Bangor is a small coastal city in North Wales, and is a picturesque city offering views over the Menai Straits (especially attractive at sunset), and also serves as a convenient base for visiting the nearby Snowdonia National Park. The city is also a popular place to spend the night for travellers leaving for Ireland on the Holyhead to Dublin ferry.
With a population of only around 14,000, Bangor is one of the UK's smallest cities. Bangor is a university city and has a large student population, and is home to Bangor University, established in 1884.
Around half of the people in the city can speak Welsh, but if you took away all of the students in the university, this figure would be much higher.
- Bangor Tourist Information Centre, Town Hall, Ffordd Deiniol, ☏ , [email protected]. Information for the entire north of Wales, tips and directions for the best days out.
1 Bangor station lies on the North Wales Coastal Line, and can be reached from either the direction of Holyhead, for those travelling from Dublin, or from Chester, for those travelling from the mainland. Bangor is on the Holyhead → Chester track, and can be reached from either with trains running roughly every hour. Bangor can also be reached the following ways:
- Liverpool Lime Street → Chester → Bangor - about 2 hours travelling time. £18.10 for standard day ticket.
- Manchester Picadilly → Chester → Bangor
- Cardiff → Bangor
- London Euston → Crewe → Bangor - roughly every hour, taking about four hours. £96.50 for a standard open single, £62.90 for a saver single (available most days). Booking in advance may get you a ticket for £51.
- London Euston → Bangor direct - three times a day. Takes just over 3 hours, but same price as above.
Bangor is just off the intersection of A5 and A55 between Conwy and Holyhead. Bangor is directly on the A5, which runs directly from London to Holyhead making it easily accessible from the capital city of England. This 250-mile (400-km) journey takes roughly 4½ hours.
From the north west of England, Bangor can easily be reached on the coastal road A55, which provides a nice safe journey on a road which serves all of the North coast of Wales. The journey takes as little as an hour and is about 65 miles (105 km).
Students visiting or moving to Bangor with a lot of luggage may find it safest to travel by coach.
- National Express, ☏ 08705 808080 (premium rate), (Disabled Persons Travel Helpline), (textphone). Advance booking is essential to guarantee a seat.
- 1 Bangor Pier, ☏ . Also known as Garth Pier, this Victorian pier opened in 1896 and reaches halfway across the Menai Straits to the Isle of Anglesey. At the end of the pier is the Whistlestop Cafe, which is popular and well-known locally for its scones.
- 2 Penrhyn Castle, LL57 4HN, ☏ , [email protected]. Varies by season. The castle is closed over the winter months. A neo-Norman Victorian fantasy castle from the 19th century, Penrhyn Castle is now a National Trust property. It contains a collection of "Norman" style furniture and old masters' paintings. It has a shop, tea room, a doll museum, two galleries and an industrial railway museum. Can be considered well over the top in the desire to impress but the kitchen quarters and the walled garden are particularly to be recommended. £11.50, £5.75 for children.
- 3 The Spinnies (Near the coast immediately east of Penrhyn Castle estate.). Two splendidly situated bird hides administered by the North Wales Wildlife Trust. Birds frequently seen include little egrets and kingfishers.
- 4 Bangor Cathedral, ☏ . A 6th-century cathedral with attractive architecture. The focal point of the city.
- 5 Storiel (formerly Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery), Ffordd Gwynedd, LL57 1DT, ☏ . Tells the story of the people of Bangor and Gwynedd over previous centuries. Free.
- 6 Bangor City FC, Nantporth Stadium, Holyhead Rd, LL57 2HQ, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. Bangor City Football Club's home ground, near the town centre. A good place to go on match days to soak the atmosphere and to meet real Bangor locals. Adults £6, concessions £4, kids £2.
- University Concert Series, Powis Hall and Prichard-Jones Hall, Main Arts Building, College Road. Regular concerts of classical music during term time, usually on Thursday and Saturday evenings. Performers include professional orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists, and there are also concerts of electroacoustic music and regular performances by the University's own choirs and orchestras.
- Bangor University, Gwynedd, ☏ .
Welsh lamb and beef feature prominently as does freshly caught fish such as salmon, brown trout, white crab and lobster. Vegetarian preferences are also well catered for with organic fruit and vegetable producers in the area. Some of the local eateries include:
- Blue Sky Cafe, Behind Abbey National/G Williams & Son Butchers, High Street, ☏ . M-Sa 9:30AM-17:30PM. Cafe and restaurant, which focuses providing locally sourced, organic and fair trade food and drinks. Caters well for vegetarians, but also has a good selection of meat dishes. Lovely atmosphere with wooden beams and a wood burner. Can be easily missed as it's just off the high street, but don't be put off. The cafe is located on the first floor and is reached by climbing a flight of stairs. Unfortunately, there is no disabled access.
- The Black Bull Inn (JD Wetherspoon), 107 High Street, ☏ . Su–Th 9AM–midnight; F Sa 9AM–1AM. Typical food menu and drink service. Music is played (sometimes loudly), but family-friendly atmosphere. Food varies in quality and is not a home-made meal, typical from a high-street brand chain. Can provide the venue, but not the atmosphere. If you're looking for a good insight into Bangor culture, this will more remind you of a small bar in any city or town.
- 1815, Waterloo Street, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 1DS, ☏ . 9:30AM-5PM. Quaint cafe located on Waterloo Hill, which serves lovely tapas and other lunchtime dishes, as well as a variety of homemade cakes.
