Paddleboard tour of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal Part #3

Paddleboarder on a canal

The third installment of our tour of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal takes us from the slipway at Pencelli to the road lift bridge at Tal-y-Bont on Usk.

A great start or finish point for your paddle, the slipway gives easy access to the water – there’s also space to park a few cars here.

The slipway leads on to a large, open area the canal longboats use for turning. This gives you a great place to start out and practice/ remember how to paddle!

A canal boat turning area gives a great space to practice

Paddling under the first bridge and about 100m along the canal, on the left you will see the Royal Oak. The back of their garden is literally 2m from the canal and they have a gate so you can access the beer garden and grab a table! Is it too soon to stop for food? They cook good hearty pub grub and it’s reasonably priced, so it’s a great place to stop for refreshments on your journey – even if your journey has only just started! 😉 Please remember to paddle responsibly!

A quick (and brave!) way to get back on your board…

After refueling and returning to your boards, you can begin your gentle meander towards Tal-y-Bont, passing under the second bridge on this section. Paddle quietly around this corner as the people in the next houses have a rather elaborate bird feeder by the canal which is always teeming with small birds, flitting back and forth snacking on the peanuts!

Along this stretch of the canal, there are a few places where the canal narrows, but for no apparent reason.

Looking carefully, you will notice a slot on either side of the canal and nearby, on the canal bank, you should see a stack of planks with handles on.

The planks can be used to close off a section of the canal, for drainage for repairs, by sliding them into the slots at the narrow points of the canal. You will also see these plank and slot combinations next to a few bridges along the canal.

There are also a few lift bridges along the way, all of which have been luckily open whenever we’ve paddled this section of the canal – its easy enough to portage around if you need to!

No need to portage if the bridge is up!

The scenery along this section is beautiful, with unspoiled views across to Mynydd Llangors.

Unspoiled views from the Canal

As we progress, the number of longboats we pass increases, as the canal becomes more popular and heads towards more populated areas.

This section of our adventures comes to an end at the road lift bridge at Tal-y-Bont. To continue, you will have to portage around this bridge, but that’s a story for another day…

If you’re interested in joining us on this guided tour from Pencelli towards Tal-y-Bont, click here: Pencelli to Tal-y-Bont

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