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A day out to Brecon

Written by Ginnie James on

As you will know by now, if you have read my other blogs, I try and meet up with my best friend for lunch and a catch up every few months and that lately we have been visiting different towns in Mid Wales.

Hay-on-Wye was a huge hit (but then we both love book and antique shops) and we also enjoyed our visit to Llandrindod Wells, all be it on a blustery autumn day. I decided on Brecon for our next lunch, as I thought we would enjoy strolling up to the cathedral and then around the eclectic mix of shops.

However, before the day came, my friend made the brave decision that, instead of struggling every day with the constant pain and crippling tiredness brought on by a genetic medical condition, she would invest in a wheelchair. For me I must admit that it put a different complexion on my expectations of our day out. My initial thoughts were of concern that my choice of location now wouldn’t be suitable or the lunch venue and what about if it was raining and getting between the different places? Of course I soon realised I was just being silly and as it turned out I needn’t have worried.

When we met in the car park, Jake was looking happier and healthier than I’d seen her in a long while and looking forward to our day, rather than being anxious about whether her strength would hold out. Yes, of course things were a bit different and we had to take into consideration practical issues of the best routes to take and such that we had never really had to think about before but, after 30 (said in a hushed tone of disbelief because that would make us middle-aged) years of friendship, we weren’t going to let a wheelchair phase us.

The official Brecon town website extols the narrow streets and Georgian and Jacobian shop fronts. Wonderful for a sense of timelessness, not so great for wheelchairs. Not that we didn’t manage to have a good mooch around a couple of shops and considering Jake has only had the chair a few weeks, and co-ordination was never a strong point(!), she did really well, with her partner only having to help push on the particularly steep or tricky bits.

One thing I hadn’t considered through was the increased difference in our heights. We always have a lot to talk about when we do get together but that was proving tricky when there were lots of people out and about enjoying the historic town on a beautiful spring day.

We didn’t make it to the cathedral in the end but made our way instead to the pub where I had booked us in for lunch so we could have a proper chat. The Clarence Inn turned out to be lovely pub at the bottom end of town with a sunny garden and although there was a step up into the building there was room to manoeuvre a wheelchair and a disabled toilet.

All three of us can be a bit particular about our food but the menu was quite extensive while not being overly fancy, covering all our tastes and three empty plates were left at the end. We are not sure where we will end up going next so any suggestions of great places to eat with simple but delicious food would be warmly welcomed. I can then get on and start planning for next time!

Ginnie James

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I am Ginnie & I began working for Wales Cottage Holidays in August 2000. My blogs cover a wide variety of subjects, from Welsh history (I have a bit of a thing for castles) to its modern culture (I also have a bit of a thing for rugby players!)