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.