Jeremy Head

Award-winning travel writer and photographer. Wales is one of his favourite destinations, particularly when travelling with family.

  • Annual holidays
  • Transport and travel

© Hawlfraint y Goron / Crown Copyright

Montgomery Canal, Welshpool, Mid Wales

Narrowboat and canal boat holidays in Wales

Take it easy with a narrowboat holiday in Wales. Discover how to explore the tranquil Llangollen, Montgomery and Monmouthshire & Brecon Canals at your own pace and watch the world go by...

Ahh! Messing about in boats - can there be anything more fun? In times gone by, narrowboats criss-crossed Wales on an extensive canal network taking coal and other minerals to the wider world. Whilst those old commercial barges are long gone, you can explore sections today by boat, on foot and by bike. We've got some lovely stretches of water in Wales, in particular a clutch of tranquil historic canals. So, here are a few reasons why we think canal holidays in Wales are rather special!

It's a great way to slow down

One of the best things about a canal holiday in Wales is you have to go slow! The speed limit is just four miles an hour. It's wonderfully relaxing, gliding gently along. If you're at the helm, you need to keep an eye out for other craft, but there's plenty of time to enjoy the tranquility and let go of your cares. You'll pass the odd other narrowboat but particularly on the Montgomery Canal you'll often have the water to yourselves.

Llangollen Canal, North Wales

The views are tremendous

Puttering along on a narrowboat is also a great way to take in the scenery. Just one example is the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal which canal cruise fans often vote as the prettiest in the UK. Much of it winds through the  Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park , a feast of wooded valleys, rolling hills and flower-strewn canal banks. You'll spot wildlife too - brightly coloured kingfishers, regal swans and fish plopping and splashing beside you.

Views along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, South Wales

There are world class industrial monuments

The canals were built at the height of the industrial revolution and wow, could those engineers of old innovate! Take Thomas Telford's  Pontcysyllte Aqueduct  on the  Llangollen Canal . It's the highest in the world carrying boats dizzyingly across 18 slender brick arches 126 feet (38 metres) above ground. Nearby Chirk Aqueduct is similarly impressive particularly with the railway bridge running right alongside. Walking the tow path with a torch in the Chirk tunnel will be a highlight for adventurous kids and  Goytre Wharf  is home to well-preserved ancient lime kilns.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Llangollen Canal, North Wales

You can do heaps of touristy things

Many of the towns the canals pass through are bustling communities with heaps going on. So why not moor up and explore?  Abergavenny  is a foodie hotspot, famous for the food festival held in September. Cathedral town  Brecon  is a friendly base for walks in the national park and buzzing with life on market days. 

Llangollen  is home to a museum , a motor museum and a standard gauge heritage railway where sparkling locos puff alongside the gurgling River Dee. Chirk has the brilliantly preserved Chirk Castle and is the gateway to the beautiful Ceiriog Valley . Head to Welshpool for the  Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway and the glorious leafy grounds of Powis Castle . There's also a wonderful 12 mile walk along the disused section of canal between Welshpool and Newtown.

Powis Castle in Mid Wales, Abergavenny Castle and the canal in Brecon in Mid Wales

It's great value for money

You get the best of all worlds on a narrowboat. The cost of accommodation is covered as you're sleeping on the boat. You can self cater if you want to, but there are cosy pubs along the way for evening meals and lazy lunches. And you have your own entertainment right there navigating, working the locks and taking in the scenery. It all adds up to a holiday full of variety and new experiences that's exceptionally good value.

Everyone will enjoy it

Obviously we wouldn't recommend a canal break in Wales if you have kids who can't swim! But older ones will love the excitement of being aboard a boat and even sleeping on it. With careful supervision they can help with the locks and even have a go at driving. But it's not just a great break for families. A canal holiday in Wales is ideal for groups of friends and for couples looking for some time together away from the busyness of day-to day-life.

A canal boat trip from Goytre Wharf, Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, South Wales

You don't have to drive

You don't have to drive your own narrowboat either. There are day cruises on offer -  at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Brecon and  Welshpool  to name a few. Kids will love canal  cruises pulled by horses . You can hire a canoe and go for a paddle on the Swansea Canal and also at Goytre Wharf. And you don't have to take to the water at all. The tow paths make splendid walking trails. Many places offer bike hire to explore a little further afield. You can even cross Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on foot if you've a head for heights!

Three canals in Wales to try

Monmouthshire & brecon canal.

The Mon & Brec, as it's affectionately known, flows 36 miles between Brecon and Pontypool. It's a great introduction to canal cruising with just six locks to navigate, a tunnel and an aqueduct. Much of your journey is through the Brecon Beacons National Park. Along the way you'll putter through sleepy villages and pass close by historic industrial sites - in particular the  Blaenavon World Heritage Centre .

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Visit Wales (@visitwales)

Montgomery Canal

The Montgomery Canal was a spur that ran for 38 miles from a junction with the Llangollen Canal down to Newtown. Currently you can only easily navigate a small section by narrowboat. Seven miles are open turning off at the Frankton Junction. You're likely to have this stretch pretty much to yourself, it’s in an area of outstanding natural beauty and exceptionally tranquil.

The tranquility of the Montgomery Canal, Mid Wales

Llangollen Canal

Cruising the full length of the Llangollen takes seven days, so it's a perfect week long break. You start across the border in England, progressing via the staircase locks at Grindley Brook and the wide Cheshire plains over the Chirk Aqueduct into Wales. The journey finishes with the jewel in the crown of canals in Wales, UNESCO listed Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the bustling town of Llangollen itself.

Chirk Tunnel and Aqueduct, on the Llangollen Canal, North Wales

Where to hire canal boats in Wales

If you fancy just having a go at driving a narrowboat  ABC Dayboat Hire  has eight-berth boats that you can navigate along an easy lock-free stretch of the Mon and Brec from Goytre Wharf.

Search for more day trips and boat hire options.

Ready to try a proper narrowboat holiday in Wales?

Here are few operators accredited by the British Marine Federation. There are lots to choose from, so it makes sense to do your research before booking:

Beacon Park Boats  has a fleet of luxury narrowboats at Llangattock on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.

Black Prince Narrowboat holidays  and  Crest Narrowboats  are both based at Chirk Marina and offer a range of breaks on the Llangollen Canal.

Anglo Welsh  are based in Trevor Basin, from where there's access to the Llangollen and Montgomery Canals. As well as boat hire for holidays, they offer day boat hire and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct cruises.

Cruising along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, South Wales

Related stories

On top of the world at pontcysyllte aqueduct.

Meet Nicky Lincoln who crosses Thomas Telford's amazing Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on a boat every day.

Get out on the water and explore!

Top spots to discover the seas, lakes, rivers and canals of Wales by kayak or canoe.

  • Countryside

Lakes and rivers of Wales

Welsh rivers and canals to picnic by and lakes with hidden depths and intriguing back-stories.

Discover Mid Wales' accessible attractions

From activities to relaxing canal boat cruises, Mid Wales has lots to offer people with disabilities.

  • National Trust
  • Trains and railways

Before you start...

This site uses animations - they can be turned off.

Terms and Conditions

By using this site, you confirm you agree to our Terms and Conditions . 

We'd Like to Hear From You

By  answering a few questions , we'll give you the chance to win £500. By doing so you will also help us improve this website and help with your holiday planning and travel needs.

Good for you. Good for us. Teamwork!

Black Prince

Canal Boat Holidays in Wales

Exploring wales from the water.

Your narrowboat holiday in Wales will provide you with some breathtaking views and great photo opportunities. The Lllangollen canal in Wales, meandering its way alongside the Berwyn Mountains, takes you over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in this beautiful World Heritage Site, towards the ancient town of Llangollen.

You’ll access this amazing Welsh waterway from Chirk Marina , near the site of Chirk Castle, in Wrexham, North Wales.

Black Prince offers boat hire with a variety of routes from this base in Wales, either travelling west to Llangollen , or crossing east into England to visit Ellesmere, Whitchurch and further north up to Chester and Northwich.

Each of these locations offers beautiful scenery, historical places to visit and some great attractions that will appeal to all the family.

Guests interested in barge holidays in Wales (barges being wider boats) should note that due to the restrictions in width of the canals in this part of the UK, most canal waterways only the offer the option of narrowboating.

Canals to cruise from the Chirk, Wrexham.

