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5 summer activities for families on the Mon & Brec Canal

Go for a bike ride

The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal towpath is great for families to cycle as it’s mostly flat. Just remember to take special care when passing other cyclists, walkers or anglers. At Llanfoist, near Abergavenny, you can park in the car park on the former railway line (OS grid ref SO 285 134), cycle along this track to Govilon Wharf (about 1.5 miles) where the canal passes underneath. Drop down onto the towpath at this point and continue on for as far as you fancy before turning around and cycling back to the car park. See if you can spot some of our canal boats that holidaymakers have hired for the week; each one is named after a type of bird. If you need to hire bikes, Hopyard CyclesMountain Tours and Bikes & Hikes are based locally.

2 Spot wildlife

We think the National Trust’s ’50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ is a really useful resource for summer holiday ideas, anywhere in the countryside. Many of their suggestions are suitable for the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, especially bug hunting and bird watching. You’re never far from wildlife when walking along this beautiful waterway: look for fish in the canal, listen to the birds in the trees or feed the ducks. 

3 Go on a treasure hunt

Brecon Basin, where the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal ends, is a great place for a treasure hunt. There’s always plenty going on; there are toilets and a place to buy food and drink in the adjacent Theatr Brycheiniog. Why not suggest they find ten things that start with the same letter of the alphabet as their name? As a start, download the Canal & River Trust’s guide to exploring Brecon Basin and the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal Fact File.

4 Hire a boat

For a leisurely time, try one of our electric boats which seat up to 6 adults, 2 children and 2 dogs! You can hire them from Brecon for as little as an hour or up to a full day. We’ll tell you about things to look out for on your cruise and it’s a great pastime when the weather’s not so great, as the boats have covers which keep dry.

5 Pack a picnic

Whatever activity you try, it might be an idea to start or end it with a picnic on the canalside, where you can sit and watch the colourful narrowboats cruise quietly by. There are good stretches of grass bank at Llangynidr and benches at Gilwern. It’s a good opportunity to teach your children about being SAFE (Stay Away From the Edge), and please always remember to take your rubbish home with you. Thank you.

For even more ideas about enjoying the beautiful Brecon Beacons, visit our cottages website.