Walk Wednesday – Llangynidr Locks


Here’s another “get yourself out and about in the Brecon Beacons” walk Wednesday.  This month we’re giving the Brecon and Monmouthshire canal a bit more attention than usual, as it’s celebrating an impressive 200th anniversary.  So to showcase some of the more impressive features of the canal here’s another great walk from the very knowledgeable guide Kevin Walker, from Mountain Activities .
It’s a short, easy stroll along a picturesque section of canal, suitable for a wet morning or quiet afternoon, and with the added convenience of a local inn!

Image by Kevin Walker ©

DISTANCE – Up to you!  The route described is about 3kms (1¾ miles).
HEIGHT GAIN – Negligible
START POINT – A rough layby alongside canal towpath.  This fills very quickly at popular times, and alternative parking is available in the Coach & Horses car park… as long as you intend to visit!  Please ask for permission.
MAPS – Unnecessary, but covered by OS Explorer OL13, OS Landranger 161, BMC/Harvey Brecon Beacons, and Harvey Superwalker Brecon Beacons East.

The area around the flight of locks at Llangynidr contains many interesting canal features, and is delightfully scenic.  It is possible to spend a pleasant few hours exploring here, especially if you combine your visit with a relaxing “aprés-stroll” at the Coach & Horses Inn, which has a fine canal-side beer garden.

Llangynidr is on the B4558 between Crickhowell & Talybont-on-Usk, and the Coach & Horses is an obvious roadside inn at the western edge of the village.  If patronising the inn, cars can be left in the large car park on the opposite side of the road.  If you are not intending to visit the inn, continue west along the road for a very short distance, take the lane to the right immediately after the bridge (almost like a T junction), and park in the obvious rough lay-by on the side of the canal about 150 metres (165 yards) further on.


Image by Kevin Walker ©

There is a lock close to the rough lay-by (Llangynidr Bottom Lock), but a more interesting area is only a short distance away.  If walking from the lay-by, follow the towpath with the canal to your left, soon passing under some large pipes (supplying water to Newport) and the modern road bridge.  If walking from the pub car park, cross the road bridge and keep left to gain the towpath, which you then follow with the canal to your left.  Continue along the curving towpath for a short distance to reach the next lock, where there are many features of interest including an aqueduct, an overflow weir and a wharf.  There are also the remains of some limekilns behind the buildings.

Image by Kevin Walker ©

Across the foot bridge at the end of this lock is a good path up the left side of a small but picturesque wooded valley.  This path runs alongside a leat (one of many water-supply channels for the canal) and shortly reaches an old wooden dam.  There are various weirs along this section.  Retrace your steps to the canal.

Along the towpath beyond the wharf you soon come to a flight of three locks with a small pond lying to the right between the closest two.  This is a “side pound”, and is connected to the canal via a culvert under the

Image by Kevin Walker ©

towpath.  It is used to help maintain the water supply to the locks during busy periods.

Above the top lock, you can follow the picturesque canal towpath for some distance.

This is another walk followed on Kevin’s popular walking breaks.  Check out what else he has to offer at www.mountainacts.co.uk

Image by Kevin Walker ©

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