  • Llangollen Canal
  • Shropshire Union Canal
  • Trent & Mersey Canal

Top Towns to Visit in Wales

Llangollen | Nestled in the Welsh hills, the ancient small town of Llangollen has a fascinating history dating back to the 7th century when it was founded by its founding saint Collen. There are plenty of sights to see here on a Welsh canal holiday, from the famous Dee Bridge, which was built  I345 , Crow Castle and the Valle Crucis Abbey. Llangollen became important in canal history because of its position on the main London to Holyhead coaching road built by Thomas Telford in 1815 and the canal was also constructed around this. Nowadays, Llangollen is perhaps best known for hosting the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod every July. It’s a short canal boat trip, approximately four hours to cruising to get to Llangollen, which makes Chirk an easy place to rent a canal boat to reach this pretty town.

Chirk | Chirk oozes fascinating history, from the Norman fortress that dates back to the early 12th Century and Chirk Castle which today still proudly guards the entrance to the Ceiriog Valley.  There’s plenty to see and do here – wander into town for a choice of shops, pubs and restaurants and see the sights including the famous Thomas Telford bridge constructed in around 1798. When you are renting a canal boat from Black Prince from our Chirk hire base, build in some time either before or after your trip to explore this historic small town.

Top Historical Attractions

Chirk Castle | Not far from Chirk Marina where your narrowboat hire will be moored up you can visit this magnificent medieval fortress which dates back to 1310.  There’s plenty to explore including the medieval tower and dungeon, 17th-century Long Gallery, grand 18th-century state apartments, servants’ hall and historic laundry.  There is also a lovely walk around the award-winning gardens and don’t miss out the garden terrace which offers stunning views the Cheshire and Salop plains.

Plas Newydd | This historic house, now open as a museum, holds much of it’s attraction in the fascinating story of the two ‘Ladies of Llangollen’.  In the early nineteenth century these two upper-class women from Ireland developed a relationship that scandalised and fascinated their contemporaries and after a romantic elopement from their families in Ireland, they settled at Plas Newydd  in Wales. The Ladies of Llangollen welcomed a host of society names to their house, including poets like Robert Southee and William Wordsworth, and statesmen like the Duke of Wellington. Potter Josiah Wedgwood visited, as did novelist Sir Walter Scott. Today it’s mock-medieval frontage has led to it being used in many television programmes and in film and it is one of Wales’ most popular tourist attractions. This museum is easy to visit on your Welsh canal boat holiday.

Castel Dinas Bran | In Llangollen, you can see the Castel Dinas Bran, a medieval castle that stands high above the town as its most famous landmark. Popular in literature, the castle can be accessed by a zigzagging path through the Welsh countryside from Llangollen. Moor up your hire boat in Llangollen, either on the canal or in the marina (small extra charge applies) and hike up to this attraction.

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee in the Vale of Llangollen in northeast Wales. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic landmarks in Wales. The aqueduct is a 1,800-foot-long, 125-foot-high structure that consists of 18 arches. It was designed by Thomas Telford and built between 1795 and 1805. The aqueduct was built to allow boats to travel between Llangollen and the River Mersey. It is now a popular tourist destination and is used for both commercial and recreational boating. You’ll cross this amazing structure on your Welsh canal boat holiday on your way to Llangollen.

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a feat of engineering and a beautiful piece of architecture. It is a must-see for anyone visiting Wales. You can easily  walk from Chirk Marina to Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

Attractions for Kids

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE | The area around Llangollen is packed full of outdoor adventure, including rock-climbing, kayaking down the Dee, and white water-rafting.  Visit the local tourist information for details on companies who can organise day trips and activities in this area, most of this equipment can be rentals as opposed to having to bring your own equipment.

LLANGOLLEN HERITAGE STEAM RAILWAY | Even big kids enjoy a steam railway, and the Llangollen Steam Railway needs to go down on your to do list whilst your are enjoying your canal boat holiday here.  Located beside the historic Dee Bridge in Llangollen, the line follows the River Dee, classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), for its entire length.  Fans of Thomas the Tank Engine will be pleased to know he visits at least once a year!

TOP CANAL HOLIDAY ATTRACTIONS

PONTCYSYLLTE AQUEDUCT | If you’re looking for a stunning photo opportunity on your Welsh canal boat holiday, then this is the place to come. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Stream in the Sky’ the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is one of the first things you will cross on your narrowboat holiday as you head towards Llangollen.

Standing 126ft high over the River Dee, it has 19 arches each with a 45ft span and is the largest aqueduct in Britain. The brainchild of Thomas Telford, this elegant aqueduct holds 1.5 million litres of water and was completed in 1805. Be warned – it’s not one for the fainthearted!  One side of the aqueduct is just sheer drop. If you are renting a canal boat then some narrow boaters (the ones that aren’t driving!) prefer to walk on the footpath that runs alongside it.

HORSESHOE FALLS | Horseshoe Falls in Llangollen is a distinctively shaped weir created by Thomas Telford that helps create a pool of water that can enter the  Llangollen Canal . Since 2009, the weir has been part of a World Heritage Site, which covers 11 miles (18 km) of the  Llangollen Canal  from just above Horseshoe Falls to just below Chirk Aqueduct. The canal was awarded World Heritage status because of the amazing feat of civil engineering that meant this canal was constructed with no locks through such difficult terrain.

TOP FESTIVALS

LLANGOLLEN INTERNATIONAL EISTEDDFOD | If you enjoy international music and a great party atmosphere then head over to Llangollen in July.  This world-famous event sees people from across the globe flock to Llangollen to compete and soak up the atmosphere.

Canal Boat Hire FAQs

What is the best canal trip in the uk.

Many would argue that a canal boat trip along the  Llangollen Canal  in Wales is the most scenic canal trip in the UK. The stunning views across the Unesco World Heritage Site makes for a stunning canal boat holiday.

WHICH CANAL IN WALES HAS THE LEAST LOCKS?

The  Llangollen Canal in Wales has no locks to travel through, making it a very easy Welsh canal boat holiday, whilst the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is a more challenging route.

CAN YOU MOOR A CANAL BOAT ANYWHERE?

When you hire a canal / narrowboat from Black Prince, you are allowed to moor almost anywhere alongside canal towpaths. The only exceptions are near bridges, at water points and in private marinas.

CAN I HIRE A CANAL BOAT IN BRECON?

Canal boating in Brecon is a great way to explore the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, a 36-mile waterway that runs through the Brecon Beacons National Park. Black Prince do not offer a canal boat hire there, our alternative is the stunning Llangollen Canal in north Wales.

WHAT ATTRACTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR KIDS DURING THE CANAL BOAT HOLIDAY?

The great thing about a canal boat holiday in Wales is that you can hop on and off the boat at any time, visiting anything that looks interesting to you – you make your own itinerary! When you reach Llangollen, we recommend a ride on the Llangollen railway. Children will love riding the old fashioned steam train that runs for 10 miles through the stunning Dee Valley, following the River Dee from Llangollen to Corwen. There are five stations along the line, each with its own special charm and hidden gems.

IS A NARROWBOAT THE SAME AS A BARGE HOLIDAY IN WALES?

The primary differences between barges and narrowboats lie in their size, design, and intended use. Barges are typically larger, broader, and heavier vessels with a flat-bottomed hull. They are designed for carrying heavy cargo, and their size allows them to transport substantial loads. Narrowboats, as the name suggests, are narrower and more streamlined than barges. They have a distinctive long, narrow shape and a deeper draft relative to their size. Due to the width of the canals in Wales, Black Prince offers narrowboat holidays as opposed to barge holidays in this area.

USEFUL LINKS

Canal Boat Holidays UK

Frequently Asked Questions

Balance Payment

Terms & Conditions of Hire

Boat Inventory

What to Bring With You

Coronavirus

Job Opportunities

Copyright Black Prince

Privacy & Cookie Policy

Accessibility Statement

Web Development

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies, Click here to read more .

Cookie and Privacy Settings

We may request cookies to be set on your device. We use cookies to let us know when you visit our websites, how you interact with us, to enrich your user experience, and to customize your relationship with our website.

Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.

These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.

Because these cookies are strictly necessary to deliver the website, refusing them will have impact how our site functions. You always can block or delete cookies by changing your browser settings and force blocking all cookies on this website. But this will always prompt you to accept/refuse cookies when revisiting our site.

We fully respect if you want to refuse cookies but to avoid asking you again and again kindly allow us to store a cookie for that. You are free to opt out any time or opt in for other cookies to get a better experience. If you refuse cookies we will remove all set cookies in our domain.

We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.

We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.

Google Webfont Settings:

Google Map Settings:

Google reCaptcha Settings:

Vimeo and Youtube video embeds:

You can read about our cookies and privacy settings in detail on our Privacy Policy Page.

