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I’d imagine the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Brecon is the Brecon Beacons, which this area is so well known for (and it’s definitely a great spot to base yourself in the National Park).

However, being relatively local to the area and having travelled here on several occasions, I know that there is much more on offer from Brecon itself and in this guide, I’ll share the top things to do in and around the town.

1. Explore Welsh History At The Regimental Museum Of The Royal Welsh

The Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh boasts an impressive collection of over 33,000 objects which will help you learn about the stories of the regiments they represent and their role in conflicts such as the first and second World Wars, and the Anglo-Zulu war.

The museum is open between 10am and 5pm weekdays, and from 10.30 to 16.00 on Saturdays between Easter and the end of September. During August it also opens between 10.30 and 16.00 on Sundays.

Whilst at the museum you can explore the vast collections and visit the shop to purchase a memento of your visit.


2. Visit Brecon Cathedral

Brecon Cathedral is a Grade I listed building and was built on the orders Bernard de Neufmarché, the Norman knight, around 1093. It’s easy to find in the heart of the town with the tower visible from all around.

There has been many alterations to the church during its lifetime, however, the stunning cathedral sits proudly in Brecon, offering an insight into the history of the area. Inside the cathedral you can find a chapel dedicated to the Welsh Regiments and their Zulu/Rourke’s Drift encounters.

The one thing that surprised me most about this cathedral is that inside it houses a café serving hot drinks and light snacks in the same area that there is also a functional cathedral. It’s a very interesting combination and I’d definitely recommend stopping here for a drink.


3. Explore Brecknock Museum

Probably my favourite museum in Mid-Wales (not least because it’s huge and free), Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery houses various collections that delve into the history of Breconshire, one of the former counties in Wales that was governed from Brecon.

The museum is found in the cultural hub known as Y Gaer and contains a Victorian courtroom and classroom, an archaeological collection from the area, industrial items and memorabilia from the past 150 years, a natural history collection, as well as several art galleries containing a mix of contemporary art and craft items.

I recommend allowing at least an hour and a half to explore this museum which takes over three entire floors in the building.


4. Enjoy A Performance At Theatr Brycheiniog

Theatr Brycheiniog opened in 1997 as the first wholly Lottery funded new build arts organisation in the UK.

Theatr Brycheiniog is a place you must visit whilst in Brecon – it showcases some incredible Welsh and English language productions and there are also ever-changing exhibitions which showcases the work of national and international artists.

It’s also situated on the picturesque Brecon Canal Basin making it the perfect place to stop for family photos.


5. Take A Stroll Along The Brecon Canal Basin

The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal has frequently been voted Britain’s prettiest canal, and it’s easy to see why1 (source: Canal River Trust).

There is a poetry trail walk that runs alongside Theatr Brycheiniog that contains 10 specially commissioned poems to celebrate the Cultural Olympiad of 2012 written by well-known Welsh poets, five in Welsh and five in English.

This delightful walk will take you all the way into Brecon town centre where you will find the other activities mentioned in this article, plus a range of shops and cafés.


6. Do Something A Little Different With Alpaca My Boots

Located just outside of Brecon in the Beacons at Blaenrehom Farm is the unique ‘alpaca my boots’ experience where you can take one of their friendly alpacas on a 90-minute trek around the stunning location.

The adventure will cost between £20-£30 per person but for this you will be guaranteed a 90-minute walk that you’ll never forget.

As you can imagine, even though this activity is based completely outside, due to the nature of being in close proximity with the alpacas dogs aren’t welcome on this experience.


7. Enjoy The Serenity Of Talybont Reservoir

Wikimedia

Talybont reservoir is the largest stillwater reservoir in the central Brecon Beacons.

There is a great 9.5km circular walk around the reservoir that provides amazing views of the water throughout. Please do note though that quite a lot of the walk is on a road so do take care especially if you are walking with youngsters.

The route also branches off to other walks which can be picked up if you wish to extend your walking adventure.

Please note that there is very limited parking so it’s best to arrive early to avoid disappointment.


