Swansea canal adds to Neath Port Talbot’s network of canals
which also include the Neath Canal and the Tennant Canal in the
Vale of Neath. Sections of the Tenant Canal meander through the
Swansea Valley which is rich in heritage and home to the Pontardawe
The 16-mile long Swansea Canal was constructed
from 1794-1798 for the transportation of coal. It linked the head
of the Swansea Valley to Swansea Docks located in Swansea city
centre. The period 1830-40 saw the development of towns around the
canal such as Pontardawe, Ynysmeudwy and Ystalyfera. The canal
remained very busy until the early 20th Century, with 400,000 tons
of coal being carried to Swansea in 1888 alone. The last commercial
cargo carried on the Canal was in 1931 when coal was taken from
Clydach to Swansea.
Today, the five mile length of canal between Clydach and
Pontardawe is part of Route 43 of the National Cycle Network making
it perfect for family cycle rides, it's a haven for wildlife, and
is ideal for a pleasant walk along the towpath with fine views
across the Swansea Valley.
Access: Accessible to all.
Contact: The Tourist Information Centre on
Bus: First Cymru 120 or 125 from Swansea, Clydach,
Pontardawe, Ystalyfera, Ystradgynlais. Weekdays every half hour.
Sundays every hour.