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Swansea Canal

Swansea Canal is an attractive green corridor and pleasant setting for a stroll.

In-filling of much of the original canal has taken place in the past 50 years, and just five miles of the canal remains in water at the present time. The canal is navigable around Clydach and Pontardawe, where the Swansea Canal Society operates a boat trip. Look out for the Lower Clydach Aqueduct, an attractive crossing at a grand waterway confluence of canal and two rivers, the Tawe and the Lower Clydach.

Swansea Canal was built in the years 1794 to 1798 and was the first major structure in the valley, providing a valuable transport route, plus water and power, for trade and industry.

The canal ran 16 miles from to Hen Neuadd, Abercraf rising 400ft by means of 36 locks. It had three branch canals. Trade ceased on the upper lengths of the canal at the turn of the century but it was open as far as Clydach up until 1931. The Mond Nickel works in Clydach is now the only remaining user of the canal.

Whilst the industry associated with the canal is now all but gone, Swansea Canal now provides a valuable wildlife corridor, comprising of standing water, bankside tree cover with associated ground flora. The site is of high importance to local wildlife, and is of potential interest to protected species such as water voles, otter and several bat species.


  • Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC 225)

Access information

Grid Reference SS698016
OS Explorer Map 165 Swansea

You can access the canal along the towpath from Clydach and Pontardawe.


From Swansea follow the A4067 northwards along the canal line to Clydach.


There are regular buses from Swansea to Clydach and Pontardawe.


National Cycle Route 43 runs along the towpath. This route is part of the Celtic Trail.