Heart of England
South of England
Brecon is a historical market town situated in the incredible Welsh countryside, giving it a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere. The town itself has the rustic feel of a traditional Welsh town, and there are some outstanding natural areas to discover right on the town’s doorstep.
Brecon is known for its eclectic independent shops, where the vast range of goods being sold means that you will likely find a unique souvenir to remember your trip by. Pick up a new book at Brecon Books or find a rare album at Brecon Vintage and Vinyl. Local art is displayed in Ardent Gallery and Found Gallery, so visitors should definitely take the opportunity to see these.
A stroll along the Promenade by the River Usk is highly recommended for some light exercise by the idyllic waterside. Follow the river along to where it winds through the countryside, where you may spot kingfishers. Alternatively, walk through town and up to Hills, where a reward in the form of a hearty burger awaits.
A magnificent landmark in town is Brecon Cathedral, which has beautiful architecture and is surrounded by a lovely green. Learn more about its history in the heritage centre in a restored 17th Century barn. Pilgrims Tearooms is located right by the cathedral, making it the perfect place to sit peacefully with a coffee and a cake. Another fascinating element of Brecon’s history can be discovered at The Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh, which chronicles the story of the 24th Regiment in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War.
The Brecon basin is not to be missed, as it is regarded as one of the most beautiful canals in South Wales. Discover this area on foot or by bike and see a show later on at the iconic Theatr Brycheiniog.
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Explore the town in an entertaining way via the Brecon Mystery Treasure Trail. Children can solve clues using landmarks and focal points in town, guaranteeing this to be a fun and unique way of touring the area. Hidden gems throughout can be found, as well as discovering every aspect of the canal area.
Across the Brecon Beacons, there are amazing sites for a daytrip. Wings of Wales is a half-an-hour drive away, where there are outstanding falconry displays. Children can have a hands-on experience by holding the birds and letting them land on their arms, which is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.
Nearby is the National Showcaves Centre, where there are incredible caverns to explore as well as the dinosaur models situated throughout the site. Children can also pan for gold and visit the mock outdoor Iron Age farm.
There are some fantastic experiences for animal lovers nearby. The Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary is home to a range of different species of primates including gibbons, chimpanzees, and capuchins. The sanctuary also rescues other animals such as wolves and porcupines. There is the chance to experience a day as a keeper, which is something the whole family can enjoy. Alternatively, hand-feed the lambs and watch the pig racing at Cantref Adventure Farm. Here, children can also have a tour of the farm on a tractor and try out horse riding.
Explore the area in a leisurely way via a canal boat cruise on Dragonfly Cruises, which is a two-and-a-half-hour journey on the river meandering through town. Not only is the journey itself relaxing, but you will have unparalleled views of the countryside as well as be able to see some of the local wildlife.
Visitors should take advantage of the Brecon Beacons National Park being easily accessible from Brecon. This is a gorgeous nature reserve with lots of different walking routes and incredible natural landmarks throughout. Craig-y-nos is a small village in the area, where there is a beautiful gothic castle. More adventurous people can try rock climbing or abseiling or try a trike tour of the reserve. Visit the area at night for spectacular views of the stars, as this was the first Dark Sky Reserve in Wales, meaning it is protected from light pollution to this day.
The village of Bronllys is a charming area, where there is a castle with fantastic architecture as well as miles of unspoiled countryside. Enjoy the mountain views with a light lunch at Honey Café, located just outside of the village.
A fascinating and unique part of the area’s history is Llangorse Lake, a 20-minute drive from Brecon. This is a Crannog, which is an ancient lake constructed over 5,000 years ago and one of the only lakes of its type in the area. The visitor centre which overlooks the lake provides more detail about its history. A walk around the lake is possible, giving amazing views of this spectacular body of water.