Canoe Wales is the national governing body for paddle sport in Wales. We:

  • Represent the interests of our club and individual members
  • Advocate on behalf of the interests of the sport in Wales
  • Provide coaching and development programmes from local to international level
  • Stage national and international competitions.

River Monnow

UPPER MONNOW> LOWER MONNOW>

Nearby Rivers: Monmouth area - Monnow and Wye

Map: 161 Abergavenny and the Black Mountains
Grade: I to II
Length: 49 km
Access: Off B4347 Monmouth to Grosmal road
Notes: Weirs - runnable at most levels
Quality: 4 stars

Afon Dore Upper Monnow Afon Honddu Sketch Map - Upper Monnow, Dore and Honddu

A beautiful touring river. Can be run when lowish levels - a few weeks after rain. Excellent for groups and beginners. Probably best avoided in fishing season as is a classic salmon river. I found this to be a perfect river for drifting down after a hard night on call!

Longtown to Great Corras bend

19 km of II; one large weir - usually shootable 4 stars

Turn off the A465 in Pandy and make your way northwards to the small village of Longtown. Here, providing there is enough water, access can be made onto the Monnow proper, just before its confluence with the Escley Brook GR327281. A small, safe weir in the first village (Clodock) livens up the pleasant journey down to the confluence with the Honddu at Alltyrynys GR335233. Here alternative access via the footpath can be made for a shorter journey if, for instance, the upper section is too dry. By this stage, the river has left its beginnings in England and has become very much a border river as it starts its journey towards the Wye. There is something special about the river despite the close proximity to the A465. In only one place after a right then left hand bend, close to the road, does any rapid exceed grade II - and only then at grade II and a bit - so this is a river for all touring and intermediate paddlers. There is one tiny broken weir hardly recognizable as such before the main road bridge at Monmouth cap.

The next weir is a classic demonstration of inaccurate OS map weir location - or one simply being missed out. There is a large, easily-angled, sloping affair which occurs about one kilometre after the Dore enters from the left. This is about 300 metres before the B4347 road bridge. This is obvious from the river by the clear horizon line and the sensation of the water slowing down for a good 500 metres or so above it. Unless in big water, this is safely shootable in most places, but probably best far left. After the Dore enters on river left, a pleasant run remains down to the get-out at Great Corras bend - river left GR419252. The lower sections of the Monnow are equally good - do them!

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