Situated in Northern Wales, Bangor is one of the smallest cities in the United Kingdom and the oldest city in Wales. It is not exactly what comes to mind when you think of the quintessential UK cities to explore. However, the picturesque town offers some of the most breathtaking views with its marvelous backdrop overlooking Menai Straits. Welsh and English are the two languages spoken in the bilingual town, Welsh being spoken by the residents and English by the students. Bangor is a university city with more students than the residents and that is probably the reason that this small town has a lot more amenities than expected. The town even has its own international airport. Bangor is a perfect mix of urban amenities with rural attractions. You can experience art, music, nature, wildlife, and much more in this quaint little town. It offers a big city experience but with a quite close community. Here are the best things to do when you’re in the beautiful Bangor.
Take a stroll
Walking is one of the best ways to explore any city. Bangor is a very small town and this makes it perfect for exploring it on foot. You can stroll around the city to take in the scenic glory of the picturesque town and discover what the town has to offer. You can discover the town’s little secrets that you wouldn’t have known if you were exploring the city in any other way like every other tourist. Long walks with clean air and beautiful streets of Bangor will definitely refresh your mind and body. Isn’t that amazing?
Stay at Bangor University
Bangor is a university city and is famous for its excellent Bangor University all around the world. The town has more students than local residents residing in Bangor. Students from all around come to Bangor for Bangor University. The university has many excellent academic departments and faculty for students with excellent architecture. The location of the university is also amazing, it is by the beach and still not far from the mountains. You can stroll around the beautiful campus. The university also offers economical accommodations to the people visiting Bangor. You can book yourself clean and cheap rooms at Bangor University. The rooms have plenty of storage with kitchen facilities.
Gaze at the beautiful Penrhyn Castle
Penrhyn Castle is a fantasy castle of the 19th century. This neo-norman castle is situated between Snowdonia and the Menai Strait. The elaborate and alluring architecture of the castle makes it so exquisite to look at. You can see the history of the castle in its vast rooms, Victorian kitchens, and neo-norman stairways. Other than the surviving splendid furnishings and the magnificent interior fittings, the castle holds one of the greatest art collections of Wales. The extensive grounds of the castle offers a breathtakingly aesthetic view of the North Wales Coast.
Visit the charming Bangor Pier
Also known as Garth Pier, Bangor Pier is the second largest pier of Wales. The pier has a very low entry fee (Adults - 50p, Children 6 to 17 - 20p, and Senior Citizens - 20p), however, the people visiting are appreciated if they donate in the honesty box donation to help maintain the pier. In the summers, the pier remains open from 10 am till 5 pm and night fishing is also available, however, it has to be pre-booked and costs just £3. Due to low tides, it is a haven for local seabirds such as oystercatchers, redshanks, curlews, and little egrets. The Garth Pier offers a breathtakingly gorgeous view of the Menai Strait towards Menai Bridge, Llandudno along with the delightful Isle of Anglesey. The lovely mountains of Snowdonia fill the backdrop of the pier, making it even more wonderful. Not only out of the world view, the pier has Victorian kiosks along the deck that sell delightful food and drinks for you to devour. These kiosks use local ingredients to cook local and wholesome food. The Bangor Pier is perfect to just walk, sit and relax while enjoying a divine view.
Get closer to God at the ravishing Bangor Cathedral
Bangor Cathedral is a 6th-century cathedral with stunning interior and architecture. It is one of the main focal points of the city. It has a unique history and gives great insight into the area and its past. The Bangor Cathedral is not that big but has beautiful wooden carvings and gorgeous stained glass windows. The cathedral is known for its stunning music and organ recitals. There is a service every Friday that anyone can attend. The Bangor Cathedral is a haven where you can appreciate peace and tranquility and engage in quiet contemplation.
Grab a bite at the Cafes and Restaurants
If you want to experience the local and English traditional cuisine then Bangor is not going to be the one to disappoint you. The city has a number of cafes and restaurants where you can indulge yourself with delicious, mouth-watering chow. Not only English cuisine, this small town offers a variety of Asian cuisine in restaurants like Noodle One, Ling’s Restaurant, and The Garden Cantonese Restaurant, Aroy Dee Thai Noodle Bar and Jasmine. The town also caters to vegans with cafes Kyffin and Voltaire that serve scrumptious vegan and vegetarian food to the visitors. However, probably the most famous cafe in the town is Blue Sky, it is a very aesthetic cafe that provides delicious and locally sourced food with a cozy and comfortable ambiance.
Dive into the Pubs and Bars of Bangor
Even after all that delicious food, you are feeling parched then Bangor is not going to let you down with its pubs and bars where you can indulge yourself in. The Boatyard Inn and The Tap and Spile are located by the pier and serve delicious food with a great view of the waters. Pubs and bars such as Rascals serve quality booze and food without weighing much on your pocket. Bangor being a student city is not very expensive and you can enjoy and chill with your friends in any of the pubs and bars without worrying much about the money. The pubs and bars of the city have a laid back vibe where you can enjoy the food and drinks with great ambiance and incredible view.
