Almost every week, visitors from overseas are cruising the Monmouthshire & Brecon canal on our luxury narrowboats, and several return year after year. Here are some facts that will help your holiday planning go smoothly.
If you cruise only one canal in the UK, it should be the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal in Wales
This beautiful, 36-mile long waterway in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales, is regarded as the most picturesque canal in the UK. Unusually for a canal, it rises high above the valley floor, offering amazing views of the countryside and passing through charming villages. It is not joined to the rest of the UK canal network, and therefore remains a tranquil and uncrowded waterway, rich in heritage and wildlife.
Our luxury narrowboats are available from March to October, and each season offers a different type of cruise. In Spring (roughly March - May) the views are incredible, as there are few leaves on the trees that line the canal. Spring flowers, including our national flower, the daffodil, bloom on the canal banks and lambs frolic in the fields. Summer (roughly June - early September) brings a lush green tree canopy over the canal and wildlife is plentiful.Most of the regions's festivals take place during summer, with its lovely, long, light evenings perfect for BBQs. In the Autumn (roughly mid September - October) the canal is a blaze of colour as the trees turn shades of red and gold. Guests relax in front of the wood-burning stove and, as the nights draw in, the canal offers the perfect conditions for stargazing; the Brecon Beacons being one of just a handful of International Dark Sky Reserves. It's magical.
Easy access by air, sea, rail and road
Please note the times listed below are either to Beacon Park Boats' wharf in Llangattock or to Abergavenny railway station, from where you'd need to take a 20-minute taxi ride to Llangattock. All costs are approximate.
Airport/Port Train journey Car journey Cost of taxi
to Abergavenny to Llangattock to Llangattock
Newport 25 mins 35 mins £ 30
Bristol 2 hrs 1 hr 10 mins £ 80
Cardiff 1¾ hrs 1 hr 10 mins £ 70
Birmingham 3 hrs 2 hrs £115
London Heathrow 3½ hrs 2¾ hrs £190
London Gatwick 4 hrs 3¼ hrs £225
Pembroke ferry port 4½ hrs 2¼ hrs £155
Fishguard ferry port 3½ hrs 2½ hrs £185
Holyhead ferry port 4½ hrs 4 hrs £290
customers hire a car at the airport or ferry port and leave it parked at our
wharf while cruising. Others prefer to return the car before starting their
cruise. Please note that our nearest drop-off point is Newport (35 minutes
drive), where you’ll find several companies including Avis, Easycar, Europcar,
Hertz, National and Sixt. You would then need to get a taxi (£30) back to
Beacon Park Boats. For Sat Nav users our postcode is NP8 1EQ. If you arrive by
car/taxi, it can be parked within a few metres of the boat for easy unloading.
The easiest option is to book a taxi to collect you at the airport/ferry port. This might also be better value than hiring a car, as it avoids paying for a hire car to be parked at our wharf while you are on your cruise. Local taxi firms include Crickhowell Taxis +44 (0)1873 811764, Town to Town +44 (0)1873 812399, Julian’s Taxis 07970 182283, A Cabs 07958 702208, Central Cabs +44 (0)1873 850197 and Sheila’s Cars +44 (0)1873 857954.
Stay an extra night in the Brecon Beacons National Park
In order to reach our wharf in good time to start your canal cruise, or if you don’t need to rush off on your final day, you might like to stay in a hotel or B&B nearby. Why not add on a short break in one of our 5-star canalside cottages near Abergavenny - an excellent base for exploring Wales’ castles, enjoying the best beaches and visiting our vibrant capital city, Cardiff. The following websites list local accommodation:
Combine a canal cruise with visits to other parts of the UK
If you’re planning a holiday to England, Scotland or Ireland, you might like to add a relaxing canal cruise in Wales to your itinerary. Our overseas visitors tell us that it complements city breaks really well, and offers a relaxing way to discover the real beauty of Wales. We're close to the Wales/England border, so if you're visiting locations like the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon, Stonehenge and Glastonbury or cities such as Bath, Oxford, Chester, Birmingham or Manchester, we're no distance away. Time spent relaxing on our luxury boats will add something special to your holiday.
It’s simple to arrange and easy to enjoy, whatever language you speak
No boating experience is needed to enjoy a Beacon Park Boats holiday. We’ll help you choose the best boat for you, and answer all your questions about holidaying in the UK, particularly if you’re combining a canal cruise with a stay elsewhere. To ensure you are well prepared before you leave home, we’ll send you a comprehensive information pack that includes a 40-minute DVD about how to operate your boat.
Buying food and holiday essentials is easy
If you are travelling by car or taxi you may wish to do a large shop at a supermarket just before arriving. In Abergavenny you'll find Aldi, Tesco and Waitrose, and in Brecon, there's Morrisons. Alternatively, place your order online with Tesco, Waitrose or Morrisons to be delivered to our wharf at the start of your holiday. We’ll accept the delivery on your behalf and look after the items until you arrive. During your cruise you’ll find all you need in the villages and towns within walking distance of the canal.
We’ll store your excess luggage while you’re cruising
You won’t have room for large, empty suitcases on your narrowboat so we’ll look after them for you. If you’re on a long holiday to the UK or Europe, you’ll probably bring additional items which you won’t need on your cruise. We’ll take care of those, too.
Any more questions?
We want you to have a fantastic holiday in Wales so please get in touch with your questions, and we’ll do our best to help you.