Brecon Town: A Traditional Market Town
Brecon is a traditional Mid Wales market town nestling in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons National Park in the County of Powys.
This magical spot at the confluence of two rivers, the Usk and the Honddu, has always been a popular destination offering visitors spectacular scenery and leisure activities.
In Brecon and its surrounding area there are many interesting opportunities for outdoor activities and leisure facilities including walking, climbing, canoeing, horse riding and many more. You should also while in Brecon, make a detour out to Libanus and the Brecon Beacons Mountain Centre.
Brecon remains first and foremost a traditional Mid Wales market town - as you will see on any Tuesday or Friday! You will find independent butchers shops in the market stalls area, and some fascinating independent shops. If you are into paintings and art, there are a half dozen art shops which you can browse through on a rainy day.
Brecon Town: Cathedral and Jazz
Brecon is a market town which is famed for its ancient Cathedral, its Georgian architecture and its Jazz Festival (held annually in August).
Brecon lies in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons and is a popular holiday base which offers a range of activities and leisure facilities. The town lies on the bank of the River Usk and is the terminus of the Monmouth and Brecon Canal.
In the town itself there are loads of narrow streets full of arts shops, gift shops and a few antiques shops, all individual, with independent shops dominating the town - no chain stores. The area around is wealthy farming country, more monied than the Upper Swansea Valley from which you will have journeyed from Craig y Nos Castle. This means Brecon is an economically prosperous town that has retained its olde worlde character and charm, despite the invasion of a few more modern looking shops in Bethel Square.
There are many attractions to visit including a Norman Cathedral with its own heritage centre. There are two museums: the South Wales Borderers Museum, which contains memorabilia of the Regiment's defence of Rourke's Drift and the Brecknock Museum which is situated in the Town's elegant former courthouse and is packed full of fascinating exhibits.
Of these, the Brecknock Museum is definitely worth popping in to if it is raining. If you are taking your dogs with you, and provided it is not a hot sunny day, you can take them for a walk along the 'promenade' - the river banks to the south of Brecon - before leaving them briefly in the car while you go into the museum. I have also walked my dogs on the lead around the town, once I have been sure they have had their comfort break on the country walks along the riverbank.
Brecon Town: Canal Cruises
The River Usk flows through the town but do not confuse the river with the canal (picture above).
The Usk River Promenade along the banks of the Usk is an ideal area for a gentle stroll with your dogs, heading out of town along the river, into fields and woodland. This is an area where you can let dogs run off the lead and give them a good run before you go into the town. I know you will not want to leave your dogs behind at the Castle but I am not sure you can take dogs on the boats!
There is a car park (pay & display) by the river's edge. Follow signs to 'promenade'. To get to the river you need to turn left at the traffic lights just as you come across the bridge into Brecon town; this is assuming you came into the town from the South. It is a sharp left; you head up a hill but look out for the left hand turning signed 'promenade'; it is the first or second left turning.
You can also enjoy boating on the river, which is not to be confused with the canal boating (see picture above).
The collection point for the separate canal cruises is at the new Theatre Brycheiniog at the opposite end of town to the Promenade's riverland paths and fields dog walk. There is plenty of parking by the Theatre.
There is no real need to go on the canal boats if you are not allowed to go with your dogs. Instead you can walk along the canal path with your dogs as well. This is a most pleasant leisurely stroll along the tow path going North out of Brecon town.
Canal Cruising is available on the Monmouth and Brecon Canal from the front of Theatre Brycheiniog. This area is shown in the picture above and on the preceding page.
Check out canal cruises here: www.dragonfly-cruises.co.uk