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Ogof Nant Rhin

Ogof Nant Rhin, a well-decorated stream cave in the Clydach Gorge

Date: 3rd August 2008

An attractive little cave in the Clydach Gorge with some sporting wet squeezes and superb formations. A top entrance has now been engineered to enable a through trip.

Weather conditions:

How to find it:
Heading uphill towards Merthyr Tydfil on the A465 Heads of the Valleys road, go past the Drum & Monkey pub (seen on your right) and the bus stop/shelter almost opposite (the parking area for Ogof Clogwyn). Park in the next layby up the hill – a large area used by truckers & unfortunately often full of unpleasant waste. At the downhill end of the layby, hop over the fence and follow a very steep and muddy, faint track down almost to river level. The entrance is found at the base of a loose scree slope just above the river.

No known access restrictions.

Kit required:
None if entering via lower entrance.


The original entrance, a desperately tight slot in a crumbling bank of unstable scree, succumbed to collapse and was buried some years back – a bit of a shame as it used to provide a barrier to all but the most slim and determined! A "new" entrance has been engineered almost next to the old one but the scaffolding and shoring needs to be passed with extreme care.

The entrance is a low horizontal crawl in water, (you can minimise the misery by clearing out some of the loose stones that collect in the bed of the stream that flows out of the entrance first) and after approximately 1 -2 body lengths, takes an abrupt right turn. Care is needed here, as with the next section where one passes under a hanging boulder. Immediately after this, on the right, the tight slot of the original entrance is seen.

From here, progress is made in an attractively-decorated rift with splendid phreatic shelving by crawling, squeezing and climbing through, under and above the various restrictions. A pleasant stream flows through the rift and helps ensure you get a thorough wetting. Sometimes the passage enlarges to walking proportions, but you will always find yourself ducking, stooping and crawling to circumnavigate the numerous rock shelves and formations. A junction is reached where heading left will take you to a tall aven – and the sporting connection with the top entrance, and going right (climb either over or under a stal constriction) leads along a well-decorated passage to a further junction. Here, going right leads into a large decorated streamway and shortly ends at an impressive chamber full of formations, well worth bringing a camera for. Left is narrower and more rifty, and leads through a couple of magnificent high, shelved avens to finally end in miserable tight rifts.