  • Search Please fill out this field.
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Give a Gift Subscription
  • Newsletters
  • Sweepstakes

The Best Way to See Wales Is by Canal Boat — Here's How to Plan Your Trip

On a watery journey through Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales, learn to let fate take the wheel.

Nina Ruggiero is Travel + Leisure's senior editorial director and the co-founder of Be A Travel Writer , an online course for aspiring travel journalists. A New Yorker based in Los Angeles, she has a special interest in beach destinations, outdoor adventures, unique hotels, pet-friendly travel with her golden retriever, @travelswithcali, and all things Italy.

canal boat trips south wales

Courtesy of Country Craft Narrowboats

“Slower!” my partner, Alex, yelled from the footpath beside the canal I was barreling down. His warm Welsh accent and deliberate tone almost masked the panic in his voice. 

In response, I promptly pushed the wrong lever forward and ran our 45-foot-long narrowboat full speed into the metal underhang of the drawbridge Alex had just cranked open. Luckily, full speed on this vessel is about four miles per hour. Still, metal hitting metal produced a resounding bang, stopping a small crowd of passersby in their tracks. Nothing like an American taking the wheel in the U.K. 

“Really… slowly,” Alex repeated. Beside me, my golden retriever, Cali, eyed the shore as though she might abandon ship.

Courtesy of Nina Ruggiero

For our three-day canal trip through Brecon Beacons National Park , in South Wales, we had rented the boat from Country Craft Narrowboats in the village of Llangynidr. Alex grew up about 30 miles away, and often went fishing and camping in the area with his family. Our boat, Country Girl, had a double bed with plaid bedding, a full kitchen, a lounge and dining area, a bathroom with a shower, and a deck big enough for two camping chairs, where we would sit with our morning coffees while ducks paddled beside us. 

Our 20-mile round-trip took us along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, from Llangyndir to the town of Brecon and back. We floated past rural villages, sheep-filled pastures, and the red sandstone peaks of the Brecon Beacons, the mountain range for which the park is named. We followed a map of canal-side pubs , mooring up overnight so we could easily retire to our boat after dinner for a game of cards or go straight to sleep in our cozy floating home. 

Our days were spent in blissful solitude. For hours at a time, we soaked in the sights and sounds of the park, sometimes stopping for a stroll or picnic.

After a wet, windy day of lifting and lowering canal locks and maneuvering out of mudbanks, no place embodies a cwtch (the Welsh word for a cuddle, hug, or small, safe space) quite like a warm pub. We often pulled up — hair drenched, clothes dirty, damp dog in tow — and were welcomed with open arms. After stopping at the Royal Oak , in the village of Pencelli, it wasn’t long before we received a call that our boat had come loose and was floating mid-canal; Alex ran out into the rain to fetch it. Sitting by the fire with a glass of Brecon Gin — a Welsh spirit that’s distilled with water from the national park — helped take the edge off.

More Trip Ideas: 16 Fairy-tale Castles in Wales to Inspire Your Next Trip

Naturally, we celebrated our halfway point in Brecon with to-go gins with all the trimmings — rosemary sprigs, grapefruit slices, and black peppercorns — from Hop In Beer & Gin House . Later that evening we docked near Three Horseshoes Inn , a hilltop gastropub in Groesffordd, and feasted on braised leeks, pork belly, and Cornish monkfish inside a wooden beach hut in the back garden.

Other than mingling with a few volunteer lock keepers — who graciously walked me through operating the locks along the rest of our path while Alex steered the tiller (we learn from our mistakes) — our days were spent in blissful solitude. For hours at a time, we soaked in the sights and sounds of the park, sometimes stopping for a stroll or picnic. When the rain came, as it did each day, we would comically jump into survival mode, grabbing our waterproof gear and shouting directions, our voices lost in the wind as we teamed up to haphazardly guide our ship to safety.

Somewhere within that contrast of peace and adrenaline, I gained a deeper understanding of the fondness with which Alex always speaks of his childhood trips to the Brecon Beacons. His deep-rooted positivity and enthusiasm for the everyday, which felt so refreshingly foreign to me when I first met him, suddenly made sense: if the Welsh didn’t learn to dance in the rain, they wouldn’t have much time to dance at all. 

Canal Cruising in Wales

The six barges offered by Country Craft Narrowboats have all the comforts of home. Available March–October.

Pubs to Visit

The coach & horses inn, llangynidr.

Find traditional ales at this 16th-century inn’ s casual bar and sophisticated, seafood-forward takes on pub grub in its dining room, including fish pie with saffron mash and roasted cod loin with pea and mint purée.

White Hart Inn, Talybont on Usk

Just off the Taff Trail, re-fuel after a hike or cycle with a traditional Sunday roast or a hearty steak and ale pie, lamb shank, or chili con carne accompanied by a wide selection of local cask beers and gins.

The Royal Oak, Pencelli

Home-cooked classics including gammon and eggs, fish and chips, and chicken curry are best enjoyed in this family-run pub's waterfront beer garden on sunny days and inside by the open fire on rainy ones.

The Three Horseshoes Inn, Groesffordd

Seasonal gastropub fare like venison haunch with turnip and crispy kale; pork belly with granny smith apple and braised shallots; and charred braised leek with nori seaweed emulsion is served in garden beach huts so patrons can enjoy the hilltop view in any weather.

Hop In Beer & Gin House, Brecon

Opened in 2020, Hop In serves craft beer from “progressive breweries” and gin from all over the world alongside tapas made with ingredients from local purveyors, including traditional lamb cawl with Welsh cheddar; mussels in white wine, garlic, and leek; and confit of duck leg with spring onion and ginger croquettes.

To explore Wales more deeply, contact Nicola Butler , a T+L A-List advisor who plans trips throughout the country, including hidden gems like the Pembrokeshire coast. Email: [email protected].

A version of this story first appeared in the December 2022/January 2023 issue of  Travel + Leisure  under the headline "Tales of the Riverbank ."

Related Articles

Beacon Park Boats

Find Your Dream Narrowboat Holiday In The Brecon Beacons

We're one of Tripadvisor's Travellers' Choice Best of the Best

Cruise along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in luxury.

You'll find that Beacon Park narrowboats are extra special with our entire fleet awarded a 5-star grading by Visit Britain. Designed and made by us, each boat is unique in its own way, providing you with those additional touches that make for a holiday of a lifetime.

Explore all Beacon Park Boats have to offer in our video

Looking for a day trip rather than a longer stay?

Quick links.

New to boating

New to boating

Self-drive boats

Self-drive boats

Map & canal guide

Map & canal guide

Our new Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal map, activity planner and exploration guide

Our new Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal map, activity planner and exploration guide

A new map to help you plan your holiday and make the most of all the area has to offer. …

Beacon Park Boats featured in 'Family Adventures: How to adventure with babies and children'

Beacon Park Boats featured in 'Family Adventures: How to adventure with babies and children'

Read an extract from author Bex Band's book featuring Beacon Park Boats' Falcon.

Drake featured in Towpath Talk

Drake featured in Towpath Talk

We were delighted to be featured in this month's issue of Towpath Talk, with a wonderful …

Lewis

“ Beacon Park Boats provided us with an unforgettable experience from start to finish. From the moment we made our booking to the moment we stepped off the lavishly decorated canal boat, every detail was meticulously handled. ”

Day boats

Hire an electric dayboat, cycle boat or canoe from our wharf at Llangattock and explore at your leisure. Stop off for lunch at a canalside pub or visit picturesque villages with their independent shops and cafes. Available April to October.

Houseboats

Discover the romance of life afloat during winter and spring when the canal is at its most tranquil. Owl and Grouse are permanently moored as houseboats at our wharf in Llangattock from November to March.

Check out our brochure

Checkout our brochure

For more great reasons to book your canal holiday with us simply download our brochure or request a printed copy.

slide

Get away from it all...

Set in the magnificent Brecon Beacons National Park in south Wales, Country Craft Narrowboats offers wonderful boating holidays on the historic and scenic Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.

Competitively priced, small, friendly and family-run. Bookings are from 2pm on the start day to 9am on the last day. All prices include VAT and there are no hidden extras, included is:

  • Full support throughout your holiday
  • Driving instruction - including through a lock
  • Practical lock tuition for crew, with support if needed
  • Parking in the private car park
  • Linen & bedding
  • Dogs - bring one or two free of charge

Country Craft Narrowboats

Country Craft Narrowboats is located on the historic and scenic Monmouth & Brecon canal in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park in south Wales. The canal is just over 35 miles long and runs from the market town of Brecon to Five Locks at Cwmbran – with only six locks it follows the contours of the mountains above the beautiful Usk valley.

