Explore the step by step trails along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

By Jake Chown  
Thursday 15th April 2021 9:25 am
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As the country emerges from lockdown waterways and wellbeing charity Glandwr Cymru – the Canal & River Trust in Wales – is offering a way to ease everyone into gentle exercise with its Step-by-Step trails exploring local landscape and heritage.

The three linear walks along the scenic Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal focus on Brecon and Pontymoile basins and Goytre Wharf. They are available to download from the Canal & River Trust website (canalrivertrust.org.uk) and from local information centres in Brecon, Abergavenny, the National Park and Goytre Wharf as well as to health centres.

The routes take in the stunning landscape, explore fascinating heritage and enjoy the sights and sounds of local wildlife. With the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal adding the feelgood factor that being by the water can bring.

Each of the bilingual trails, which range from a four to a six mile return route, have been designed to be followed in small sections, with the option of doing as little or as much as preferred. People following them can go further each time as their fitness or time allows. The routes are surfaced for ease of use.

There’s also a chance to sample the trails in advance with the three virtual video walks available on the Canal & River Trust website. The short films show how easy the routes are to walk and the places to enjoy along the way.

As David Morgan, Glandwr Cymru development manager Wales, explains: “Whether you want to shed some lockdown pounds, improve your overall fitness or just explore your local area, these maps are designed with you in mind.

“They are part of Glandwr Cymru’s social prescribing project offering a different approach to tackling health and wellbeing challenges.

“The trails use the canal, heritage and landscape as inspiration to get out outdoors and make the most of the beauty on our doorstep.

‘‘By encouraging a gradual approach to your walk - with places along the way to spark curiosity - before you know it you could be walking six miles. And, importantly, the canal and its trails are free to use!”

The Goytre and Brecon Basin trails have been made possible thanks to funding from Cronfa Dreftadaeth, National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The trails:

Pontymoile Basin

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.

Brecon Basin

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.

Goytre Wharf

Glandwr 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.

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