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
This post will take you along the canal from Llangynidr to Pontymoile-click here for the journey from Brecon to Llangynidr.
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!
Crickhowell | Crug Hywel
Look no further for your truly local shopping experience… butchers, bakers, books, arts, crafts… Ask a local, who will tell you how passionate the town is about keeping it local, so much that they’ve launched their own Totally Locally campaign http://www.totallylocallycrickhowell.co.uk
Llangattock | Llangatwg
Get off the canal here to see the impressive lime kilns or to visit Crickhowell. If you’re staying on, look out for the gigantic Redwood tree near bridge 113. Rumour has it that the iron used for the gates at Buckingham Palace was brought down from Nantyglo Ironworks and transported on from the wharf here at Llangattock.
You are just about at the halfway way point of the canal. It was close to bridge 110 that the first building work started on the canal in 1796.
Govilon | Gofilon
This small village, split across the centre by the canal, once played a much bigger role in the iron industry, today noted by its inclusion in the Blaenavon World Heritage site. Up above Govilon towards Blaenavon you’ll find the memorial plaque and burial site of 1952 Olympic Gold Medal show jumping horse, Foxhunter.
Llanfoist | Llan-ffwyst
As you come into the picturesque wharf at Llanfoist, there are some small steps heading down to the road and tunnel that runs under the canal. From here you can walk the old Hills Tramroad, which linked the canal to Blaenavon Ironworks during its heyday in the early 19th Century.
Abergavenny | Y Fenni
Behind the Norman castle, on the edge of the town and River Usk, this market town really knows how to throw a festival. The calendar is full of events in Abergavenny. Turn up in June and you’ll join the greats of the road bike world for its Festival of Cycling, then come back in September to get your taste buds tingling at Abergavenny Food Festival.
Llanover | Llanofer
Next time you hear the chimes of Big Ben, remember that Llanover was once home to its namesake, Lord Llanover, Benjamin Hall.
Goytre Wharf | Glanfa Goetre
Boats, canoes, trails and a tea stop. The wharf at Goytre has it all. A good place to stop and have a chat to one of the team that work on the canal. They are a mine of information on its history and the area.
Pontymoile Basin |Basn Pont-y-moel
The joining point of the Monmouthshire Canal to the Brecon and Abergavenny Canal at the Tollhouse in 1812 to form today’s Mon & Brec. Hop off the canal to enjoy a stroll around the nearby Pontypool Park. For the more adventurous, you’re just a short jump away from the dry ski slope.
Set up your fishing rod and relax on the canal bank… There are a number of locations you can fish along the canal..
- Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association Downstream of Brecon Basin to Bridge 153 Day permits available from Edwards Newsagents, 50 Watton, Brecon, LD3 7EL T: 01874 623304
- Waterway Wanderers Scheme Buy your permit in advance. Contact Mr John Harding on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01829 732748.