BreconWelsh: Aberhonddu) is a market town and the former county town of Brecknockshire, a traditional county which now forms the southernmost part of the modern county of Powys in Mid Wales.
Brecon is in many ways a typical small Welsh town, retaining that status though it does boast a cathedral. The surrounding scenery is quite stunning, Brecon falling within the Brecon Beacons National Park, which extends to the south, east and west.
By trainThe nearest stations are at Abergavenny, Merthyr Tydfil and Llandovery. A bus meets incoming trains at Merthyr. Travel from Cardiff to Brecon takes about an hour and fifteen minutes up the A470.
By busThere are direct bus links to Swansea and Cardiff and also to Llandovery and Abergavenny along the A40.
By carA470 from near Cardiff, A4067 from near Swansea
The town is best explored on foot, which is part of the charm.
For most people the main reason for visiting Brecon is as a base for visiting the national park. In town, however, there are worthwhile diversions:
phone: +44 1874 623857address: Cathedral CloseBrecon Cathedral is a small church, but is however interesting and worth a visit. Started as a fortification built by the half brother of William the Conqueror after he captured the town in 1094, the church is now a delightful place to visit. Three hundred years after its foundation, the church becaome Priory Church of St John the Evangelist, which has been described as 'half Church of God and half castle against the Welsh.' Inside the encircling walls of the cathedral close survive the most unique group of monastic buildings in Wales.
phone: +44 1874 615440address: Bridge StreetFounded in 1541 when King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries, there are several lovely buildings to visit.
- River walk Follow the trail beside the cathedral for a pleasant walk down the Afon Honddu and along the River Usk. Can become a bit steep for the unfit.
phone: +44 1874 624121address: Captains Walklocal history and art
Y Gaerremains of Roman fort
phone: +44 1874 623677address: PenlanGood for rainy days, indoor pool, ten pin bowling and climbing wall.
Walking in the National Park.Brecon is a good base for hiking in the Beacons including Pen y Fan, the highest peak in Southern Britain.
Cradoc Golf ClubThis course host an annual competition of all the Welsh Club Champions
phone: +44 1874 620111address: Felin Fach, BreconThis unassuming country house is the inn that put Wales on the gourmet map.2008 Good Food Guide Best UK Family Restaurant. True Taste of Wales Restaurant of the Year 2005.
phone: +44 1874 622024address: 7 Bridge StreetHome cooking, local beers and cider. Restricted opening hours - see website. Small and friendly Brecon town B and B, with just 3 rooms especially for hikers and cyclists. Log fire, real coffee, free WIFI, plenty of maps and guide books to borrow. Evening meals Fridays and Saturdays from Easter to end of October.
address: The Bulwarkprobably the best hotel in the centre of town. There are 19 rooms costing from £70 for a double including breakfast, and also free wireless internet access.
- Brecon Beacons National Park Many things to do, including a climb to the top of Pen y Fan (pronounced pen Ur van), the highest mountain in South Wales.
- Llandovery. A picturesque market town about a forty minute drive west from Brecon.
- Swansea. Superb beaches, leisure facilities and cultural events. Swansea is about a one hour drive to the south west.
- Cardiff. Wales' capital offers great shopping and museums. Cardiff is about an hour's drive to the south east.
- Merthyr Tydfil