"Brecon, A Market town at the heart of the Beacons" Brecon by ranger49

Brecon Travel Guide: 47 reviews and 114 photos

Almost on my doorstep.

This ancient, Welsh market town is surrounded by some of the most beautiful country side in the United Kingdom. So beautiful that in 1955 it was designated the Brecon Beacons National Park, an area of over 500 square miles much of it at an altitude over 1000ft. It was around that time I first came to the area and soon got to know Brecon and the Beacons well.
It impressed me as a most attractive town with interesting little streets, and an unusual road lay-out in the centre which added to its charm. But - as so often is the case - I have hardly written anything about it because it is on the doorstep!
For many years I bought all my cars there, went to regular meetings connected with work and passed through the centre ( no by- pass in those days!) whenever I drove to Mid Wales or to Manchester.
The Beacons were always a popular destination for family days out and we still have good times with grandchildren at Llangorse Lake.

The shops were mostly small and independent and included some quite expensive but very smart clothes shops catering for country people. There were lots of antique shops, several good hotels, pubs and cafes. A Public school that traces its foundation back to Henry 8th. a Cathedral and the remaons of a Norman castle but on the district evidence of iron age dwellers have been found.

Time passes and things change

The Georgian and Victorian houses, shop fronts and pubs have changed litttle many are Listed Buildings and so protected from change or demolition. There are still a good number of local independent shops though many have gone. Progress means development and brings changes.
Not quite High St. UK but High Street in Bethel Square. Grouped around the facade of Bethel, an old Welsh Chapel is a representive collection of leading chain stores.The Chapel provides the frontage for a Branch of Boots, one of the UK's oldest pharmacy chains
The last of Brecon's three railway stations closed in 1962 -before the Beeching axe fell,and a superstore with a large car park now occupies the site and that of the former livestock market which was transferred to new facilities on the edge of town. o

Still a great little town!

The British Army has had a presence in Brecon for nearly 200 years. An Armoury was erected on the Watton - the road from Abergavenny leading into the town centre. Barracks were soon created to house soldiers who were stationed there making Brecon a Garrison Town.
In the mid-19th century- a time of major social change, when agricutural and industrial growth combined with repressive legislation, there was upheaval and dissent in town and country.
In those days the army was used to quell Dissenters in civil disputes and uprisings in industrial and commercial towns like Merthyr Tydfil and Newport, and in agricultural districts further west.

Subsequently their activities were confined to military operations during which distinguished service resulted in many service men from the Brecon receiving The Victoria Cross.
For anyone with the slightest interest in military history a visit to the Museum of the Royal Welsh Regimental Museum on the Watton is a must.
My mother often surprised me and did when many years ago she expressed a wish to visit it. She had recently seen "Zulu" the film that tells the story of the South Wales Borderers.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Plenty to see and do here
  • Cons:Can be clogged with traffic
  • In a nutshell:Historic town in the National Park
  • Last visit to Brecon: May 2012
  • Intro Updated Sep 22, 2013
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