The rural towns and villages along the route offer pubs and restaurants for you to sample, walks for you to enjoy in the beautiful Usk valley, abundant wildlife, fishing and outstanding mountain scenery.

The hire base is between the five locks on the edge of the village of Llangynidr midway between Brecon and Abergavenny. The village is well known for the ancient and picturesque bridge over the River Usk. Novices are our speciality as our unique location enables us to give both full driving and practical lock instruction which we consider important for safe navigation. Lock assistance is also offered for less able customers.

Both the width and length of our narrowboats allow easy navigation on this smaller canal. The whole canal can be navigated in a week – however, we would recommend 10 or 11 days at an enjoyable pace.

CCN_boats.jpg

Our Narrowboats

CCN_canal.jpg

Availability & Booking

Making your booking.

Choose your boat, start date and length of holiday - start dates are in bold type.

Proceed to the booking form, adding any relevant requirements or notes.

Following receipt of your provisional booking, we will email you to confirm the booking with instructions on how to pay the deposit.

If you require any assistance or have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

To view correctly on mobile devices please turn sideways.

01874 730850

[email protected]

Our Address

The Old Lock House Cwm Crawnon Llangynidr Powys NP8 1ND

Get in touch

Dragonfly Cruises

  • Private hire
  • Public Trips

Enjoy cruising the beautiful Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

200 years of history.

Travel on this historical waterway, a fantastic feat of engineering, built before roads and railways. Cruise through a canal lock and over an aqueduct carry the canal over the River Usk,

  • Public Outings
  • Private Charter Trips
  • School Trips
  • Group Outings
  • Corporate Outings
  • Celebrations
  • Saloon seating for 50
  • Refreshment bar
  • Catering available
  • P.A. System
  • All Weather
  • Wheelchair Lift (2 chairs maximum)

Covid 19 Statement

  • All Passengers will be required to pre-book for a trip. We cannot always take walk-on reservations as this doesn’t allow time to plan the safe boarding procedures that we have implemented.
  • Upon arrival at the basin your booking will be allocated a number. We will then call individual numbers when we are ready to board your group.
  • Prior to boarding a temperature check will be done. This is non-negotiable and any refusal to comply or high temperature will result in admission to the boat being declined. This is to ensure the safety of our other customers and staff.
  • We will only be offering limited refreshments and these will be provided using a simple booking system which will be explained on board.
  • Unfortunately our toilet facilities on board will not be available however we can offer toilet facilities close by after the trip.
  • Disembarking from the boat will proceed in a similar fashion to boarding where we will call individual tables to get off and in which order to do so.
  • Where possible card payments are preferred.
  • The use of face coverings is highly recommended. All staff will be provided with the correct PPE. If you do not have a face mask please see a member of staff for help.
  • Once seated on board you must remain in your section. We have screened sections of the boat and unless specifically instructed you must stay in your section .

Welcome to Dragon Fly Cruises!

Spend a delightful few hours cruising through some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain, lying within the Brecon Beacons National Park.

The Monmouthshire and Brecon canal hugs the mountainside above the valley of the River Usk. Through the four seasons there a fine views and an abundance of wildlife to be seen.

Our gallery

canal boat trips south wales

Useful Information

Use the below to access further information

Request booking

Request booking

To request a booking please click here!

About Brecon

About Brecon

To find out more about Brecon click here.

Seating plans

Seating plans

To view the seating plan click here.

canal boat trips south wales

A Canal Boat

You can book your canal boat holiday in Wales on this website. The site shows real time availability. Simply search for the dates and marina you want to start from, choose your canal boat, fill out the booking form and pay online.

Image

Why holiday on the

Welsh canals.

The canals in Wales go through some of the most scenic countryside in the United Kingdom. The canals are very rural with lots of things to do along the way.

Image

How much does it cost to

Hire a canal boat.

Prices vary according to the time of year, boat type and number of nights stay. We show you the inclusive price next to each Narrow Boat that is available.

Lots to see and do.

Enjoy the wonderful sites and scenary of wales..

Chirk Castle

Chirk Castle

Picturesque Llangollen

Picturesque Llangollen

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

We offer many different sizes, types and layouts of Canal Boats. The boats can accommodate from 2 to 12 people depending on the narrow boat.

canal boat trips south wales

A beautiful canal

The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal has, for two hundred years, wended its way through some of the most beautiful scenery in South Wales. Now its industrial life is over, it offers the opportunity to see the countryside from a unique perspective on your very own self drive narrow boat holiday.

The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal covers 33 miles of beautiful, rural, Welsh countryside from Brecon to Pontypool, much of which lies within the Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog) National Park. With six locks, lift bridges, a tunnel and an aquaduct over the scenic river Usk you will need at least a week to experience everything this amazing canal has to offer.

Along the canal there are country villages to explore, good pubs to visit and scenic walks to enjoy. During your narrowboat holiday experience you will come across a wide variety of wildlife, especially birds including kingfishers, red kite and heron.

For local attractions and adventures why not take a look at our links page .

Moored up in the Brecon basin beside the theatre

Theatre, Brecknock & Regimental Museums, leisure centre with indoor swimming pool, shopping centre, numerous public houses and eating places.

Our electric canal boat cruises under the electric lift bridge in Talybont

Offers convenient canalside store/post office, cafe and public houses. Superb walking area including reservoir.

Keep an eye on your pets around the locks

Award winning flight of locks, general store, cafe and public houses.

Across the Usk to Crickhowell

Crickhowell

A delightful country town with much to offer the visitor. Well worth the walk from Llangattock.

The canal boats at Gilwern in winter

Castle Narrowboats

Our base at Gilwern is ideally situated near to the centre of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. This enables our customers to travel in either direction and to have access to their cars mid-week if they wish to travel further afield.

Abergavenny Market Hall busy most days of the week

Abergavenny

‘The Gateway to Wales’ situated a mile from the canal, the town has a good selection of shops, castle and museum. Market day is on a Tuesday.

The old lime kilns at Goytre wharf

Goytre has a heritage and activity centre with historic limekilns, visitors’ centre, cafe and children’s play area.

The canal bank at Pontypool

The town offers a shopping centre, museum and leisure centre with swimming pool, water slides and dry ski slope.

The Industrial Past of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

canal boat trips south wales

Together the two canals formed the motorway of the industrial revolution carrying agricultural produce to market and connecting with nearly 200 miles of horsedrawn tramroad to carry coal, limestone, iron ore and coal, for example iron ore from Bleanavon Ironworks and coal from the Rhymney Valley. The limestone was burned in the lime kilns along The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal to produce lime for agriculture and building, many of these lime kilns can still be seen along The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal today. Ironically the iron ore carried along The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal was then transported around Britain, via Newport docks, and was used to provide rails for the transport system that eventually meant the end of the canals.

Set within the beautiful Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog) National Park

This drawing, courtesy of Michael Blackmore, shows Gilwern Wharf, where our hire base is situated on The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, circa 1830.

Set in some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain, The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal was reopened in 1970. The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal lies almost wholly within the Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog) National Park and hugs the mountainside above the valley of the River Usk for much of its length. For 23 of its 33 miles The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is lock free, one of the longest lock free stretches in the inland waterway system.

canal boat trips south wales

You can find more information about the history of the canal from ‘The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal’ guide written by John Norris, provided onboard.

Things to do on dry land

If you would like to stretch your legs along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal you are spoilt for choice with the towpath itself being a good and well maintained option. A nearby alternative is to follow the river Usk which has good paths, particularly between Abergavenny and Brecon, and is never far from the canal. Being in the Black Mountains however it is hard to ignore the potential for hill climbing and seeing the area from a different angle.

Pen-y-Fan is the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons at 2970ft and for a real challenge can be tackled from canal bridge 158 via Llanfrynach. Allow a full days walking as reaching the summit takes around four hours this way. Tor-y-Foel at 1808ft is an easier but no less spectacular climb from bridge 134, allow two hours to reach the summit. Mynydd Pen-cyrn is another two hour climb to 1735ft, simply start from bridge 114 at Llangatock and follow the old Darren Cilau tramway. Another old tramway this time from under the aqueduct at bridge 95a in Llanfoist will take you up the Blorenge Mountain. The summit at 1834ft takes around an hour and a half to reach. If these sound too time consuming Sugarloaf Mountain at 1995ft has a handy car park not far from the summit just north of Abergavenny. Allow at least an hour to reach the top.

css.php

By clicking “Accept” , you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

canal boat trips south wales

Our Narrowboats

Book one of the best canal boat holidays in the uk.