8. Grab A Gourmet Burger At The Hills Brecon

The Hills

Love burgers? This is definitely the place for you! Located just 5 minutes outside of Brecon it’s the perfect place to fill up whilst you’re in the area.

The burgers at The Hills Brecon are so good it’s almost impossible to recommend a single burger on their menu – in my opinion you should go every night and choose something different!

Let’s just say that the burgers are out of this world. You have the standard classics such as cheeseburgers, but The Hills Brecon does some amazingly unique burgers such as the crispy satay beef cheeseburger or the Don Vito which contains beef ragu, pesto and parmesan!

What really sets The Hills Brecon apart from the rest is the quality of the ingredients they use – I can feel my taste buds tingling writing about them burgers!


9. Go On A Guided Walk Through Brecon

Brecon Town Tours offers a brilliant 60-minute guided walk around Brecon which provides excellent information about the area. There is also a longer 2-hour walk which also takes you around Brecon Cathedral.

Starting at £15 per group, choosing a guided walk really is an excellent option if you are short on time and want to get the maximum out of your visit to Brecon.

Booking should be made before embarking on any walk, although they can cater for a small number of people turning up on the day.


10. Stargaze The Night Away

The entire Brecon Beacons National Park is accredited as an International Dark Sky Reserve. In 2012 it became just the fifth destination in the world (and the first in Wales) to be accredited2 (source: Brecon Beacons National Park).

There are lots of great spots to choose to stargaze, however, one of the best activities to undertake is the 4-hour guided walk with an expert instructor to fully appreciate the beauty of the galaxy whilst being assured that you’re in safe hands throughout.

Some other great spots include Usk and Crai reservoirs, Llanthony Priory, Carreg Cennen, and the National Park Visitor Centre. All of which are in close proximity to Brecon.


11. Enjoy Brecon Canal By Boat

Get away from the traffic, give your feet a rest from walking and enjoy some of the most scenic parts of Wales by travelling the Brecon canal by boat.

Dragon Fly cruises offer a unique experience to travel along this 200-year-old waterway, which was in place before roads and railways.

Dragon Fly cruises offer public and private charter trips and there is multiple facilities on the boats, which include toilets, seating, a refreshments bar and disabled access.


12. Climb Pen Y Fan

Standing at 886m above sea level, Pen y Fan is the highest peak in south Wales3 (source: Wikipedia) and climbing it is one of the best activities in the Brecon Beacons.

There are several different routes to choose from when walking up Pen y Fan, which all range in length, however, the most direct route will have you at the top in around a couple of hours.

The main route which is called the Pont ar Daf Route (or locally known as ‘the motorway’ because of how busy it gets at weekends) is the most popular choice and is suitable for anyone with a good level of fitness, including children.

It’s also good to remember that suitable clothing and footwear must be taken as the weather can be changeable.


13. Go Kayaking And Fishing On Llangorse Lake

© Crown copyright (2022) Cymru Wales

My final recommended activity in Brecon is to head out to Llangorse Lake, the largest natural lake in south Wales4 (source: Llangorse Lake).

For those that like water-based activities, Llangorse lake provides a range of options to enjoy such as, dinghy, windsurfer, canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, pedalo or rowing boat hire from the boat hire centre, or you can even launch your own vessel.

Llangorse lake is also a very popular fishing spot and there is an abundance of pike, perch, roach, bream tench and eels all found here. Please remember you can only fish from boats and not from the shoreline.

A couple of other important points to remember when planning a day out at Llangorse lake is that you need permits to sail and fish.


Related Questions

What Is Brecon Known For?

Brecon is known for the Brecon Beacons which are a famous mountain range located around 6 miles away from the town of Brecon. The Brecon Beacons bring in thousands of visitors each year to the surrounding areas, and they are also a place that the army regularly uses to conduct military training exercises.

Is Brecon Worth Visiting?

Yes, Brecon is worth visiting and makes a great place to base yourself while you explore the town and the Brecon Beacons.

Kieren is the founder and editor-in-chief of Wales Guidebook. Originally from rural Mid-Wales, he has lived all over the country from Cardiff to Wrexham. A true Welshman, Kieren created this site to share his passion for Wales and help others discover this beautiful country.