Our visit to Aberdulais Tin Works and Waterfalls took place at the very start of our trip to Pembrokeshire. In truth, it was a bit of a unexpected diversion.
Why? Ted is a bit of a princess. We tried an array of brands of food – biscuits, wet, kibble – and Ted either refused them, or they gave him a horrendously upset stomach. The only thing he eats is raw food, which although is nutritionally better, is totally inconvenient for a cross country trip to wales.
More towards 3pm would be better for me.
The woman we were meeting to collect his food from had delayed us. In sync, Dan and I huffed in annoyance. ‘What do we do now?’ he asked. So, I rack my brain for something to do, something I’d attached to our itinerary. ‘There’s a waterfall not far from here.’ Perfect.
We parked in the rather tight car park opposite, and crossed the busy street towards the entrance. I knew little to nothing about Aberdulais Falls, other than it is a National Trust property, had waterfalls, and is in Wales. The first impressions reminded me of Frontierland at Disneyland – slightly themepark-esque.
As soon as we crossed the threshold, Dan had to pull Ted away from the little fluffball lingering at the entrance. Little did we know it would be the first of about four hundred friends Ted would make on a week’s trip. I on the other hand was enthusiastically digging through my purse for the National Trust membership cards I was yet to use (and have only used a handful of times since).
Within minutes, I was holding onto Ted, whilst Dan was preparing his beloved camera… The same camera I had almost destroyed a matter of days earlier. Somehow I’d reformatted the SD card and had to fork out a fortune to have it rescued.
As we entered, on our left was a viewing platform over the river, and a display cart, which Dan eloquently said looks ‘a bit shit’. In comparison to the large, but derelict machinery ahead, it was underwhelming. However the view from the platform was particularly scenic.
I lagged behind and studied the information boards provided to let Dan take photos of the water mill and falls. Most of the original buildings are reduced to a shell. The wheel has been rescued and restored, forming half of the intimidating aspects – the other being the chimney that absolutely towered over us. I discovered that Aberdulais Falls once manufactured copper from the 16th to 17th century, using the waterfall as a power source. Then it became a tin works, and the National Trust still use the majestic water wheel to harness electricity. Unfortunately, when we visited, it was under maintenance and we couldn’t see it in action.
Then we climbed the iron staircase to see the falls. They are pleasant, but I expected something a little more dramatic. After gaping in awe at the falls of the Ingleton Waterfall Trail in the Yorkshire Dales, a little tin works waterfall is quaint. Dan took some artistic shots of the feature while Ted met even more new friends.
We had to stop in the shade at the head of the waterfall. I took a long look at the water. I’d never seen a river that looked like oil before. I’m still not sure if it as element of all Welsh waterways; a succinct reminder of the country’s industrial mining past, or if it was just the lighting, creating a pearlescent layer of blue, purple and white on the black water. Either way, it was quite beautiful.
Regrettably, we missed out on the Old School-house Tea-room. You guys know how much I love a tea room.
We only spent an hour or so at the attraction, but it was a pleasant way to kill some time on the way towards the west coast of Wales. Why not visit Aberdulais Falls next time you are in the area?