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The Brecon & Monmouthshire Canal 

The Web Brecon Beacons

Monmouthshire & Brecon CanalThis is one of the most scenic canal routes in Britain. It runs for 32 miles (51.5 km) through idyllic scenery in the National Park between Brecon and Pontypool. It then continues to Newport. The canal was built between 1797 and 1812 to link Brecon with Newport and the Severn Estuary. Stone and processed lime from nearby quarries was transported by tramway to the canal and then by barge to Newport. At the time of the construction of the canal roads were horrendously bad and transportation by water was the cheapest and most efficient way to move goods. From Newport the lime would be transported for sale in various markets often overseas. A major tram road link existed between the canal and the large limestone quarries at Trefil and Llangattock.  The Llangattock escarpment which dominates the skyline in the Crickhowell locality of the National Park is actually an extensive lime stone quarry which developed as a result of the construction of the canal. Today part of it is designated as a special site of scientific interest and it is the entrance to one of the most challenging cave networks in Britain. The iron works in the Clydach gorge transported its products along a tram road linked to the canal at Gilwern. In the village of Talybont on Usk the ruins of the disused lime kilns serve as a reminder of a time when the canal carried processed lime for household and agricultural use.

The canal had fallen into disuse by the 1930s but has been gradually restored by the British Waterways Board with support from the National Park and others since 1968. the canal was reopened to the public in 1970. The canal is now used for informal recreation including canoeing, fishing, walks along the towpath (a section of the Taf Trail follows the canal bank for walkers only), and for canal boat holidays. the full length of the canal towpath is a public footpath. During its passage through the National Park it features six locks and several public houses are to be found adjacent to the canal enroute. there is a short tunnel through which the canal passes near Talybont on Usk and visitor may find it entertaining when in the vicinity of the tunnel to watch novice canal users negotiate their way through. Stone bridges crossing the canal and a common and attractive feature.  There have also be few aqueducts one of the finest of which is located 8200 m down stream from the canal lock adjacent to the minor road B4558 at Cefn Brynich (SO 079274). There is an excellent view of this aqueduct from the road bridge at this point on the aforementioned minor road. The Monmouthshire and Brecon canal is a favourite location for the Kingfisher to breed.

Anyone wanting to use their own boat or canoe should obtain a British Waterways licence from the British Waterway's board canal office at Govilon Tel  01873-830328. Canoe's and canal boats can also be hired from various companies based at different points along the canal including:

Theatre Brycheiniog,The new marina and canalside theatre complex (Theatr Brycheniog).
Canal Wharf Brecon, LD3 7EW 01874-611622
the one end of the canal in Brecon was chosen in the 1990s as the location for a new theatre complex in Brecon.  There is excellent car parking for visitors to the theatre, a restaurant cafeteria is open throughout the day, and there is a pleasant walk along the canal side.

Goytre Wharf:

Goytre Wharf is a picturesque eight acre site of over 200 years of industrial heritage. Located on the the lowerGoytre Wharf section of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal as it follows the contours of the Usk Valley within the Brecon Beacons national Park.  This is a unique Waterside facility open to the public offering opportunities to study, information about the Canal, tourist attractions and a booking service for canoe tours and a restaurant boat. The shop sells crafts, souvenirs, books, there is a gallery of local paintings and other exhibitions. National parks information, confectionery and a coffee shop. You may follow a route around the site taking in the children's play area, a woodland walk, the aqueduct, and they walk around the Marina.

Visits to Goytre Wharf include the lime kilns, the tram road exhibition in the heritage centre, and see and feed the extraordinary numbers of fish in the Marina. A day out for all to enjoy. It is located halfway between Pontypool and Abergavenny near the village of Llanover on the A 4042 trunk road. Look for the signs to Goytre Wharf and continue along a minor road for two miles until you see the entrance.

  • For further information telephone or write to: Brecon and Abergavenny Canal Trust  Goytre Wharf Heritage, Activity and Visitor Centre, Llanover, NR Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 9EW Telephone 01873 -- 881069

Canal Tour and Holiday Companies:

  • Beacon Park Boats       

  • Heritage Canoes - discover the art of open canoeing on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal (Tel. 01873-880661).

  • Redline Boats

  • Dragonfly Cruises  On the Dragonfly you can spend a few hours cruising through some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain. Travel on this fantastic feat of engineering built over 200 years ago going through a lock and over an aqueduct. This relaxing voyage is available to all and also has limited wheelchair access.
    Address:- Paris guesthouse, 28 Watton, Brecon, Powys, LD37EF Tel 07831685222 E Mail info@dragonfly-cruises.co.uk


  • Meander Holidays is a walking holiday company where the routes follow the canals of the UK One of the routes follows the Mon and Brec canal from Pontypool to Brecon.


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Mountain Hut Productions 2002   All rights reserved. Revised: 10 March 2014This non profit making website is independent
(of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority) & supports National Park aims regarding recreation, conservation & the local economy. 

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