Discover a quiet canal in a beautiful mountain landscape

04 October 2011

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Monmouthshire & Brecon canal [CORR] – boating fun © Brecon Beacons National ParkMonmouthshire & Brecon canal [CORR] – boating fun © Brecon Beacons National Park

THINK of Wales’ Brecon Beacons National Park and you’ll probably picture its mountains which draw summit-seeking walkers all year round.

But the Park, one of the UK’s family of 15 National Parks*, offers an equally beautiful – but gentler – landscape for those who love leisurely walks.

The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is a 35-mile long waterway that runs from Brecon to Pontypool along the Usk Valley.

One of the best ways to discover this quiet canal is to stroll or cycle along the towpath. You can also hire canal boats and canoes too.

Cycling the towpath of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal near Pencelli © Brecon Beacons National Park

Starting in the pretty village of Llangynidr, between Abergavenny and Brecon, it’s an easy, four-mile walk or ride to Talybont-on-Usk. Here you’ll find canal-side pubs and a café at the village shop (great for coffee and cake!).

You’ll pass Llangynidr Locks where you can watch colourful canal boats negotiate the lock gates (sometimes with difficulty). There are picnic tables nearby if you fancy taking in the action while you eat.

Watching the fun at Llangynidr Locks, Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal © Brecon Beacons National Park

The canal skirts the edge of Tor y Foel (in spring don’t miss its bluebell-covered slopes) before passing through the narrow Ashford Tunnel and on to Talybont.

Walking along quietly (no hum of traffic here) you may be lucky enough to spot a kingfisher as well as swans and ducks. Look up and you may also see a red kite.

After refreshments in Talybont either walk back along the towpath or catch the shuttle bus which connects the villages during peak season.

* The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is just one of the many hidden waterways in the UK’s family of 15 National Parks.

For more information the Brecon Beacons National Park click here and for all our other National Parks please click here.

Posted by Nancy Webb, UK National Parks’  website and social media officer


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