The Caerfanell River runs through the village into the River Usk, and has small pools for fishing. The River Usk is just below the village (fishing is available on request) and is only a short walk away.
The reservoir is a haven for all types of migratory and indigenous wildfowl and wildlife. The scenery from the top of the waterfalls, overlooking the forest and reservoir is spectacular in both summer and winter.The road from the village goes over the bascule (lift-up) bridge leads directly up to the mountains, forests & the Talybont Reservoir (ideal for the keen fisherman - trout fishing is available).
The Beacons provide sport for both the game and coarse fisherman. The Usk - a spate river - is an important wild brown trout and salmon fishery. Good quality sport is available from March to September. Waders and buoyancy aides are essential. Talybont reservoir is stocked with brown trout and day fishing permits can be purchased from a nearby ticket machine. The Canal provides fun fishing for roach, perch, dace and chub. It is ideal for the younger person, perhaps just learning to fish and looking for a safe but productive day! Environment Agency licences can be purchased from the village shop in Talybont.
There is a large playing field with swings and tennis courts. The village of Talybont-on-Usk has four good pubs, all of which do meals. The Star Inn which is famous throughout the country for the variety of Real Ales it stocks. The Travellers Rest Country Inn and Restaurant has a reputation for excellent food incorporating fresh seafood, local produce, an interesting vegetarian menu and will provide a "take-away" service. The White Hart and the Usk Hotel offer good value family food and there is a general shop, Post Office and newsagent. The canal, with its painted boats, passes through the middle of the village. The slate and lime stone used to be transported down the mountain on the historic Brynoyre Tram Road to the canal.
Talybont-on-Usk have inherited a rich heritage and there is much for the visitor to enjoy, from relics of pre-Roman civilisation to a 17th Century poet to an important Industrial Revolution era canal with its feeder tram road. The natural environment has been the spur for our man-made history. Several hill tops bear visible remains of Iron Age settlements (Allt yr Esgair) and remnants of Bronze Age burials sites can be found on the high peaks (Cairn Pica).
The poet Henry Vaughan, known as the 'Swan of Usk', who lived locally was greatly inspired by the countryside and is buried at Llansantffraed Church here in our Beacons.
From high in the Talybont valley an early 19th century gravity and horse drawn tram road descends to join the canal at Overtons Wharf near some well preserved lime kilns in Talybont. The waterway is a superb engineering feat being a contour canal, with surprisingly few locks, situated between a spate river and high hills. It was opened in 1800 and transported lime and coal to Newport. Near Talybont it passes through the Ashford tunnel where boats were often 'legged' through by the owners lying on their backs and walking along the tunnel wall!
Talybont Reservoir is endowed with a history of initial failures but ultimate success. It now seems impossible, when standing on the dam enjoying the wonderful view, to imagine the large workforce assembled in the 1930s to build this fine structure or the distress of the 200 inhabitants who had to leave.
Brecon is situated about 5 miles from our Beacons and is the principal market town of the area with a history stretching back to the 12th century. Its many Georgian houses are overlooked by the Priory of St John the Evangelist - a fine building which became Brecon Cathedral in 1923. The town museum contains a wealth of local history and the Military museum at the Barracks has a fascinating account of past local regiments with particular reference to the Zulu wars. Market days are on Tuesdays and Fridays and the Tourist Information Centre is situated overlooking the main car park.
Llangorse Lake is only a few miles to the east of our Beacons. It is the largest natural lake in South Wales and offers fine opportunities for sailing, fishing and boat hire.
Hay on Wye about 14 miles from our Beacons is a treasure of a small town situated below an old border castle. Hay has much to offer the visitor: a Literary Festival in May, a range of good quality small shops and - most famously - second hand books to satisfy every interest.
The Beacons offers a wide range of habitats from mountain top to tumbling streams and rivers. Peregrine Falcon, Dippers, Raven and Kingfishers illustrate the diversity of birdlife in our lush valleys and on our high hills. Dramatically situated reservoirs are important refuges for water birds, especially in winter months and Talybont Reservoir - a designated reserve - also offers a bird hide with full access for the disabled.
Walks along the Tramroad, beside the canal or through oak woods onto the hills offer chances to see a fascinating variety of birds and enjoy Welsh countryside at its best.
The Monmouthshire and Brecon canal provides placid sheltered canoeing water (licence or BCU membership needed). There are special requirements for passing through the Ashford Tunnel by canoe. There are locks at Brynich and Llangynidr, which must be portaged.
The river Usk offers excellent white-water canoeing during the closed fishing season, and at other times when the river is in spate. Canoeing on the River Usk is regulated by an access agreement negotiated by the Welsh Canoeing Association (WCA). It is essential to check the details of the agreement before paddling.
Details of canoeing access agreements in Wales may be found in 'Canoe Access Guide Cymru' which is available from the WCA. This is a wonderful area for the cyclist. Safe family routes along the 'Taff Trail' provide a peaceful cycling with spectacular views. Quiet country lanes lead to pretty villages with good pubs and cafes.
The Beacons provide walking routes to suit everyone - from the casual ambler to the serious hill walker. The level towpath of the tranquil Monmouthshire and Brecon canal, around the reservoir, following the 'Taff trail' along the line of a disused railway and the route of Talybont's 19th century tram road are all ideal for a gentle stroll. The paths to and around the spectacular Blaen y Glyn waterfall are readily accessible with the right footwear and can be used to explore the forest tracks or even get out onto the open hill. For the more energetic and properly equipped, there are popular routes onto the Bryn from Pencelli, the Cwm Tarthwynni circuit from Talybont reservoir and the Torpantau circuit, including Pen y Fan, from the southern end of the valley.
The village shop in Talybont offers a good selection of walking guides and the Tourist Information Centre in Brecon provides excellent advice and a further range of maps and guides