Walk along a beautiful canal in Wales

A minor network of canals can be found in the southern region of Wales known as the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.

Beacons National Park is traversed by the river for the majority of its 35-mile-long (56-kilometer-long) navigable length. Because of its current rural aspect and the peace and quiet it exudes, it is easy to forget that its initial function was that of an industrial corridor for coal and iron.

It started off as two separate canals: the Monmouthshire Canal, which was established by an act of Parliament in 1792 and ran from Newport to Pontnewynydd as its primary route. The other canal, known as the Brecknock and the Abergavenny canal, was opened in stages between the years 1797 and 1799. Its initial purpose was to connect with the River Usk in the general vicinity of Caerleon. In its place, a connection was made to the Monmouthshire Canal at Pontypool. The advent of the railroad led to the precipitous decline of the canal system as a whole during this time period.

The last commercial traffic left in 1933, and the road was totally shut down in 1962. After some time, the canal was rehabilitated so that it could be used as a promenade.

Pontypool in Brecon is responsible for reopening the canal in 1970, after it had been closed for more than a century and had endured the typical destruction associated with that length of time. Since then, it has been transformed into one of the most beautiful and picturesque canals that can be seen anywhere in Britain.

Even though it travels through Brecon Beacons National Park, the canal is nevertheless open for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

Because it is cut off from Britain’s larger network of canals, there is less boat traffic on its slow-moving waterways. This results in an experience that is more peaceful and personal than one would often have while travelling on a British canal.

Because of the wildflower carpet that covers the valley floor and the canal that serves as a magnet for a variety of waterfowl, including kingfishers, herons, moorhens, swans, and mallards, the local flora and fauna are particularly remarkable.

There are also a number of other paths that can be picked up along the way, such as the Henry Vaughan Walk, which is named after a great poet from the 17th century and begins near the village of Talybont-on-Usk. There are also a number of other trails like this one.

The real walk begins in Brecon, and from there, it is approximately four kilometres to the first lock of Brynich, and from there, it is five kilometres to the locks of Llangynidr. These locks come as something of a surprise on this channel, as it is a boundary channel, and boundary channels do not typically have lock banks.

Goytre Wharf, with its superbly maintained lime kilns, is one historic sight that should not be overlooked on a canal that is full of historic structures.

Goytre Wharf had little purpose other than to serve as a mooring for some local boats and a boat rental firm when the canal was being repaired in the 1960s. After undergoing its own comprehensive renovation in the year 2000, it now has its own berth and can accommodate a greater variety of ships.



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