Ffynone Falls – Gateway to Another World

Ffynone Falls  ©Nigel Summerley

How would you like to spend time in another world?

In a green and beautiful landscape filled with amazing buildings, a bountiful supply of food, and all manner of delights? A place where no one gets old or becomes ill?

Perhaps you can. For such a place is the legendary Annwn – and there’s an entrance to it in Pembrokeshire.

Otherworldly treescape near Ffynone Falls  ©Nigel Summerley

Annwn is mentioned in the Mabinogion, the renowned collection of ancient Welsh tales. This “Otherworld” was not to be confused with an Underworld (where, as in Greek and Roman mythology, people went when they died). It was more like a parallel universe, existing alongside our familiar world but invisible to us.

There is said to be a portal into Annwn in north Pembrokeshire, via the Ffynone Falls, a stunning waterdrop on the Dulas river, hidden away in woodland near Newchapel, to the east of Boncath.

Portal to another place?  ©Nigel Summerley

From a small carpark, south of the B4332, it’s an easy and literally straightforward walk to the falls, as long as you are not seduced by one of several other paths and bridleways that beckon you into the woods.

Do wear wellies if you are going to venture close to the waterfall… and if you are going to attempt to enter Annwn, you will probably need to strip off your clothes too. That portal to paradise looks extremely wet… Mind you, they probably have lovely soft warm towels waiting for you on the other side…

Downriver from the Ffynone Falls  ©Nigel Summerley

The weir after the Falls is manmade rather than otherworldly but still magical  ©Nigel Summerley

Nigel Summerley

Nigel Summerley retired from The Oldie magazine to return to freelance journalism. He previously held executive staff jobs at the London Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Express before freelancing for 20 years for newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Guardian and the ‘i’ paper, plus a wide range of magazines. He continues to write about music, travel and health, and blogs at www.nigel-summerley.blogspot.com.

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