Usk Valley Walk

Usk Valley Walk

A self-guided walking holiday along the banks of the River Usk from Usk to Brecon.

4 to 6 nights
21-42 miles
Easy / Moderate to Easy

From £505 per person

Find your holiday

About the trail

The Usk Valley Walk explores historic market towns and quaint villages as it presses north between the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains, tracing the path of the river between Usk and Brecon.

Never straying far from the river, the trail follows low-level paths and the towpath of the Monmouth and Brecon Canal through an unspoilt landscape of rolling hills, patchwork fields and woodland between waterside inns, overlooked by the towering mountains that flank the valley.

We offer multiple holiday options along this trail. If you wish to experience the entire trail, simply select the first option from the list below.

Choose your route

  • Usk Valley Walk
  • Usk Valley Walk Short Break
  • Usk Valley Walk - Stile-Free

About this route

4 to 6 nights
42 miles
Easy / Moderate to Moderate / Demanding
2nd January to 24th December

From £505 per person

Usk Valley Walk

The full Usk Valley Walk walking holiday spans 38 miles from Usk to Brecon, staying close to the River Usk throughout. The path winds its way between the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains, exploring plenty of historic market towns and charming villages on the way.

With its combination of incredible scenery, changing terrain and intriguing settlements to discover, the Usk Valley Walk is a wonderful foray into the heart of the Welsh countryside.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
UVW1 From Usk to Brecon 4 nights, 3 days walking Moderate / Demanding £505
UVW2 From Usk to Brecon 5 nights, 4 days walking Moderate £630
UVW3 From Usk to Brecon 6 nights, 5 days walking Easy / Moderate £750

Short breaks

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
UVWSB From Abergavenny to Brecon 4 nights, 3 days walking Easy / Moderate £515

Usk Valley Walk 4 nights, 3 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather
  • Holiday Highlights
Start

Travel to Usk where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

Usk to Abergavenny. 16.5 miles (26.5km)

Day 2

Abergavenny to Llangynidr(L). 13.5 miles (21.5km)

Day 3

Llangynidr(L) to Brecon. 13.5 miles (21.5km)

Finish

Depart from Brecon after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation in most cases; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard if practical. A very limited number of stops will require you to travel on foot up to two miles off the trail, however these instances will be clearly communicated to you if applicable.

Further transfers may also be required due to some accommodations having a two-night minimum booking policy, especially at weekends.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£60.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£50.00 per person / per night


You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Standard
Interactive
© Contours Walking Holidays Usk Valley Walk map
Usk to Brecon
42 miles (67 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Enjoying the sound of the water as you follow the River Usk through the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Exploring the ancient ruins at Usk and Abergavenny.

Admiring a variety of scenery, from pretty riverside woodland to the dramatic peaks of the Black Mountains.

What's included?

  • 4 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

The attractive salmon fishing village of Usk is a beautiful place to spend an extra night. Straight out of a fairy-tale book, the 11th century ruins of Usk Castle overlook the vista. The unique visitor counting system allows you to pick up a pebble from the pot at the entrance and place it into a wooden bowl; a simple yet charming method of visitor counting! You could also visit the Usk Rural Life Museum, housed in an ancient malt barn and sheltering over 5,000 artefacts. You will find many relics within this museum, collected over 50 years to preserve the times gone past in rural Usk life.

Abergavenny is known for its fabulous local food, and is an excellent reason why you should spend an extra night here. The Abergavenny Food Festival is an annual commemoration between culinarians and the foodies. From market stalls to open top fire food, to even foraging for your own grub, Abergavenny will never fail to get your taste buds tingling! The Norman ruins of Abergavenny Castle are also great for those keen to see history in its glorious physical form. Over the years, it has been reduced to rubble and rebuilt on many occasions due to conflict. However, the remaining walls which you now see today were rebuilt in 1233 and 1295.

The vibrant, multi-coloured town of Brecon – with its infamous glass blowing – is almost reminiscent of Venice, minus the large crowds! The bustling town of Brecon provides all the amenities you could need; a variety of outdoor shops – including Cotswold Outdoor – will cater to all of your walking requirements. Why not take a break from shopping and visit “The Hours” café & bookshop? It’s a great place to relax and eat great food, with a good selection of books to choose from. Their quirky second floor also hosts a small gallery, presenting a variety of artists’ works.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 42 miles (67 km)
Duration: 4 nights, 3 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 13.5 miles (21.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 16.5 miles (26.5 km)
Code: UVW1 Grade: Moderate / Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Usk
End of holiday: Brecon

Route Profile

Usk Valley Walk Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major city and international airports are Cardiff and Bristol.

By Rail - The nearest rail stations to the start of the trail (Usk) are at Pontypool & New Inn (about 7 miles away), Cwmbran (about 10 miles away) and Newport (about 12 miles away). The nearest rail stations to the end of the trail (Brecon) are either Merthyr Tydfil (about 19 miles away) or Abergavenny (about 20 miles away).

By Bus - Buses run (albeit rather infrequently) from Pontypool & New Inn & Cwmbran to Usk Monday to Saturday only, so a taxi will be required on a Sunday or in between bus times. There is no direct bus service between Abergavenny & Usk, so a taxi would be the best option. Buses run from Brecon to both Merthyr Tydfil and Abergavenny all week.

From London - Trains run from London Paddington station to Newport, Pontypool & New Inn and Cwmbran. A bus/taxi will then be required to Usk.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail, is to take a taxi from Brecon to Usk, as public transport options are very lengthy & infrequent.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.
"Bridge 151 on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal" by Jo McDonough (2022) "Bridge 151 on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal" by Jo McDonough (2022)
"View of the River Usk" by Jo McDonough (2022) "View of the River Usk" by Jo McDonough (2022)
"Our Walking Group" by Anthony Riley (2018) "Our Walking Group" by Anthony Riley (2018)
"View across the River Valley" by Judith Crompton (2017) "View across the River Valley" by Judith Crompton (2017)

Customer reviews from the Usk Valley Walk

“A great 5 days of walking, much enjoyed by both of us.”
Mr Brooke-Smith, UK
“Beautiful, pleasant, not demanding walk along the canal.”
Mr Hojvat, USA
“We really enjoyed our walk. We walked in the morning which then gave us time later to discover and explore each stop on the way. We were very lucky with the weather. We met friendly and helpful people. Everything worked well. Our luggage was always delivered on time. The instructions were clear. We have the knack of getting lost anywhere but it was hard to get lost when following a canal. We live in Australia and are in our 70's.”
Ms Hall, Australia
“The Wales countryside is beautiful and the people we meet along the way were friendly and helpful.”
Ms Leishman, Czech Republic
“Loved every part of it! Everything was very well organized and we were pleased with all of our accommodations. We felt well-prepared for what to expect and how to pack, and your staff was always very helpful in answering questions.”
Ms Dykstra, USA
“Another excellent holiday from Contours. All arrangements went smoothly and the accommodation was of a high standard.”
Mr Simmons, UK
“Well organised. Amazing countryside. Charming hotels. Great route. Will come again.”
Mr Gunnewicht, UK
“Overall a good experience.”
Mr Browne, UK
Find your holiday