Canoe Days Out

Brecknockshire - Monmouthsire & Brecon Canal - Pencelli to Brynich (& return)

This page was submitted by Fran Faulkner (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - From Brecon: Take the A40 East Signposted Abergavenny. After 1 mile turn onto the B4558 Signposted Pencelli and follow the brown caravan and tent signs. As you pass through the village Pencelli Castle is the last place and is signposted on the left.

From Abergavenny: Take A40 towards Brecon. 6 miles from Brecon turn left for Talybont On Usk. In the village, at the T junction, turn right. Pencelli Castle is the first place on the right in the next village in 2 miles.

For those with satNav a nearby postcode is LD3 7LX.

Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - If staying at Pencelli Castle camp site, you can launch into the canal from the bank below the Meadow. I believe there is a slipway beside one of the bridges in Pencelli village, but we've always paddled from the camp site.

General Description - The canal has several lift bridges - to avoid portages, a winding handle, (lock windlass) will be needed to raise them (unless you are agile enough to "limbo" underneath!). The canal follows the contours of the valley side, and the River Usk is never far away. As you approach Brynich, the canal is carried over the Usk on a stone aquaduct. On the left before the road bridge and lock is a picnic area with wooden benches. You can extend this paddle by passing through Brynich Lock, and carrying on another 2 miles to the Theatre Basin in Brecon (see map). You'll find further details in the Nicholson Guide to the Waterways for Four Counties & the Welsh Canals.

Comments on this trip

19 Aug 2011
The slipway at Pencelli is visible in Street View of Google maps and is a useful access point or just drop over the low grassy bank. There is car parking but as this location is often used by mass canoe trailers, space can be limited. Occasionally busy with school party launches. Lift bridge immediately on the Brecon side.

26 Jul 2010
We did this route on Sunday. It was a lovely paddle, however, we were nearly sandwiched between a bank and an enormous narrowboat, this nearly sucked my bf into the back end due to the speed it was travelling. I'd suggest taking a horn or light to alert very inexperienced hire boat drivers. Also, the bridges require enormous effort to get out as the banks either side a fairly high.

18 Oct 2009
Thanks for taking time to add to this site such informative info for complete beginers to open canoeing. Thanks again

26 Mar 2008
Following a major breach, the canal south of here is likely to be closed to navigation throughout 2008. This trip, however, is not affected.


Pencelli Castle Camp Site
Nicholson's Guides

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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson