Amongst our family and friends, if we say we are visiting the Waterfalls, we all know where we mean. Obviously there are lots of waterfalls in the UK, but for our family and friends, the Waterfalls can only mean one place – Nantcol!
Nantcol holds a special place in our hearts, both at Mia’s Travels UK and with the maternal side of our little family. Recently, it was my parents Golden Wedding Anniversary so out came the old slides of camping trips and family holidays and a large amount of them were taken at the waterfalls during the 70s & 80s. We loved nothing more than literally messing about on the river. Mildew ridden tents would be erected, dinghies would be inflated, colourful fishing nets would be grabbed, inappropriate male swimwear would be worn and rope swings would be swung upon.
Our family (including my older brothers & their friends) still camp at Nantcol, with our last visit being a few years back for big bro’s 40th birthday. We have so many fond memories of staying at this campsite, and even when it poured it down and at the time we were miserable and wet – we still remember the trips fondly. One such trip was a 40th birthday camping trip where it rained all weekend, a lot! So much so that the “men” grabbed their hatchets and camping spades and dug trenches in the rain to try to divert some of the rain away from the tents. We have fond memories of being woken up by sheep chewing the guide ropes and washing our hair in the river. For Nantcol never used to be all fancy with lovely clean showers and flushing toilets. Nope, it was a field filled with tents, sheep and a river. You had to be creative when you needed the loo, or wait until you drove down into town and went for a pint! But that was the fun of Nantcol, up until this year it was one of the few campsites where you could still have fires on the ground. I understand why these changes have happened, and I will be the first to admit I prefer it with toilets, showers, a little shop and “danger steep drop” signs at the top. But that doesn’t take away from the amazing memories we made there and continue to do so.
Whilst staying in the area recently, we made the trip up to the waterfalls and immediately I am taken back to my childhood and love nothing more than trudging up the hill, over the huge steps and stopping to catch you breath at the top, getting stuck in mud and getting a little lost (every damn time!) but we are always rewarded when we reach the cataracts at the top. The views are stunning and we always spend at least 60 minutes just mooching around the top and putting our hands into the fast chilly waters of the falls.
This is my happy place, I love it here and I am so happy that we can visit it year in, year out. It changes with the seasons, in the summer we have been known to climb the falls, victorious as we reach the summit soaking wet. Other years we have stayed away from its edge as the water rushes by in great violent torrents. But I love it, I am happiest when at the top, looking out towards the sea to the West and the mountains to the East.
Our daughter loved the walk up, especially laughing at her dad who kept getting stuck in the mud. She took her camera and loved taking lots of photos of the falls as well as the flora and fauna. Mia was in her element, lots of mud to run through, rocks to scramble on and cool waterfall water to drink from. Due to there being sheep grazing she had to be kept on her lead, but this never bothers her anyway, so she had a fab time!
Thanks Nantcol, it was a pleasure as always! We will continue to spread the word and tell everyone just how fabulous you are!