A couple who swapped big city life for Powys during the pandemic, but who then moved back to London after finding rural life “inconvenient” and the people “unkind”, have been criticised for their claims.

Jimi Aldcroft and wife Tess left London and moved to Brecon shortly after Covid-19 struck. But the couple said they were not prepared for the “loneliness” and “inconvenience” of rural life.

In a MailOnline article published last Thursday, May 9, the newlyweds said they dreamed of a quaint country life – but returned to the capital after six months because they hated the “xenophobic” locals, their dog got depressed and they said London was more interesting.

“There were a lot of things that didn’t make us enjoy the area. They weren’t our kind of people. They weren’t very kind,” said Tess, 35, who actually grew up in the Brecon area.


“We found Wales really judgy. The people were nosy because they had nothing else to do.”

Tess' said husband Jimi, 39, “absolutely hated” being treated as an outsider, and felt like Wales was the only place where he was “judged for being Australian”.

Tess said they were at first relieved to no longer be working 70-hour weeks – but then complained when they could only get hospitality jobs, which required weekend working, with most places closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

She added that dog walking was difficult too, with signs threatening that animals without leads would be shot.

Tess said they were bored and had nothing to talk about, and believed they should instead have moved to a smaller city like Bristol.

County Times:  King Charles on a visit to Brecon last summer. King Charles on a visit to Brecon last summer. (Image: Andrew Matthews/PA)

County Times:  A view from the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal, in town. A view from the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal, in town.

Having moved back to London in November 2022, Tess said she now loves not having to drive everywhere and the anonymity of living in a large block of flats.

But people living in Powys responded by criticising their claims.

The County Times reached out to residents and businesses from across the county who paint a much friendlier picture of Powys.

Wayne and Lynn Funnell, themselves outsiders, run Brecon’s Markets Tavern Hotel.

“My wife and myself moved here six years ago to take over at the Markets Tavern, and we could not have been more welcomed by the local community,” said Wayne, who is from Wiltshire.

“We absolutely love it here and once we finish our work at The Tavern we will be staying here for sure. Best idiots like that are gone.”

Dan Johns, who also lives in Brecon, has called Mid Wales home for 15 years, having moved here after graduating from Swansea University.

County Times:  Brecon lies at the foothills of the breathtaking Brecon Beacons. Brecon lies at the foothills of the breathtaking Brecon Beacons. (Image: Alan Hughes/Geograph)

County Times:  Brecon's Christ College. Brecon's Christ College. (Image: Phil Boorman Photography)

“I’ve been lucky enough to call Mid Wales home for over 15 years,” said Dan, who works in PR.

“I’ve always found people here to be very friendly and welcoming, particularly when you actively make an effort to join in with things in the community.

“I genuinely can’t think of a better place to be raising my children than in a small rural town with stunning mountains and waterfalls on our doorstep.

“With the advent of hybrid and home working in recent times, it has meant people can hold down jobs that would previously have been based in the larger cities.

“In essence we can now live in this picturesque setting while working in roles based in urban areas that previously would have been difficult to commute to five days a week. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Nicky and Colin Williams have run the Fforest Inn, in Llanfihangel-nant-Melan, for almost a decade.

They were forced to shut last year but recently reopened, with Nicky saying: “We love the area and people.”