Road House is by far the oldest Mon and Brec canal boat hire company on the canal, commencing in 1894. Since 1974, Road House have operated all steel dog friendly narrowboat hire on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal . Our holiday canal boats are designed by the former owner John Smith with a maximum size of 42ft (12.8mtrs) and special features to give easy handling on the shallow waters of this canal. Our five traditional boats are carefully fitted out to make maximum use of space and provide comfortable and well-equipped accommodation for your holiday with us.

We moved to Wales and took over the business during April 2011 and really enjoy the new lifestyle and business challenge. After changing the colours and livery of the boats , applying traditional canal artwork and building the hire business again, we are embracing life with our five narrowboats in Wales.

Dog Friendly Narrowboat Hire

All our narrowboats have a clear walkway through when the fixed beds and dining tables are in place, giving easy access to the front and rear doors at all times. The decks are large enough for the helmsman and members of the crew. As from 2019 New Beta 30 engines have been fitted to all our boats and are regularly serviced and maintained, this comprehensive protection means that you are not required to lift deck boards to make numerous daily checks whilst on your holiday.

All our holiday hire canal boats are fully equipped including a full size 12v electric fridge, full gas cooker and hob, LPG radiator central heating, filtered water taps, shower, true freshwater flush toilet. There are stereo radio/CD/MP3 player, 350 or 1000w inverter 3 pin plug charging facility, 12v car chargers available. For your safety there are CM detectors, fire appliances, first aid kit. You also get all domestic and cruising equipment and a free copy of the Mon and Brec canal guide to help you plan your boat hire holiday. TV/DVD is provided upon request.

Sally and Nigel

All Inclusive Price Bedding, Gas, Diesel, Damage waiver, Insurance, Mon & Brec Canal Guide, Car parking and VAT (excluding pets at £15.00 each)

Gilwern Countess

Gilwern Countess

42ft (New 2021)

2 to 4 berth

Gilwern Duchess

Gilwern Duchess

2 to 5 berth

Gilwern Lady

Gilwern Lady

2 to 3 berth

Gilwern Princess

Gilwern Princess

Gilwern Queen

Gilwern Queen

37.5ft (New 2023)

Boat Inventory

Dessert spoons* Tea spoons* Bread knife Vegetable knife Potato peeler Wooden spoon Potato masher Serving spoon Slated spoon Fish slice Tongs Scissors Bottle opener/Corkscrew Tin opener Whisk

Kettle 3 Saucepans Milk pan Frying pan Colander Measuring jug Flat oven dish Casserole dish Mixing bowl Flat baking tray Roasting dish Glass board Chopping board Cheese grater Knives* Forks*

Matches/Gas lighter Tin foil 1 Kitchen roll Washing up liquid Kitchen spray cleaner 2 tea towels Kitchen hand towel Oven gloves Washing up brush Scourer 2 dishcloths 3 bin liners 2 toilet rolls Toilet cleaner & toilet brush Window blade squeegee Liquid hand soap Air freshener Travel hair dryer Waste bin

Dinner Plates* Tea Plates* Soup/Dessert Bowls* Saucers* Cups* Mugs* 4 Wine glasses 4 Tall tumblers 4 Short tumblers Fruit/Salad bowl Tea pot Sugar bowl Milk jug Water jug 3 small storage containers Cafeteria Cruet set Egg cups Plastic bowl Draining Rack

1 extra waterproof jacket 2 folding Chairs Large Umbrella Vanity bin 4 Scatter cushions 2 door/barrier mats Boat manual A4 Canal Guide Tourist leaflets Guest book Playing cards/board games Padlock & key BW key Boat filler cap key (Buoyancy aids/jackets issues on request during handover)

Dustpan & brush Broom 2 lock keys/windlasses 2 mooring pins Mop Pole Gang plank Lifebuoy/ring Lump hammer Gloves Hose pipe Torch Travel First Aid kit 3-4 Fire extinguishers Carbon Monoxide detector 1 set of waterproofs

* Normally six of each but Lady may only have four of some items. ‍ Bedding: Two pillows, duvet, duvet cover, sheet and mattress protector will be provided for each single bunk. Four pillows, duvet, duvet cover, sheet and mattress protector will be provided for each double bunk. All linen will be freshly laundered. Towels can be provided for overseas visitors. ‍ TV/DVD: We supply a TV/DVD upon request only as most people do not require them whilst on holiday, in some instances you may not receive good TV reception along the canal.

The Road House, 50 Main Road, Gilwern, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 0AS Telephone: 01873 830240 E-mail: [email protected] Directions

canal boat trips south wales

Neath &Tennant Canals Trust Boat Trips

canal boat trips south wales

  • See all photos

canal boat trips south wales

Similar Experiences

canal boat trips south wales

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

carol ann w

NEATH &TENNANT CANALS TRUST BOAT TRIPS - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Goytre Wharf Logo

welcome to goytre wharf

Experience the tranquil beauty of south wales by the monmouthshire & brecon canal, south wales heritage for all to enjoy, goytre wharf is brimming with history and holds treasures for all to enjoy, from boating to fishing, cycling and woodland walks..

canal boat trips south wales

Get the Wharf Map

Download the pdf of the goytre wharf site map which shows you where the cafe is, the moorings, boat hire reception and more..

canal boat trips south wales

Relaxing & Active

Discover the attractions of this site or use it as the start and finish point….

…for walking the foot paths that criss cross this 8 acre site of outstanding beauty, or to access the National Cycle routes from the adjacent canal tow path. Or you can just hire a canoe or boat by the hour, day or week.

Family & Friends

A great day out on this interesting site for a gentle walk, picnic with family or friends. enjoy an ice cream, or a cup of tea and cake from the onsite cafe .

There is so much to see and do with trails in the surrounding area, including walks alongside the Monmouth and Brecon Canal where you can see the varied array of boats in the marina.

canal boat trips south wales

Llangollen Wharf Logo

Book Online or Call   01978 860702

Book Online

or      01978860702

Motor Boat Trips across Pontcysyllte Aqueduct 

Our Motor Boat is now running  2 hour public trips across  Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on selected days  For availability go to our booking system. 

We can  also offer 4 hour trips across the Aqueduct with a selection of food as detailed in our Special Events section.

We can offer a variety of snacks and light meals on board which must be ordered in advance and of course the bar will be open  throughout the trip, cash and card payment avaialable.  We strongly recommend booking these trips on line or by ringing the Wharf

Call our friendly team on  01978 860702  for more information 

aqueduct trips

Built between 1795 and 1805, the impressive structure stands out from its surroundings and yet somehow complements the landscape perfectly, making it a site that simply has to be seen up close. This is the country's highest navigable aqueduct, towering 126ft (38m) above the River Dee and supported by 18 stone piers. The canal runs through an iron trough 1007 feet (306.9 metres) long, 11 feet 10 inches (3.6 metres) wide and 5 feet 3 inches (1.6 metres) deep. Clear water is fed from the River Dee at the Horseshoe Falls near Llangollen.

Fully weatherproofed and fitted with comfortable seats and central heating, our  Covid secure canal boat is specially designed for sitting back and taking in outstanding views. Meanwhile, live commentary will help you to understand more about the area’s rich heritage and thriving wildlife, whilst our inviting bar ensures that you have everything you need to refresh and unwind.

(We now take cash and card on the boat)

Traversing five miles of the Llangollen Canal World Heritage Site, this is an unmissable activity that we highly recommend you include when visiting our charming region.

These trips run daily between April and end of September and at weekends and selected midweek days in October November, December, February and Macrh

Llangollen Aqueduct

Public Trips 

Trip A: Llangollen to Froncysyllte (2 hours)

Depart from picturesque Llangollen Wharf on our canal boat,

the Thomas Telford, and enjoy two hours of peaceful cruising through the stunning Dee Valley, which has rightfully been 

awarded World Heritage Status.

Whilst live commentary from your skipper gives you the 

history, local knowledge and up to date gossip along the way, 

a fully stocked bar can supply any refreshments you require (Cash only) and light lunches can be served if ordered in advance.

