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Monday, November 19, 2018

Devils Bridge, a Welsh Legend from Old

Devils Bridge.  This place we had seen while looking at things to do while in Wales.  For the measly price of just £3.00 (if booked online, £3.60 otherwise for the time of year we went) we couldn’t turn our noses up.

Below is taken directly from the Devils Bridge website HERE

…around the 11th Century, the Devil visited Wales as he had never been there before and he had heard that the scenery was

breathtaking. He soon came across an old lady who seemed upset. “What’s the matter?” he asked out of curiosity.

“Oh, I’m in such a terrible muddle and I don’t know what to do!. My cow has wandered across the river and I can’t get her back”.

‘Ah!” said the Devil ‘What you need my dear, is a bridge, and I am just the man to build you one. Why don’t you go home, and in the morning there will be a bridge waiting for you. All I ask in return is to keep the first living thing to cross the bridge!”

“Okay then” she said “It’s a bargain. I’ll see you in the morning. Nos da, Goodnight”

That night she wondered about this stranger who would build her a bridge. ‘What a strange request! Why should I cross the bridge to get my cow back if he gets to keep me in exchange? Mind you it is very tempting offer”

The next day she got up and called for her faithful dog. Together they went down to the river. “Well well” she couldn’t believe her eyes. In front of her was the best bridge that she had ever seen! I told you that I would build you a bridge” said the Devil appearing from nowhere.

“Now it’s your turn to keep your side of the bargain”.

I know, you get to keep the first living thing to cross the bridge” and she started to walk towards the bridge. But just when she got to the entrance, she stopped, took out a loaf of bread from her apron pocket and hurled it across the bridge. As quick as a flash and before the Devil could stop it, the dog chased after it. ‘Aaaaaaagh!!!!!” screeched the Devil. “You stupid old woman, I don’t believe it! Your smelly, hairy farm dog has become the first living thing to cross my bridge. It’s no good to me” he screamed and then he vanished.

Well, the Devil was never seen in Wales again as he was so embarrassed at being outwitted by the old lady. High in the mountains near Aberystwyth, there is a village where an ancient bridge crosses a deep gorge. Above it are two other bridges built at later dates. But the lowest one…Well, they say that the Devil himself made it!

So once there, you will need a car, or you can infect get The Vale of Rheidol Steam Railway from Aberystwyth.  You will then only have a 4-minute walk to the bridge itself.  In the winter months which is when we went, you shouldn’t have much trouble in getting yourself a parking space.  However, in the summer months, I couldn’t say how easy this would be.

The Experience

Once in you are greeted with the infamous bridges, you can’t get the greatest of pictures of all of them stacked but as you can see from the picture below you can still get a good enough image.

You will see that there is only one route and that’s following the windy path down the hillside.  Taking in the stunning scenery and the glorious waterfalls that you are greeted with halfway down. The closer you get to the bottom the steeper the steps get, you can see just how steep those final few steps are.  It is at this point that you witness the very bottom of the waterfalls and the power that mother nature possesses.

Oh Dear…

You reach the bottom, you look at the incredible landscape and layered slate then you take a glance up.  To get back up is an almost vertical set of steps.  Each step a different size to the one the proceeded it!  You do have a handrail to hold on to, which we would advise as the rocks can get extremely slippery.

You do however have a few stops offs to catch your breath, one of which was the robbers’ cave.  We won’t spoil it for you, but you have a plaque outlining the story of the robbers in both English and Welsh.  It is certainly worth stopping and having a read, even if it these could be mistaken for an old folktale.

Eventually, you will reach the top, you will certainly take rest on the rocks that are up there.  When you do leave you are in a different place to where you would have parked your car but it’s only a 5-minute walk or so across the bridge again.  If you want to go again you can do a different walk, this only costs £1 and is called the punch bowl and three bridges.  We didn’t do this one, as it looked like another epic journey up and down steps.

But your you’re up for the challenge and don’t mind your legs causing your pain and discomfort in the days to follow we would suggest do both.

Tips and Hints when visiting Devils Bridge

  • Must, be able-bodied as the sheer number of steps and steepness of them will mean if you are not you will not be able to.
  • Wear the appropriate footwear (we wore the very best Mountain Warehouse walking boots, but any walking/hiking boots will do)
  • No small dogs
  • If you suffer from vertigo, we would advise not going
  • Book your tickets online HERE and save 20%
Lee Webber
Hola, i'm Lee and one half of the founders of Look at our World. You will quite often find me either behind the computer maintaining this stunning website, or sampling some incredible food.

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