Further down the hill the water cascaded down some stone steps into a pretty pool surrounded by trees and benches for one to enjoy the scenery. This used to be the site of the Cwmbran Pleasure Gardens and Hotel which was hugely popular in its prime as the miners could spend their “pay tokens” there and visitors could come along for dinner, dances and other events.
We continued to follow the canal through passages where there would once have been lock gates; now there are just high stone walls with plants growing though them allowing the water to rush through unchallenged.
We were now passing the town centre retail park and just after this point the canal vanished completely meaning we had to negotiate a busy A-road to continue our walk. Happily for us, this detour away from the towpath led us to “The Halfway” pub where we stopped for a break.
After the pub the path led us back to the canal which meandered through a pretty residential area. Any locks that there once were on this stretch had been replaced by stone steps which the water cascaded down. This wasn’t a problem for the wildlife however.
We came to a construction site. This was part of a Lottery funded project to restore part of the canal and as we walked further and saw the completed sections we had to agree it had been very smartly done. At that time only a small area of the watercourse had been renovated but we look forward to returning in the future to see it when more has been done. Many canal restoration projects nationwide are Lottery funded.
We continued to walk towards Newport through a wooded section of towpath and were encouraged by a sign informing us we were only 2 miles away.
The walk concludes on the next page…