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3 winter walks near the Mon & Brec canal

Detailed route information for these three walks is provided on the Brecon Beacons website. Just click the title of the walk that interests you.

1.    Brecon to Pencelli along the canal towpath

Length: 4½ miles (7km)

Time: Around 2 hours

Start: Brecon Canal Basin (OS map ref: SO 046287)

Finish: Pencelli (OS map ref: SO 092249)

OS maps: Explorer OL12/OL13 (1:25 000 series)


A super stroll along the flat canal towpath and across the aqueduct at Brynich, with plenty of places to eat in Brecon and The Royal Oak pub at Pencelli. You won’t be short of a friendly face because the towpath is always a popular place to find dog walkers and families. Today, Pencelli is a tiny village but look around the edge of the village and you’ll see the remains of a castle which dates back to the 11th century. As it’s a linear walk, you can either make a day of it and retrace your steps or catch the bus back into Brecon. Check the bus timetable on Traveline Cymru.


2.    Crickhowell to Table Mountain

Length: 4½ miles (7km)

Time: Around 3 hours

Start and finish: Crickhowell Resource and Information Centre (CRiC) in the middle of town (OS map ref: SO 218184)

OS map: Explorer OL13 (1:25 000 series)

Looming over Crickhowell, the flat-topped mountain has earned the name of Table Mountain. The name of the town itself (Crickhowell) derives from the name of this lofty spot (Crug Hywel, in English Hywel’s Fort). It’s a reference to the Iron Age hillfort that was established here. Despite the exposed location, extensive remnants of this ancient Celtic stronghold still survive in the form of ditches and ruined stone defences. The views are sensational. Back in town, call into Crickhowell Adventure Gear or Crickhowell Resource and Information Centre (CRiC) for a full selection of walking guides covering this area.


3.    Abergavenny riverside

Length: Just under 4½ miles (7km)

Time: 1½–2 hours

Start: Pyscodlyn Farm bus stop by Pyscodlyn Farm and Campsite on A40 between Abergavenny and Crickhowell (OS map ref: SO 268156)

Finish: Abergavenny bus station (OS map ref: SO 302140)

OS map: Explorer OL13 (1:25 000 series)

To set out on this route, you can park your car next to Abergavenny Bus Station and catch the Brecon bus. Get off at the Pyscodlyn Farm bus stop just outside the town, and follow the linear route back into Abergavenny. Check the bus timetable on Traveline Cymru. The river Usk begins in the remote Black Mountain in the west of the Brecon Beacons National Park, flowing for 63 miles (102km) to reach the sea at Newport. The Usk valley, through which the river flows, is particularly broad and scenic in the central stretch around Abergavenny. Walking alongside the river Usk is particularly pleasant in any season. It’s a Site of Scientific Interest, noted for its flora and fauna, and prized by anglers for its salmon and trout fishing. At the end of the walk, explore the ruins of Abergavenny Castle, home to the town’s museum.

For more ideas of what to do close to the Monmouthshire & Brecon canal in the Brecon Beacons, check out our interactive map.