The journey finishes over the famous and thrilling 

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, built by Thomas Telford in 1805 and unsurpassed to this day in its simplicity and engineering achievement. A courtesy coach returns you to Llangollen to 

enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

Price 

Adult £17.50,  Child £13.50

Trip C: Froncysyllte to Llangollen Wharf (2 hours)

Check in at Llangollen Wharf  and enjoy a 2 hour single journey from Froncysyllte to Llangollen Wharf.  Check in 15 minutes before departure time to catch our courtesy coach taking you from our designated bus stop at the bottom of Wharf Hill in Llangollen to Froncysyllte. Your cruise then starts with a crossing of the mighty Pontcysyllte Aqueduct aboard our canal boat, the Thomas Telford. After that unique excitement, relax and enjoy the most beautiful canal in Great Britain and the natural scenery of the Dee Valley, which has recently been awarded World Heritage Status.A fully stocked bar offers any drinks you require (Cash only) to make your voyage complete and we can serve Welsh Cream Teas if ordered in advance. Meanwhile, a live commentary will point out places of interest and give you any historical facts worthy of note. You then arrive in the busy yet picturesque town of Llangollen two hours after the start of your trip. Please check in at the wharf 15 minutes before the scheduled start of your trip.

 Price 

Please Note

 Please check in at the wharf 15 minutes before your scheduled departure time. 

All available seats will be released for booking 4 weeks before the operating date.

Book your boat trip today!

Whether it’s a public trip, a private charter or a school day out, get in touch today.

Private Charter

Our charming motor boat, the Thomas Telford, can be chartered for groups of 20-52 people for a 2-hour trip, usually at 11:45am or 2:00pm. We can provide light meals and Welsh Cream Teas, which are freshly prepared in our Tea Room and served on board just prior to departure. We can also serve a selection of teas, coffees and other refreshments from our fully stocked bar.

For availability contact the Wharf

scones & sandwiches

ADULT £17.50 CHILD £13.50

 We can now serve an Afternoon Tea on our Aqueduct Trips, which includes a mix of sandwiches, home made cakes, fruit scones and clotted cream and preserve. £13.50  for person or  for two people to share £24.95, childrens £8.95 Add a small bottle of wine for £4.50 or a small bottle of Prosecco for £5.50 MUST BE ORDERED 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE OR 48 HOURS NOTICE FOR ANY ORDERS WITH DIETRY REQUIREMENTS ON 01978 860702.

  • Any Location
  • Aldermaston Wharf
  • Alvechurch Marina
  • Anderton Marina
  • Blackwater Meadow Marina
  • Falkirk Canal
  • Gailey Marina
  • Gayton Marina
  • Goytre Wharf
  • Hilperton Marina
  • Kings Orchard Marina
  • March Marina
  • Nantwich Canal Centre
  • Springwood Haven
  • Whitchurch Marina
  • Worcester Marina
  • Wrenbury Mill

Home / Our Routes / Featured Routes / Goytre Wharf / Monmouthshire And Brecon

Monmouthshire and Brecon Featured Routes

Monmouthshire and brecon from goytre wharf.

Duration: 7 Nights TOTAL LOCKS: 12 CRUISING TIME PER DAY: 7.5 HOURS (32 HOURS IN TOTAL)

BLOG AVAILABLE: Click here to read a blog about this route from one of our team!

Maps & Guides for this route:  P3, N4, L24 | Click here buy maps

South to Pontymoile then north to Llanfoist, Llangynidr Locks, Talybont, Brecon and back – 7nts – total locks 12 (6 x 2)  

This Welsh canal is a secret hideaway in the Brecon Beacons for the boater seeking escape. This is the Diva of Britain’s canals, set in the Brecon Beacons National Park with the Black Mountains as a spectacular backdrop - a water trail in the company of mountains, sheep and open spaces, with the taste of real air. And the entire canal is a blaze of colours that change with the seasons under its intimate tree-lined route.

Goytre Wharf to Monmouthsire and Brecon: What to expect on your route

Before setting off, explore the marina at Goytre Wharf, set in a huge woodland site with glimpses of sheep-filled fields through the trees (the name itself means ‘place in the woods’). On the edge of Blaenavon Industrial Landscape UNESCO World Heritage Site, the wharf has some of the best preserved limekilns, now Grade II-listed, used to create lime from coal & limestone. The canal and wharf here once teemed with canal boats being loaded with the finished product.

The History of Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal (Mon & Brec)

The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal was originally two separate canals - the Monmouthshire Canal and the Brecknock & Abergavenny Canal - the two were linked at Pontymoile. Today's navigable 'Mon & Brec' is mostly the former Brecknock & Abergavenny.

South of Goytre Wharf, the canal turns and twists through the lush landscape of the Brecon Beacons National Park towards the current limit of navigation at Cwmbran.

A very short walk from bridge 62, St Illtyd’s Church at Mamhilad beckons you to visit. Among the yews in its churchyard, a queen of trees is the ancient ‘Mamhilad Yew’ which is believed to be between two and three thousand years old! There’s also a village pub opposite for a quick lunch.

Pontymoile is the junction between the two separate canals and, if time allows, a convenient mooring place for Pontypool Leisure Centre with its swimming pool and dry ski slope. The current limit of navigation is a couple of miles further south or you can turn the boat here and head back northwards past Goytre Wharf towards Llanfoist.

Blaenavon World Heritage Site

At the height of the Industrial Revolution, iron and coal were transported from Blaenavon’s ironworks along horse-operated tram roads down to the canal, and stored in canalside warehouses before being loaded onto canal boats. Blaenavon was once one of the world's most important producers of iron, coal and steel, and the wharves and canal at both Llanfoist and Govilon form part of the Blaenavon World Heritage Site. The leafy oasis of Llanfoist Wharf is where the World Heritage Site meets the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. It’s hard to imagine this historic wharf was once a flurry of activity, and this canal a busy export route to Newport. If you cross beneath the canal, it’s possible to follow tram road tracks up into the hills and join the circular Iron Mountain Trail around major areas of the World Heritage Site.

Llangattock Wharf

Lines of moored boats indicate your arrival at Govilon and Bailey’s Warehouse at the former terminus of another tram road from Nantyglo Ironworks. 

A wooded stretch leads towards Gilwern where the main A465 ‘Heads of the Valleys’ road noisily encroaches, though peace is restored as you approach this busy village, with its boatyard and pubs.

Historic buildings and limekilns at Llangattock Wharf indicate where limestone was brought down by tram road from the quarries above then loaded onto canal boats. The pretty market town of Crickhowell (described as the ‘glittering jewel in the vale’) is easy to reach from here – for sightseeing, places to eat or shopping, follow the path from bridge 116 or 117 through Llangattock across a field to reach the main road and river bridges. It’s then a short hop over the River Usk across the Grade I-listed stone-arched bridge.

The glorious setting of Llangynidr lock flight with its well-placed pub makes it light work, then the canal enters the short Ashford Tunnel (375yds/343m long) and arrives in Talybont-on-Usk.

The Brecon Beacons: History

The Brecon Beacons today are synonymous with the outdoors and Talybont is a busy village filled with walkers, cyclists and sightseers yet, behind the scenes, this canal keeps secrets of a different past. Limestone and coal was quarried up in the hills above Talybont, then brought down to the canal on an 8-mile tram road. The rock was put into burning hot limekilns to be broken down into quicklime, and then transferred to barrels to be loaded onto waiting narrowboats. Brinore Tramroad heads up into the hills above bridge 143, by the White Hart pub. 

Several of the canal’s distinctive lift bridges mark the way as you head towards Pencelli, then the canal swoops round to Ty Newydd. Overlooked by the National Park’s highest peak, Pen y Fan, this is a place to soak up unrivalled Welsh views.

The four-arched Brynich Aqueduct, built by the engineer Thomas Dadford, elegantly carries the canal over the River Usk below, and a sharp turn leads to pretty Brynich Lock. The River Usk and the mountains are visible now to the left of the canal, and a conveniently placed bench turns its back on the canal, facing one of the best views on the canal network. 

The Brecon Beacons: Things to do

Brecon is the outdoor capital of Wales for cycling, hiking, scrambling, kayaking, caving, pony trekking and more. A short walk from the Canal Basin by Theatr Brycheiniog, this historic market town and its cathedral, museum and shops are lively with walkers, cyclists and boaters.

After exploring the town, you have the fresh excitement of your return voyage to Goytre Wharf.

Canal Boat Hire Brecon

Want to book a canalboat trip with ABC Boat Hire?  Get in touch with our friendly team  who will combine their knowledge of all the cruising options to help you to choose your ideal boating holiday.

Read our guide to the Monmouthsire and Brecon Canal or read one couple’s experience of Monmouthshire and Breacon .

Check out our selection of featured boats on the Alvechurch to Birmingham route below.

