Mon and Brec Canal Overview

The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is a historic inland waterway in Wales that currently runs from near Pontymoile north of Newport to Brecon. The current navigable length is 35 miles.

The canal is colloquially known as the “Mon and Brec“.

It was originally two separate canals – the Monmouthshire Canal that ran from Newport to Pontymoile Basin, and included a spur known as the Crumlin Arm; and the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal that ran from Pontymoile to Brecon.

The two canals were built in the 1790s and their main purpose was to improve the movement of iron, coal and limestone across the region, and down to Newport. They connected at various points to local small tramways.

The Monmouthshire canal was predominantly urban and originally had a large number of locks, 42 on the main line, and 32 on the Crumlin Arm. The Brecknock and Abergavenny was rural and predominantly level with only 6 locks – 5 at Llangynidr and 1 at Brynich.

It’s possible to walk and cycle the whole length of the Mon and Brec and to enjoy this beautiful and picturesque canal. You can also hire boats from several companies at different locations, either for a few hours, or for overnight for longer periods. More details can be found on our Mon and Brec boat hire page.