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Originally known as the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal, the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal was built between 1797 and 1812, to transport stone and processed lime from local quarries. It’s a remarkable feat of engineering with over 23 miles (36.8km) of its total 33 miles (53km) being totally level. Amazing when you think of the mountainous terrain that it traverses. It had drifted into disrepair by the 1930’s but has since been restored by the British Waterways Board with support from the National Park and was reopened for leisure in 1970.
From the Post Office, Talybont on Usk
1.Cross the road to the canal and turn right, to walk with the canal to your left for approximately 3.5km to pass the remains of Pencelli Castle, on the other side of the canal. Continue a little further to the village, which has a fine pub: the Royal Oak, which backs up onto the canal. This where Walk B begins.
From Pencelli
1. Join the towpath behind the public house and turn right, to walk with the canal to your left, towards Storehouse Bridge, where there’s an interesting Canal Museum. Continue past a marina on the opposite side of the water and shortly after this, the canal draws alongside the River Usk, offering good views over the river to Peterstone Court. Shortly after this, the canal crosses the Usk on a fascinating aqueduct.
2. Next up is the lovely Brynich Lock, the only lock on this northern section of the canal, and a nice place to stop a while and watch the boats navigating the drop. Continue along, passing beneath the A40 and then parallel to the B4601, that leads into Brecon. You’ll pass above some lime kilns before eventually reaching the outskirts of Brecon. Continue past the rugby club and on to the Canal Basin, by the Theatre SO046281.
Want more?
For a much longer canal walk, use the Abergavenny Bike Bus to Crickhowell and join the canal near there to return to Brecon.


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