If you prefer smooth water to rushing rapids, you’ll love our canal. Once an important transport route, it’s now a lovely place for lazy strolling and boating. Peaceful and rural, with a flavour of times gone by, it’s often voted Britain’s prettiest canal. It passes through a generous swathe of the Brecon Beacons National Park, with appealing towns and villages to visit on the way. Read on to plan your journey-with help from the Canal River Trust
Brecon to Llangynidr
We begin the journey along the canal in the Town of Brecon and finish in Llangynidr. Watch our blog for the next part of the journey!
Brecon | Aberhonddu
History, heritage, culture, arts and some fantastic local ale… this market town really packs a punch. And beyond that, it’s a great place to start your exploring. Get on your bike, meander on a boat trip or hire a canoe and head downstream to find a picnic spot. Pack up your fishing rod to find your spot on the towpath, or just take a stroll around one of the many walks of the area. Check out our Town Guide of Brecon here.
Something to think about as you enjoy your packed lunch at the picnic spot at Brynich… firstly the aqueduct; it crosses the River Usk and is the largest on this canal. Secondly, if you notice the number on the lock here , that gives an indication of how many locks once existed on this canal.
With the big bend in the canal at Pencelli, it’s not hard to believe that the moat at the former Pencelli Castle was used to make part of the canal here.
Talybont-on-Usk | Tal-y-bont ar Wysg
A good central activity hub for the upper section of the canal, with numerous walks, including an uphill stroll to the nearby reservoir; canoe launches; cycle hire; or just a great place to rest up, enjoy lunch in a pub or a cream tea in the local shop.
Llangynidr Home to the Greenman Festival in the grounds of the Glanusk Estate. On the canal, Llangynidr is known for its locks. You can’t help but stop and watch a working lock, and you’ve five to choose from here. As well as being a beautiful wildlife and picnic spot, the pond between bridges 68 and 67 helps balance these locks with water.
Ashford Tunnel is 375 yards long with just of headroom!
Take a boat trip… Hire a narrowboat, paddle your own canoe, or take a day trip with a number of hire companies along the canal. The following can be found between Brecon and Llangynidr.
- Dragonfly Cruises H H Canal Basin, Brecon, LD3 7EW T: 07831 685222 http://www.dragonfly-cruises.co.uk
- Bikes & Hikes, H Lion Yard, Brecon, LD3 7BA T: 01874 610071 Or via Talybont Stores Talybont-on-Usk, LD3 7YJ T: 01874 676663 http://www.bikesandhikes.co.uk
- Beacon Park Day Boats H H The Toll House, Canal Basin, Brecon, LD3 7FD T: 0800 612 2890 http://www.beaconparkdayboats.co.uk
- Cambrian Cruisers H Ty Newydd, Pencelli, LD3 7LJ T: 01874 665315 http://www.cambriancruisers.co.uk
- Country Craft Narrowboats, H The Old Lock House, Cwm Crawnon, Llangynidr, NP8 1ND T: 01874 730850 http://www.countrycraftnarrowboats.co.uk
Get on your bike and ride… The full length of the canal is accessible by bike and links in to National Cycle Network routes such as the Taff Trail.
- Drover Holidays Delivery & collection T: 01497 821134 http://www.droverholidays.co.uk
- Bi-ped Cycles 10 Ship Street, Brecon, LD3 9AF T: 01874 622296 http://www.bipedcycles.co.uk
- Bikes & Hikes Lion Yard, Brecon, LD3 7BA T: 01874 610071 Or via Talybont Stores Talybont-on-Usk, LD3 7YJ T: 01874 676663 http://www.bikesandhikes.co.uk
There’s all sorts of wildlife to be seen as you explore the canal. Mallards, moorhens, swans, butterflies and dragonflies are often around and if you’re lucky you may spot a frog or a kingfisher. Look out for shy, elusive mammals, too, such as otters, water voles and bats. To find out more, visit our pages on Wildlife-watching, birdwatching and nature trails or check out our blog here.