- Kyffin, 129 High Street, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 1NT, ☏ , [email protected]. M-Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM. A vegetarian cafe and deli serving three choices of vegetarian meals and salads a day. Kyffin also serves a wide selection of cakes
- Noodle One, 166 High Street, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 1NU, ☏ . A Japanese and Asian noodle bar. Set out with long tables and benches, Noodle One serves a range of noodle and rice dishes, as well as Yaki and Ramen dishes from Japan.
- Feral Cat (The Fat Cat Bar), 161 High S. Fine drinks and fine food, definitely worth the money.
- 1 The Boatyard Inn, Ffordd Garth LL57 2SF, ☏ . Pub with B & B
- The Harp Inn, 80 High St (Towards the station on the high street), ☏ . A friendly, cosy traditional pub. Great menu, all cooked from scratch, no microwaving here! Reasonable drink prices, and offers on house vodka, whiskey. Round of Jaegerbombs only £10 (for 6 shots and red bull).
- Belle Vue, Holyhead Road, ☏ . A traditional, ideally situated pub in the busy student sector, offering lunchtime snacks and main meals. Selection of local and established real ales, themed evenings and weekly quiz on Sundays.
- Rascal's Bar, 6a Holyhead Rd, Upper Bangor, ☏ . Increasingly popular student bar.
- The Globe (Tafarn y Glob), Albert Street, Upper Bangor. Daily 10AM-midnight. Traditional Welsh pub. Very popular with Welsh-speakers, especially the Welsh student population.
- Patrick's Bar, 57-59 Holyhead Road, ☏ . Affectionately known as "Paddy's Bar", this small Irish-themed bar is popular with all and makes such a stamp on visitors that they make sure to return whenever nearby.
The Students' Union has no venue, as it was demolished, along with the cinema and theatre, Theatr Gwynedd. They are due to be replaced by a complex called Pontio.
- 2 Cube (formerly Peep, formerly Octagon), 29 Dean St, Bangor LL57 1UR, ☏ . Cube is a lively night out occasionally supported by some of the top DJs in the UK. Student night is a great laugh and appears on every Wednesday during term time. Be safe here on weekends though, this is outside student territory and locals frequent this club often. However, this provides a good mix of people and can still be a great night out. There are some good rock/metal nights here in the week and also the occasional band night.
- Hendre Hall, The Courtyard Hendre Hall Aber Rd, Tal-y-Bont (About 3 miles from Bangor just off the A55 Tal-y-Bont intersection). Hendre is Victorian Grade II listed stone farm building that has been converted to provide a venue of real character for weddings and music events. A favourite venue for local bands, DJs and promoters of world music. It does not provide accommodation.
- Croeso-Welcome Bangor, University of Wales Bangor, Ffriddoedd Building, Victoria Drive., ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. Accommodation in student halls of residence - seasonal only.
- Dilfan Guest House, Dilfan, Garth Road., ☏ , [email protected]. Small, friendly bed and breakfast with 7 bedrooms and 4 ensuite. Facilities include: parking, ensuite, easy access, no smoking. £20-25.
- Eryl Môr Hotel, 3 Upper Garth Road, ☏ , [email protected]. A nice hotel with restaurant and bar. Great for families. Pet friendly. 22 well equipped rooms (18 en-suite). From £30.
- Fodol Newydd, Rhian Ferrero, Hafod Lane., ☏ , [email protected]. farmhouse.
- Garden Hotel, 1 High Street, ☏ , [email protected]. Located in the centre of town. Around £35 per night.
- Germor, Germor, Maes Isalaw, ☏ , [email protected]. Small, friendly bed and breakfast with 3 bedrooms situated overlooking Hirael Bay harbour. Ideal for visiting university and local attractions. Facilities include: parking, easy access. From £20 per person.
- Yr-Elen, Bryn, Llandygai, ☏ , fax: . Fantastic views.
- 1 Treborth Hall Farm, Treborth Rd LL57 2RX, ☏ , [email protected]. A two-star touring caravan and camping site that provides stunning views and a trout lake on the grounds. With water and shower facilities, and a few nice cottages with self-catering facilities, washing machines, etc. Pet friendly. £50 per night or £270 for the week.
- 2 Tyn Rhos Country House Hotel Bangor, Ty’n Rhos, Seion, Llanddeiniolen LL55 3AE (Short drive from the main city, in the countryside), ☏ , [email protected]. Has superb gardens. There is a large choice of individually decorated rooms and the establishment. It also has its own restaurant, with lounge, bar, main restaurant or conservatory areas, which serves delicious and visually beautiful food sourced locally.
- 3 Tyddyn Sydney Bach, Tyddyn Sydney, Treborth LL57 2NJ (Close to Junction 9 of A55), ☏ , [email protected]. VisitWales 5* Holiday Cottage for two people. 19th-century stone cottage fully furnished and equipped. £285 - £445 per week.
- Buses run up into Llanberis, at the edge of a crystal clear mountain lake and the jumping off point for trips into Snowdonia National Park.
- Anglesey particularly the Anglesey Sea Zoo, Pili Palas (a butterfly palace), the 13th-century Beaumaris Castle and Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (Llanfairpwllgwyngyll for short)
- Caernarfon to see the majestic 13th-century castle and the cute tiny town.
- You can buy ferry tickets to Dublin (departing from Holyhead) at any of the travel agents on the town's one main road (the High Street).
|Routes through Bangor|
|Dublin ← Holyhead ← Menai Bridge ←||NW SE||→ Bethesda → Snowdonia|
|Holyhead ← Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch ←||W E||→ Llanfairfechan → Llandudno|