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The local area guide to living in Brecon

Brecon is a pretty, historic Welsh market town, overlooked by the magnificent Brecon Beacons. Right beside the area's famous National Park, it is well known for its beauty - both natural and man-made. The town itself is a shining example of Georgian and Jacobian architecture. In addition, there are medieval churches and the remains of the old town walls.

It is also known for Brecon Cathedral - a building which dates back to the Norman times, considered to be among the most interesting religious buildings in Wales. The town also has 37 miles of historic waterways, dating back to the late 18th century, connecting Brecon with Newport.

Brecon is a popular tourist destination for those that love the outdoors thanks to its fantastic location. Hiking, riding, cycling and much more are available to those of an adventurous persuasion. Within the town, however, there's also lots to do. It has an artistic culture, with an annual jazz festival being a particular highlight, as well as several galleries, museums and interesting shops. On a nice evening, visitors tend to be drawn to the promenade lining the banks of the River Usk which boasts beautiful views and a calming atmosphere.

Information about the local residents

Brecon has a population of just over 8,000, and has a strong connection to the military thanks to its proximity to the Brecon Beacons. It is the third largest town in its region (Powys) and boasts higher than average rates of education.

Brecon is known for its strong agricultural links, with many of its residents working in the industry. However, modern times have brought changes and employment prospects have diversified, offering other opportunities for those that want them. For example, nearly 15% of locals work in health and social work now, and 13.4% in wholesale and retail.

Nearby schools

Parents will find Brecon an attractive option. It has a surprising variety of schools and colleges nearby considering its size. There are good quality establishments offering nursery, primary and secondary education. However, it is worth remembering the remote location of the town, which means many of them are only accessible by bus rides of up to and over an hour.

On the northern side of the town is Coleg Powys, which offers both a traditional academic curriculum as well as vocational courses. In 2013 it merged with Neath Port Talbot College, and now has twelve campuses and serves 18,000 students across Wales. It has strong links with the University of Wales, offering courses to students working towards a degree.

Also within the town is the oldest school in Wales - Christ College. It was founded in the 16th century by Henry VIII, and now functions as an independent school for girls and boys between the ages of 11 and 18. It caters to both boarders and day pupils, and was named among the top three best value for money independent schools in the UK by the Financial Times.

Brecon's military links are demonstrated by the presence of the Infantry Battle School, which trains officers and enlisted soldiers in the field and the classroom to meet the operational requirements of the MoD.

Getting around

Despite its rural location, Brecon is relatively well placed to get around Wales. It's connected to the motorway network via the A40 and A470 links, which is helpful for commuters and travellers. Public transport is limited; while there are bus services, they don't offer the same freedom as a car - especially when it comes to exploring the Beacons. For air and rail travel, Cardiff is the most convenient hub and is exceptionally well connected.

Local shops

Brecon is well known for its excellent independent craft shops and boutique stores, many of which offer fine examples of local products. Bethel Square Shopping centre has a wide selection of stores, and there are some high street shops within the town. However, more committed shoppers may find themselves drawn to Cardiff for more options.

Brecon holds a livestock market twice a week, which is always bustling and busy, as well as a great craft market every third Saturday of the month. The town has excellent restaurants, pubs, inns and cafes, thanks to the large numbers of tourists inflating demand.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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