Brecon Basin

Brecon Basin

Canal Wharf, Brecon, Powys, LD3 7EW.

The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is one of the prettiest canals in the country. It winds its way around the edge of the Brecon Beacons from Brecon to Newport, through small villages, farmland, deciduous woodland and the World Heritage Site of Blaenavon. It was built in the early nineteenth century to transport coal, iron ore and limestone, which was brought by tram-road from the mountains. There is plenty of evidence of the importance of this canal in the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

Our volunteers can lead a guided walk at Brecon, starting near Subud Hall and the Limekilns and finishing at Y Gaer, Brecknock & Abergavenny Museum. Where does the canal link to the River Usk? What did the canal basin used to look like? Can you spot the old tramway and the limekilns?



KS1 KS2 Local History: All About the Monmouth & Brecon Canal

This workshop looks at how and why the canal was built over 200 years ago and the main cargoes that were carried by boat. Find out about some of the problems our engineers face today when looking after the canal.

KS1 KS2 Bridge Building

Along the length of the canal there are many arched stone bridges (and a tunnel!). In this workshop children will find out why an arch is a good strong shape for a bridge, and work in teams to build some bridges of their own.

KS1 KS2 Habitats: Pond Dipping & Mini-beast Hunting

During the summer months, at certain locations our volunteers can take your class on a mini-beast hunt. Activities include bug hunting, exploring the hedgerows and comparing the creatures that live in the canal with those that live in the River Usk.

KS1 KS2 Local History Trails

Our Explorers team can also lead guided walks along the canal near you, anywhere between Brecon and Pontymoile. No worries about transport costs – just a walk to your nearest stretch of canal. They will point out local features, tell you stories about the local history and how we look after the canal today. There is always something interesting to see!

Learning Resources

Use the following resources to support learning on your trip and back in the classroom:

All About Canals

Life on the English Waterways

Building Bridges Topic Pack

Canal & River Habitats Learning Bundle


Visits to Brecon Basin are FREE!