Walks along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal
The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, or Mon and Brec for short, is a true hidden gem. A haven for wildlife and a favourite with nature-lovers, walkers and cyclists. The navigable section of the canal runs for approx. 36 miles from Brecon to Five Locks, Cwmbran.
A favourite with holiday boaters, there are loads of activities to enjoy on this beautiful canal. Relax on a boat trip, take in the local heritage, there are lime kilns and old workings from our industrial heritage that can be seen all along its length, spot wildlife, buzzards, red kites, herons and dragonflies.
Enjoy a family day out to the wonderful sites of Brecon Basin, Llangynidr locks or Goytre Wharf, with its historic limekilns or pop in for a snack at Pontymoile or any of the numerous canal side pubs or cafes.
The canal also forms part of the Blaenavon World Heritage Site, which also boasts Big Pit National Coal Museum, Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway, Blaenavon World Heritage Visitor Centre and Blaenavon Ironworks.
Brecon Basin is the start of the Taff Trail (National Cycle Route 8). The first part of this long distance cycle touring and walking route takes you along the towpath, past the remains of old lime kilns. The three mile ride from Brecon to Brynich Lock is easy-going and thoroughly pleasant. Whenever you’re cycling on the tow path, remember to give way to pedestrians.
Find out more about the Canal’s history here.
Walks along the Mon and Brec Canal
This linear route starts from Junction Cottages and follows a three mile stretch of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal to the Cascades. Along the way there are mile markers, stone bridges, Five Locks, and an incline to offer a little challenge at the Cascades. Walkers can take it step by step, turning back at any point or keep on going to do the whole six mile round trip. Find the route here.
Brecon Basin 2.2 miles (4.4 miles return)
The Brecon Basin trail begins at the Theatr Brycheiniog and takes walkers through the history, including past the 200 year old Brynich Lock – still working as it did in 1800. There are places to stop along the way to take in stunning views of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Anyone completing the two mile trip is rewarded at the end with a look at the magnificent Grade II listed Brynich Aqueduct. Find the route here.
Glandŵr Cymru’s trail from Goytre Wharf starts at the historic Lime Kilns, survivors of the area’s industrial heritage. The bridges, stone steps and markers remind walkers of the past, while the ramps give a challenge to raise the heartrate a little. And there’s also a chance to stop and enjoy the views and nature along the way before reaching the end of the trail, two miles along the canal at Croes-y-Pant Bridge on the boundary of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Find the route here.
A moderate walk with one steep flight of steps to reach the canal. There are good views north across Abergavenny and the surrounding hills. One point of interest is Llanfoist Wharf which was built to transfer pig iron arriving on the tramway from Blorenge onto the canal for shipment to Newport Docks and thence around the world. Find the route here.
This is an easy walk along almost level paths. The first part of the route follows the track of the Blaenavon-Abergavenny railway and returns along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal which was built between 1792 and 1812, to link Brecon to Newport Docks. On the walk you pass Govilon. It owes its existence to the Cwm Shenkin Brook, that provided the power for a number of mills and forges. A tramway near the Llanfoist section of the canal used to run through the woods on the slopes of Blorenge to bring coal and iron to the canal wharf. Find the route here.
A mostly flat walk with one slope to the canal. The walk follows a woodland avenue and crosses areas of open parkland before reaching open countryside and the canal.
Points of interest include Llanover Park was used by American troops who trained here before the Normandy landings.
The estate was home to Lady Llanover – the Bee of Gwent – a fierce champion of Welsh language & culture and Lord Llanover – Benjamin Hall – oversaw the building of the Houses of Parliament and the great bell ‘Big Ben’ was named after him. St Bartholomew’s church dates from the 13th century. Find the route here.