Feast your eyes at the Cwm Idwal National Nature Reserve
Cwm Idwal was the first National Nature Reserve in Wales established in 1954. The park is open for everyone to access and charges a very minimal amount for parking (£3 for 4 hours or £6 for all day).You can experience the breathtaking beauty of this park by hiking, which is a very popular activity among the visitors. The hike takes about a couple of hours but rewards with a breathtaking view of the natural beauty of the reserve’s mountains and the lake in the center. The National Reserve is ideal to visit in all 4 seasons. In spring, the Montane plants and the rare Snowdon Lily blooms. Autumn brings a range of heathland colors. Purple Saxifrages’ flowering brightens up the winter. You can visit this place with your family and relax in the lap of mother nature while clicking some beautiful and Instagram worthy pictures.
Shop! Shop! Shop!
Bangor will bring you nothing but joy if you are a shopaholic. There are a wide variety of shops to choose from. Bangor has a lot of independent stores along with student friendly brands such as Topshop. Most of the independent shops sell designer as well as vintage clothing at great value, and if you're lucky you can find some amazing pieces at a very great price. One of the many advantages of Bangor being a student city is that you can find great deals on clothes and you do not have to spend as much.
Experience adventure and peace at Snowdonia National Park
This Northern Wales National Park has some of the highest mountains with the best views to offer. The National Park is just 6.5 miles away from Bangor and is an extremely popular tourist destination. There are a lot of activities for you to do here. You can climb various mountains including Snowdon. You can walk around the park and take in all the magnificent beauty that this tranquil place has to offer. You can experience nature and wildlife here, the park has animals like otters, polecats, and the feral goat along with rare birds such as raven, red-billed chough, peregrine, osprey, merlin and the red kite. The park also gives shelter to Rainbow Beetles, also known as Snowdon Beetles. Snowdonia also offers some amazing man-made adventures that are too good to not experience. You can experience the world’s fastest zip wires at Zip World, or go to Bounce Below to experience trippy underground, or the long sled ride at Fforest Coaster. Other adventurous activities include surfing, Adrenaline Indoors and a range of outdoor activities. You can visit the Snowdonia National Park and experience natural and man-made adventures all at one place.
Experience the art and culture at Storiel
Bangor is very rich in art and culture at Storiel, formerly known as Gwynedd Museum & Art Gallery, showcases Bangor’s history perfectly. It is the oldest building to be dated by an inscription in Wales. The museum has art from as early as 1884. The museum has an assorted collection inspired by the culture and landscape of Wales and contains portraits of notable individuals of Wales. The majority of the art is gifted by local people or the council. You can enjoy treasures such as the Roman Segontium and the the King of Bardsey’s crown. The museum also hosts exhibitions for local and international artists. The museum also has a cafe that offers delightful treats to visitors. You can buy yourself a souvenir to remember Bangor from from the gift shop in the museum itself. The museum’s opening hours are from 11 am to 5 pm.
Attend the Bangor Music Festival
Bangor may not be a hotspot for music but it offers a lot of opportunities for the people to enjoy live music. Cafes like Blue Sky and Belle Vue regularly host events for artists to perform live music. Bangor Music Festival is particularly popular in the city, it is a charitable organization that presents artists and their music to educate the Northern Wales’ community. Contemporary artists from all over the United Kingdom are welcome to play at the festival. The community of Wales has supported the Bangor Music Festival and that is the reason why the city has hosted the festival successfully since 2000. The festival is held at Bangor University’s Pontio in February. So if you want to enjoy music you will have plenty of opportunities to do so in Bangor,
Bird Watching at Spinnies, Aberogwen
The Spinnies is a nature reserve very very close to Bangor. It is surrounded by the Snowdonia mountains and Menai Straits. It is a perfect place for bird watching. The reserve offers an incredible view of birds feeding. It provides shelter to a lot of birds, including Kingfisher, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Chiffchaff, Whimbrel, Eder, Greenshank, Water rail, Broad-leaved Helleborine, Orange-tip, and Common Blue. You can spend your day here looking at splendid birds surrounded by a beautiful landscape. The reserve remains open during daylight hours and there is no entry fee charged. It is best enjoyed in Autumn and Spring for migrants and summer for breeding birds.
Bangor is a charming and a quaint town that is a perfect blend of urban and rural lifestyle. This small charming town offers city life with nature and wildlife just around the corner which makes it perfect for everyone to explore. This budget friendly town is surely going to amaze you what it has to offer. Do not forget to tell us your favorite thing from the list and make sure to do all these things when you visit this beautiful town.