Things to do
Top places to visit in Brecon
Details of walks are available from Visit Brecon. These include those accessible from the town itself and the wider Brecon Beacons National Park (BBNP) We sell a large range of OS maps; books of walks and BBNP leaflets
Brecon enjoys a rich military heritage. In addition to the Royal Welsh Museum there are many reminders around the town of this heritage and these can be seen by following the ‘Back of Brecon’ walk, available from our office.
A few other great choices
Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon’s centre for theatre and the arts was opened in 1997, and is situated in what is regarded as one of the most picturesque locations of any arts venue in the UK. Sitting alongside the canal basin in the heart of Brecon, and serving the town and surrounding areas of Powys, Monmouthshire and beyond, it is rooted firmly in the community it serves, whilst offering much for the visitor and holidaymaker.
The venue currently provides a varied programme of theatre, dance, music and entertainment in its purpose built 477 seat auditorium and 120-seat studio/rehearsal space and produces regular brochures ,which are available here at Visit Brecon. It also hosts an exhibition programme in the Gallery and has a well- stocked bar and a café. The latter is handy if you are returning to the centre of Brecon after a stroll along the canal.
A peaceful waterway
Meandering through the Breconshire countryside, the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is regarded as one of the most beautiful and peaceful waterways in the UK.
From the canal basin in Brecon, follow the line of the Usk Valley through the Brecon Beacons’ National Park. The stretch between Brecon and Talybont- on Usk also forms part of the Taff Trail – a well- known and popular cycle and walking trail that you can follow from Brecon all the way to Wales’ capital city Cardiff.
The canal towpath is well looked after by the Canals and River Trust and provides easy walking along most of its length, with several pubs and cafes along the way to provide refreshment when you need a break.
Canal boat trips and smaller craft to hire are all available at the Canal Basin and many visitors enjoy the short trip along the canal for its tranquillity and points of interest along the way.
Brecon Castle is Norman in origin and the remains of the original walls now form part of the Castle Hotel. The best viewpoint is from the pedestrianised Castle Street Bridge but there is no direct access to the site. It was the creation of Bernard de Neufmarche, who took his surname from the village of Neufmarche near Rouen, the capital of Normandy, and was of the second generation of conquerors who extended Norman influence into the Marches of Wales.
By 1093 de Neufmarche and his knights had defeated the Welsh rulers of South Wales and begun to build themselves the castles from which they intended to control their new lands. Brecon’s position at the confluence of the rivers Usk and Aberhonddu was believed to be the major influence in its siting.
So Much To Love...
We all love a bit of retail therapy and Brecon, being off the beaten track, has a predominance of small independent shops, galleries and cafes, as well as a few of the smaller national outlets you’d expect in our global marketplace. Brecon is fairly flat, so wheelchair access is quite good, but requires a degree of patience as some of the streets and pavements are quite narrow. There is a modern shopping centre, Bethel Square, and lots of small streets and alleyways offering a variety of outlets. Brecon Market Hall houses the following permanent shops: a butcher’s; a gentleman’s outfitter; a café, wool shop, carpet shop; hardwear; fishmonger’s and greengrocer’s. Weekly markets are held on Tuesdays and Fridays and the ever- popular Farmers’ and Craft markets take place on the 2nd and 3rd Saturdays of the month respectively. Militaria and antique/collectible fairs are held on certain Sundays during the year.
Brecon seems to have a café, pub or restaurant on every corner, all of them offering great food and drinks to cater for a huge variety of culinary tastes – everything from the ubiquitous all-day-breakfast to a Gurkha curry. Brecon is also the location for one of the UK's most popular food festivals, held every year in the Market Hall – see our events guide for dates.
One of the joys of cycling is the freedom to follow the trails and roads that take your fancy as you pedal along. The Brecon area has hundreds of miles of small roads to explore, as well as several cycle trails, including the aforementioned Taff Trail. You will find pedalling adventures to suit every taste, from the serious mountain biker to the easy family outing. We hold details in our office of bike hire facilities, as well as cycle routes across the Beacons.
Rivers, lakes and reservoirs are plentiful in the Brecon area and offer various kinds of angling, with the Brecon Beacons providing a beautiful backdrop to the River Usk. The river is inhabited by brown trout and salmon, as well as many other species, including minnows, stone loach and bullheads. A number of birds can occasionally be spotted along the river: kingfishers, dippers and sometimes sandmartins, and the River Usk is an important bat corridor. The Usk is considered to be one of Wales’ premier game fishing rivers. Angling information and permits may be purchased from the Visit Brecon office.
Brecon and the surrounding area offers water enthusiasts a range of options, from the peace and quiet of a slow paddle down the canal, on the River Usk or on nearby Llangorse Lake, to kayaking over mind- blowing waterfalls. Kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding – in fact whatever boat floats you – are available somewhere in the area. All have stunning views of the Breconshire countryside. Kayaks, rowing boats and paddle boats can be hired from the boathouse on the Promenade. If a gentle cruise along the canal in a narrow boat is more your scene, there are regular daily trips as well as self- drive boats for hire. Water graded activities from Grade 1 (easy) up to Grade 6 (extremely hard) can be found within a short distance of the town.
Brecon and the surrounding hills offer a wealth of chances to saddle up and trot off into the countryside. Various centres in the area provide horse and pony riding and trekking for all levels of rider. Please call in to Visit Brecon, Lion Yard, Brecon – just off the main car park, for full details.
This is a two- screen independent cinema open every day except Monday, offering all the latest releases. In addition Brecon Film Club has cinema showings once a month on a Monday: posters of forthcoming films are displayed in our window at Visit Brecon. See the Coliseum’s website for details :