu, 12 Feb 2015 23:30:00 -0800

Situated at the Conwy Falls, the new adventure consists of 9 zip lines in total - the highest number of zip lines on any adventure in the world. It's also the deepest zip line in the world with the solid rock above being 1,230 ft thick. If whizzing ...

Daily Post North Wales

Daily Post North Wales
Wed, 29 Apr 2015 12:12:07 -0700

Business owners in Betws y Coed are furious that parking charges have been introduced “without any consultation” to the village's most popular car park. The Snowdonia National Park Authority installed a pay and display machine on Tuesday at Cae Llan ...

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