Featured Boats

Featured boats from goytre wharf, south wales, two to five berth boats.

canal boat trips south wales

Red Line Finch

Max: 5 People

Length: 47ft

Six to eight berth Boats

canal boat trips south wales

Red Swallow

Max: 8 People

Length: 56ft

Close

We just need a few details to begin!

Use the code below to redeem your great savings at the checkout

Code expires 31st October 2024

Terms & conditions apply

Call 0808 1899 518 to redeem your prize

The charity making life better by water

Making life better by water

Read this page in Welsh / Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg

From the picturesque scenery of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal to the awe-inspiring Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal, the canals and rivers of Wales take visitors on an unforgettable journey through the unique industrial, cultural and natural heritage that Wales has to offer.

On the Canal & River Trust website you'll find plenty of information about our Welsh canals and how we protect and improve them for future generations.

From leisure information about the Welsh canals and attractions to details of how we work with partners, this website gives you all the information you need to know about our work in Wales.

Demand action from the UK Government to secure the future of our canals.

There’s always something exciting happening on our canals across Wales, we’ll keep you up to date with it all here

Llangollen Canal

The Llangollen Canal's combination of picturesque countryside and breath-taking engineering draws visitors from far and wide

Montgomery Canal

Wildlife thrives along the Montgomery Canal. It is one of the most important canals for nature

Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is a true hidden gem and a favorite with walkers, cyclists and nature-lovers

Swansea Canal

While the Swansea Canal is no longer fully navigable it is still a green and pleasant walking and cycling route

Discover more about our 225th anniversary on the Swansea Canal

Find out what's been happening in Wales over the past year.

Stay connected

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and be the first to hear about campaigns, upcoming events and fundraising inspiration

This is the announcement bar for Poornima to test the Close Button.  It will expire May 31 2024.

  • Pre-Cruise FAQ
  • Onboard FAQ
  • Post-Cruise FAQ
  • Cruisetours FAQ
  • Special Offers Sign Up
  • Cruise Deals

You have been logged out

Your window will update in 5 secs

Princess Cruises to Sail Largest-Ever Europe Cruise and Cruisetour Season in 2026

New sun princess one of five to sail region. season also features total solar eclipse cruise - return to copenhagen – plus new roundtrip rome itineraries..

By downloading this image you agree to the Princess asset use terms and conditions

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (May 9, 2024) – Princess Cruises is going big in Europe for 2026. The “Love Boat” line today announced that its 2026 European cruise and cruisetour season will be its biggest ever, with five Princess cruise ships sailing the region, including the sensational new Sun Princess. Set to sail on a record-breaking 222 cruises, guests will have unparalleled opportunities to explore the beauty and diversity of Europe.

Running March through November 2026, the European season features 59 unique itineraries, visiting 101 destinations across 29 countries, ranging from five to 42 nights. Highlights of the upcoming season include an opportunity to experience the 2026 total solar eclipse; sail on the newest Princess ship – Sun Princess; the return of roundtrip cruises from Copenhagen and new itineraries from Rome. The robust season goes on sale May 23, 2024.

“There’s incredible demand for European vacations and we don’t see that slowing down anytime soon,” said Terry Thornton, chief commercial officer for Princess Cruises. “Guests should book early as our best pricing will be when these cruises first go on sale. Our 2026 season delivers the best of Europe with incredible voyages visiting a mix of marquee ports, as well as smaller, off-the-beaten-path spots offering guests their very own personalized journey.”

2026 Europe Highlights

Sun Princess , the next-level Love Boat from Princess, will sail 7-, 14- and 21-night Mediterranean voyages departing from Civitavecchia (Rome), Piraeus (Athens), and Barcelona. Guests on a 14- and 21-night voyage can enjoy an itinerary without calling to the same port twice for a Grand Mediterranean Adventure .

  • Itinerary Sample: A seven-night Mediterranean voyage sails roundtrip from Piraeus (Athens) to Barcelona, calling at Santorini, Kotor, Corfu, and Messina (Sicily).

The newest Princess ship is a true engineering marvel, offering an extraordinary cruise experience with not-to-be-missed culinary, entertainment and luxury accommodations. Sun Princess debuts new eye-catching experience venues including The Dome, a groundbreaking geodesic, glass-enclosed structure at the top of the ship inspired by the terraces of Santorini. The outward and suspended Sphere Atrium, the namesake of this new class of ship, takes the central Piazza hub of the ship into a new dimension. With 30 inviting restaurant and bar venues with an unprecedented collection of celebrity collaborators, high-end ingredients and culinary experiences, Sun Princess has something for every guest to love.

The 3,660-guest Sky Princess will return for its sixth year to home port in Southampton. Sky Princess takes guests on itineraries ranging from seven to 28 nights to destinations including Northern Europe, the Canary Islands, and the Mediterranean.

On August 12, 2026, Sky Princess will sail directly into the “path of totality” on a special 14-night Total Solar Eclipse Cruise which also visits France, Spain and Portugal. The cruise departs Southampton August 8, 2026.

NEW for 2026 is a 28-night Northern Europe and Mediterranean itinerary sailing roundtrip Southampton and calling to Skagen, Copenhagen, Warnemunde (for Berlin), Stockholm (overnight), Helsinki, Tallinn, Visby, Zeebrugge (for Brussels/Bruges), Southampton, Vigo, Cadiz (for Seville), Malaga, Cartagena, Gibraltar, Lisbon, Bilbao, Le Verdon (for Bordeaux). Departs September 12, 2026.

NEW for 2026, the 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess offers Mediterranean itineraries roundtrip from Civitavecchia (Rome), ranging from five, seven, eight, and 14-nights.

  • Itinerary Sample: A seven-night Mediterranean & Adriatic sailing roundtrip Rome (Civitavecchia) to Dubrovnik, Kotor and Corfu.

For the first time-ever, the 3,560-guest Majestic Princess is sailing roundtrip from Southampton , offering British Isles and Northern Europe itineraries ranging from 11, 12 and 14 nights. British Isles voyages take guests to historic ports across England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, while the Northern Europe itineraries include stops in Scandinavia, Iceland, the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.

  • Itinerary Sample: A 14-night Northern Europe cruise visits Haugesund (Norway), Skjolden/Sognefjord (Norway), Olden/Nordfjord (Norway), Aalesund (Norway), Reykjavik (Iceland), Isafjordur (Iceland), Akureyri (Iceland).

Princess Cruises returns to Copenhagen after six years with the 2,670-guest Sapphire Princess , providing 12-night Northern Europe itineraries.

  • Itinerary Sample: Visits to Skagen, Oslo, Gdynia, Klaipeda, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki, Nynashamn (for Stockholm), and Visby.

Prior to sailing from Copenhagen, Sapphire Princess sails in the Mediterranean for two months between March and April 2026, from Barcelona, plus itineraries sailing roundtrip from Civitavecchia (Rome).

Cruisetours: Guests can combine a Europe cruise with multiple days on land to experience more of the region with five cruisetours to choose from. Guests can choose to sightsee in the cosmopolitan city of Madrid on the Highlights of Spain cruisetour, visit Florence and Rome on the Classic Italy cruisetour, explore Mediterranean treasures on the Best of Greece cruisetour or take in the spectacular landscapes of Ireland on the Ring of Kerry cruisetour.

Grand Adventures and Passages: All five ships sail ultimate transatlantic crossings, offering voyages ranging between 14- and 29-nights.

More Ashore: 19 ports include ‘More Ashore’ late-night stays on select itineraries, and three ports provide overnight stays – Alta, Hamburg and Stockholm.

With Princess Plus and Premier inclusive packages guests enjoy the ultimate in savings by adding popular amenities like WiFi, beverages, fitness classes, crew gratuities and more at an even greater savings of up 65% when amenities are purchased separately.

Princess Captain’s Circle members can take advantage of an early booking window starting May 16, 2024, and are eligible for a special discount if booking before August 31, 2024.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel advisor, by calling 1-800-Princess (1-800-774-6237) or by visiting www.princess.com .

Media Contacts

Contact information for members of the media

Negin Kamali, +1 661-753-1539, [email protected]

Briana Latter, +1 661-753-1538, [email protected]

About Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises is The Love Boat, the world’s most iconic cruise brand that delivers dream vacations to millions of guests every year in the most sought-after destinations on the largest ships that offer elite service personalization and simplicity customary of small, yacht-class ships. Well-appointed staterooms, world class dining, grand performances, award-winning casinos and entertainment, luxurious spas, imaginative experiences and boundless activities blend with exclusive Princess MedallionClass service to create meaningful connections and unforgettable moments in the most incredible settings in the world - the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England, Antarctica, and World Cruises. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE:CCL; NYSE:CUK).

