She Magazine – Sept 09


Canal Hopping in Brecon and Monmouthshire

Tester: Francesca Moser, 30, and Michele Pennucci, 33, café owner

Goytre is an oasis of captivating green hills and open spaces just 30 minutes north of Cardiff , with a beautiful 38-mile stretch of canal.

WHERE WE STAYED

Before boarding the Red Naped Finch, a 49ft cruiser-narrow boat, which sleeps up to four people, the staff of the Red Line Boats Company (redlineboats.co.uk) gave us all the information we needed, including a choice of itineraries related to our length of stay and, most importantly, how to steer the canal boat!

WHAT WE DID

You get a real buzz steering such a big boat, but as you pass some quite tight bridges along the way, you must concentrate hard! We spent a few relaxing days pottering along the pretty canal and searching out eateries in the evenings. The picture-perfect village of Govilon (three hours from Goytre) is well worth a visit. The atmosphere in The Lion Inn in Merthyr Road was great and, from its delicious organic menu, we enjoyed a superb steak and chips plus cocktails all for just £20 for two.

WE LOVED…

Canal boating is so peaceful – perfect for anyone wanting to escape stressed out living.

WE DIDN'T LIKE…

Steering the boat and negotiating the locks isn't easy, so recruit a mix of fit and willing companions, as navigating isn't only slow it's also tiring for the one steering.

GETTING THERE

Drifters (drifters.co.uk) offers a great range of canal boat holidays. It has a three-night break on Red Naped Finch from £735 plus a £50 fuel deposit. The nearest railway stations to Goytre Wharf are Abergavenny or Pontypool .