(Abercraf to Ystradgynlais)


WHERE IS IT?: South Wales, flowing off the Brecon Beacons near the A4067 Swansea Brecon road.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in at the small recreation ground reached via a path that slopes down to the river adjacent to the Abercraf weir.

Get out is on River right before the town bridge in Ystradgynlais.

APPROX LENGTH: 2-3 miles.

TIME NEEDED: 1 - 2 hours.


WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs some rain to be worthwhile.

GRADING: Grade 2; in high water it rises to 3.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Local anglers although some of the landowners were sympathetic.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The first gorge is the best part of the trip. I used to do the river regularly in the late 70s and early 80s with local youth groups. It is possible to continue on past Ystalfera and shoot the large sloping weir (or it was). Care is needed as there was exposed metal work.

OTHER NOTES: Upstream are classic whitewater stretches. There is more of the river downstream...have you done it?

CONTRIBUTED BY: Dillon Hughes, also Gareth Bryant.



Community Forum Comments on this Article
Re: Afon Tawe - Abercraf to Ystradgynlais -- jmmoxon
2015 Nov 02 11:24:39 AM
There's a big tree in end of rapid after Abercraf Weir on Lower Tawe, make sure you inspect when you get to the weir as it's not that obvious from above. Another tree across the whole river further down can be paddled over or under depending on level.

Re: Afon Tawe - Abercraf to Ystradgynlais -- andy g
2013 Dec 16 12:06:36 PM
We ran this section on Saturday in 3 discreet groups of 5 in low/medium water. Although the Tawe Angling Association "No Canoeing" notice abounded , we did not encounter any hassle . Those locals we spoke to were polite and very appreciative of winter visitors to this area, especially when we told them that we stayed in S Wales and tried to eat and drink in the area's pubs to put something back into the local economy. We were even asked to pose for photos while going through the town.

Mindful of the conflict here with the anglers we did continue well downstream well past Ystradgynlais in order to find a less obvious get off where we could park and change more discreetly. It did however make it into a very long paddle.

The weit mentioned by Morsey above is still not in great condition with several detached slabs at the bottom river left, but it looks as if some repairs have been completed as there were no signs of any rebar protruding.

Re: Afon Tawe - Abercraf to Ystradgynlais -- morsey
2012 Nov 18 11:43:28 PM
The weir in Ystradgynlais, at the bridge next to the Ynyscedwyn Arms Hotel, is in hideously dangerous condition. It has several collapsed, car size, concrete slabs at angles and is syphoning in places in the middle and right hand side, the middle/right hand side also has a section where the concrete is so badly broken that given the wrong conditions you could get a boat/person to pin and or go under the slab! Whilst the left hand side appears to have several jaggy rock/probably metal protruding! With medium water and higher you'll probably not be able to see the issues with this weir! And there is no easy way to view it from the river! Exit from the river at this point is very tricky. Just upstream of the bridge you can 'climb' out river right, glad we stopped our group above the bridge to check the weir. Upstream further of this road bridge, not long after the Giedd tributary feeds in from the right, and before the footbridge there appeared a couple of places to exit up to the road, river right. I'll be using those exit points in future until the the weir is fixed. You can inspect from the road via the decking area in the Hotel garden.
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