Additional media information is available at princess.com/news

Not a member of the media? 

Contact us at: 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237) or 1-661-753-0000

More contact information is available on our Contact Us page

IMAGES

  1. Canal boat,Llangollen canal,Wales.

    canal boat trips south wales

  2. Boat trips over Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

    canal boat trips south wales

  3. Horse-drawn canal boat

    canal boat trips south wales

  4. √ Llangollen Canal Boat Trips

    canal boat trips south wales

  5. Visiting the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal in Wales

    canal boat trips south wales

  6. LLANGOLLEN CANAL WALK: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

    canal boat trips south wales

VIDEO

  1. Tourist Canal Narrow Boats approaching the Falkirk Wheel #scotland

  2. Royal Canal Boat Trips

  3. Llangollen Canal Narrowboat Trip

  4. COULDN'T Make it Around The BEND Without CRASHING Into a BOAT! Our 2024 Cruising Plans

  5. Travels by Narrowboat

  6. Boat Trips on the River Stour from Sudbury, Suffolk

COMMENTS

  1. Canal boat holidays Wales

    Black Prince Narrowboat holidays and Crest Narrowboats are both based at Chirk Marina and offer a range of breaks on the Llangollen Canal. Anglo Welsh are based in Trevor Basin, from where there's access to the Llangollen and Montgomery Canals. As well as boat hire for holidays, they offer day boat hire and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct cruises.

  2. Canal Boat Holidays in Wales

    The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee in the Vale of Llangollen in northeast Wales. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic landmarks in Wales. The aqueduct is a 1,800-foot-long, 125-foot-high structure that consists of 18 arches.

  3. Narrowboat Holidays In Wales

    Looking for a relaxing canal boat, barge or narrowboat holiday in the beautiful Brecon Beacons, Monmouthshire and South Wales? Castle Narrowboats have boats to hire for a few days or a few weeks. See what the Guardian thought about our electric narrowboats by clicking here. Or see what some of our customers thought by clicking here.

  4. The Best Way to See Wales Is by Canal Boat

    For our three-day canal trip through Brecon Beacons National Park, in South Wales, we had rented the boat from Country Craft Narrowboats in the village of Llangynidr. Alex grew up about 30 miles ...

  5. Canal Boat Holidays in Wales. Monmouth & Brecon and Llangollen canal

    Flowing for 36 miles, the Mon & Brec passes through quiet villages, pubs and historic industrial sites, from Brecon to Pontypool, where the canal stops being navigable for hire boats. If you are a beginner, or not sure which canal to choose, we often suggest this waterway as a wonderful introduction to the joys of narrowboating.

  6. Luxury canal boat holidays

    Our 5-star narrowboats. Cruise along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in luxury. You'll find that Beacon Park narrowboats are extra special with our entire fleet awarded a 5-star grading by Visit Britain. Designed and made by us, each boat is unique in its own way, providing you with those additional touches that make for a holiday of a lifetime.

  7. Narrowboat Holiday Wales, Mon And Brec Canal Boat Hire

    Road House Narrowboats is a small family run business and the oldest company offering canal boat hire on the Mon and Brec canal. With five narrow boats specially designed for hassle-free cruising on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, we can assure you of a relaxing and enjoyable canal boat holiday in Wales. You'll receive our initial induction ...

  8. Home

    Dog friendly, narrowboat holidays on the beautiful Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in the Brecon Beacons National park, south Wales. Country Craft Narrowboats are based amid the award winning five locks at Llangynidr making it the perfect location for your narrowboat holidays. Weekend, midweek or weekly breaks, all inclusive prices.

  9. Canal Boat Holidays in Wales

    Find canal boats holidays in Wales, perfect for your next trip away with the family, a loved one or a group of friendsboating holiday. Discover the stunning scenery of Llangollen canal - being able to marvel at one of the 7 Wonders of the Waterway, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Alternatively, discover the beauty of Monmouthshire and Brecon canal ...

  10. Cardiff Castle Narrowboat Page

    Click image for larger view. Or give us a call on: 01873 830001. Pets welcome. Castle Narrowboats: Book your next diesel canal boat holiday in South Wales. 3 miles from Abergavenny on the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal. Check availability online.

  11. Dragonfly Cruises

    Welcome to Dragon Fly Cruises! Spend a delightful few hours cruising through some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain, lying within the Brecon Beacons National Park. The Monmouthshire and Brecon canal hugs the mountainside above the valley of the River Usk. Through the four seasons there a fine views and an abundance of wildlife to be seen ...

  12. Hire a Canal Boat Holiday and Explore the Canals in Wales

    A Canal Boat. You can book your canal boat holiday in Wales on this website. The site shows real time availability. Simply search for the dates and marina you want to start from, choose your canal boat, fill out the booking form and pay online. BOOK HERE.

  13. The Mon & Brec

    The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal has, for two hundred years, wended its way through some of the most beautiful scenery in South Wales. Now its industrial life is over, it offers the opportunity to see the countryside from a unique perspective on your very own self drive narrow boat holiday. The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal covers 33 miles ...

  14. Canal Boat Hire Monmouthshire & Brecon

    Since 1974, Road House have operated all steel dog friendly narrowboat hire on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. Our holiday canal boats are designed by the former owner John Smith with a maximum size of 42ft (12.8mtrs) and special features to give easy handling on the shallow waters of this canal. Our five traditional boats are carefully ...

  15. Neath &Tennant Canals Trust Boat Trips

    The Wandering Bard's Tour of South Wales. 151. Historical Tours. from . £88.00. per adult. Cardiff Like a Local: Customized Private Tour. 13. City Tours. from . ... If you want to learn about the history of Neath I would recommend to take a boat trip on Neath Canal. The scenery is beautiful, the crew is very friendly and knowledgeable and you ...

  16. Home

    South Wales Heritage For all to enjoy Goytre Wharf is brimming with history and holds treasures for all to enjoy, from boating to fishing, cycling and woodland walks. ... Experience the tranquil beauty of South Wales by the Monmouthshire & Brecon canal. Home abclg 2024-04-26T16:42:40+01:00. ... EVERYTHING CANAL BOATS ABOUT ABC LEISURE GROUP.

  17. Goytre Wharf Canal Boat Hire

    The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal offers 35 miles of quiet pretty countryside from Brecon to Cwmbran. It runs through the Brecon Beacons National Park, containing just a few locks. Learn more about Goytre Wharf canal boat hire now. Phone: 01873 880516 Phone to book:0330 3330 590(Free UK calls)Address: Llanover, Abergavenny, Monmouth, NP7 9EW ...

  18. Llangollen Wharf

    For availability contact the Wharf. Trip Price. ADULT £17.50 CHILD £13.50. We can now serve an Afternoon Tea on our Aqueduct Trips, which includes a mix of sandwiches, home made cakes, fruit scones and clotted cream and preserve. £13.50 for person or for two people to share £24.95, childrens £8.95 Add a small bottle of wine for £4.50 or a ...

  19. Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

    South to Pontymoile then north to Llanfoist, Llangynidr Locks, Talybont, Brecon and back - 7nts - total locks 12 (6 x 2) This Welsh canal is a secret hideaway in the Brecon Beacons for the boater seeking escape. This is the Diva of Britain's canals, set in the Brecon Beacons National Park with the Black Mountains as a spectacular backdrop ...

  20. Wales

    On the Canal & River Trust website you'll find plenty of information about our Welsh canals and how we protect and improve them for future generations. From leisure information about the Welsh canals and attractions to details of how we work with partners, this website gives you all the information you need to know about our work in Wales ...

  21. The best canal holidays in Britain and tips for beginners

    Cafwin Cruises (07900 421388; cafwincruises.com) has two eco-friendly boats, one of which is hybrid electric. A week on the five-star Arthur Owl, sleeping four, costs from £1,695.

  22. Princess Cruises to Sail Largest-Ever Europe Cruise and Cruisetour

    LAUDERDALE, Fla. (May 9, 2024) - Princess Cruises is going big in Europe for 2026. The "Love Boat" line today announced that its 2026 European cruise and cruisetour season will be its biggest ever, with five Princess cruise ships sailing the region, including the sensational new Sun Princess. Set to sail on a record-breaking 222 cruises ...

  23. Princess Cruises to Sail Largest-Ever Europe Cruise and Cruisetour

    LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Princess Cruises is going big in Europe for 2026. The "Love Boat" line today announced that its 2026 European cruise and cruisetour season will be its ...