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Bangor (Wales)

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Gwynedd : Bangor
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University of Wales, Bangor, Main Arts building

Bangor is a small city in Gwynedd.

Understand

Bangor is a small coastal city in North Wales, and although it does not have an abundance of attractions, it is a picturesque place offering views over the Menai Strait (especially attractive at sun-set), 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 however a University town, so there may be a few more facilities than expected for such a small place. Plus nearby are the towns of Menai Bridge and Llanfairpwll, which could be classed as Bangors metropolitan region.

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.

Get in

By train

Bangor 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 traveling 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 StreetChester → Bangor - about 2 hours travelling time. £18.10 for standard day ticket.
  • Manchester PicadillyChester → Bangor
  • Cardiff → Bangor
  • London EustonCrewe → 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.

By car

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 journey takes roughly four and half 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). Bangor is also served by the A487 from the west coast of Wales, from Haverfordwest via Aberystwyth.

By bus

Students visiting or moving to Bangor with a lot of luggage may find it safest to travel by coach.

  • National Express, +44 8705 808080, [1]. Advance booking is essential to guarantee a seat. Disabled Persons Travel Helpline: +44 121 423 8479, textphone: +44 121 455 0086.

Get around

See

Bangor Cathedral
  • Bangor Pier, +44 1248 352421. The quaint fishing harbour and Victorian Pier.
  • Penrhyn Castle, +44 1248 35308 (), [2]. A neo-Norman Victorian Castle that contains a collection of "Norman" style furniture and old masters' paintings. Has a National Trust shop, a doll museum, two galleries and an industrial railway museum. £9 (£4 for children).
  • Bangor Cathedral, +44 1248 354999. A 6th Century cathedral with attractive architecture. The focal point of the city.
  • Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery, Ffordd Gwynedd, +44 1248 353368, [3]. Tells the story of the people of Bangor and Gwynedd over previous centuries. Free entry.
  • Bangor City FC, The Stadium, Farrar Road, +44 1248 725745 (, fax: +44 1248 724182), [4]. Bangor City Football Club's home ground, located near the City center. A good place to go on match days to soak the atmosphere and to meet real Bangor locals. Adults £6, Concessions £4, Kids £2.
  • Bangor Tourist Information Center, Town Hall, Ffordd Deiniol, +44 1248 352786 (). Information for the entire north of Wales, tips and directions for the best days out.

Do

  • University Concert Series, Powis Hall and Prichard-Jones Hall, Main Arts Building, College Road, [5]. Regular concerts of classical music during term time, usually on Thursday and Saturday evenings. Perfomers 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.

Learn

  • Bangor University, Gwynedd, +44 1248 351151, [6].

Eat

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, High Street, +44 1248 361652. Vegetarian restaurant, but not strictly for vegetarians. Pleasant cafe with surfwear shop attached. Can be easily missed on the high street, as it is down a small uninviting alleyway, but don't be put off.
  • The Black Bull Inn (JD Wetherspoon), 107 High Street, +44 1248 387900, [7]. Sun–Thu 9AM–midnight; Fri/Sat 9AM–1AM. Typical food menu and drink service. Music is now 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.
  • Papillon, 347a High Street, +44 1248 360248. A very smart and elegant little restaurant that is a diamond in the rough. The food is fantastic and great value for money. A student favorite for its cheap lunches to remind them what nutrition actually is!
  • Orient Expresso, 364, High St (at the front of Kellett travel), +44 7811980237. M-Sa 9AM-5PM. A small coffee shop, serves a variety of sandwiches, wraps, paninis and jacket potatoes, as well as homemade pies, burgers and weekly specials that change every week. Includes a wide range of homemade cakes and cupcakes.

There are more, and they're small private places with varied food and menus. It's worth asking a local!

Drink

  • The Fat Cat Bar, [8]. Fine drinks and fine food, definitely worth the money.

Bangor's waterholes vary from the traditional to the student popular venues, to somewhere for a quiet drink. Students who have money to spend can also find a great night out.


  • Yo'mamas Restaurant, 33-35 High Street (Farrar Rd, then left for High street), 01248362992, [9].

Traditional

  • The Harp Inn, 80 High Street (Towards the station on the high street), +44 1248 361817. 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) The best in Bangor!!
  • Belle Vue, Holyhead Road, +44 1248 364439. 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.

Student

  • The Old Glan, Glanrafon, [10]. Typically known as "Yellow Pub" because of it's unusual yellow colored facade, this pub provides a great atmosphere for students to lie about, eat, drink, play pool, watch silly programs on TV, sing on the karaoke, or just take advantage of cheap beer. Great music and great food. Wifi hotspot.
  • Rascal's Bar, 6a Holyhead Rd, Upper Bangor, +44 1248 353511. Increasingly popular Student Bar.
  • The Globe, Albert Street, Upper Bangor. Traditional Welsh pub where the staff are friendly, but sometimes the atmosphere might not be very welcoming towards the English (I - being VERY English DO NOT agree with this comment - they are VERY friendly towards the English!). Current and former Welsh-speaking student favorite, as well as being very popular with Bangor locals.

The rest

  • Patrick's Bar, 57-59 Holyhead Road, +44 1248 372530, [11]. 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.

Night out

  • Amser (Time Nightclub), University of Wales Bangor, Deiniol, +44 1248 388026. The place to be for young clubbers on a night out. Time is a very safe place to go for a dance and a drink, and is supported by the University. Just because it's a student spot, don't expect the drinks to be cheap. The most notable nights are Happy Mondays (effectively a cheesey music night), fridays (pop) and the amazing new alternative indie night called LOST PROPERTY, [12]. 10pm - 2am. which transforms the venue completely every other tuesday. The regular DJs for this night play an amazing set of indie and electro every time. Time is also the venue of choice for any major bands/acts who come to Bangor.
  • Academi, Student's Union, Deiniol Road. Students Only</u> - formerly Main Bar, with nights including fancy dress, comedy night, and the amazing 'attitude free night' "Fruit Salad" - run by Unity Bangor (the LGBT society). Varying types of music on each night from the funk, reggae, soul, afrobeat and hip-hop at "Racubah", to the traditional pop happy Saturday night out.
  • Octagon, Dean Street, [13]. The Octagon, and its attached club Bliss are a lively night out occasionally supported by some of the top DJs in the UK. On the weekends many customers wearing their Ben Sherman shirts and polished shoes can be found here enjoying lots of drink and lots of dancing. The student night here 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. More recently there are some good rock/metal nights here in the week and also the occasional band night.

Sleep

  • Hendre Hall, Tal-y-Bont (About 3 miles from Bangor just off the A55 Tal-y-Bont intersection), [14]. 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.

Budget

  • Croeso-Welcome Bangor, University of Wales Bangor, Ffriddoedd Building, Victoria Drive., ''+44 1248 388-399 (, fax: +44 1248 383-501), [15]. Accommodation in student halls of residence - seasonal only.
  • Adelpha Guest House, adelpha, Garth Road., +44 1248 353-030 (), [16]. Small, friendly bed and breakfast with 7 bedrooms and 4 ensuite. Facilities include: parking, ensuite, easy access, no smoking. £25-35.
  • Eryl Môr Hotel, 3 Upper Garth Road, +44 1248 353-789 (), [17]. A nice hotel with restaurant and bar. Great for families. Pet friendly. 22 well equipped rooms (18 en-suite). From £30.
  • Germor, Germor, Maes Isalaw, +44 1248 364-386 (), [19]. 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.
  • Yr-Elen, Bryn, Llandygai, +44 1248 364-591 (fax: +44 1248 362-666). Fantastic views.

Mid range

  • Treborth Leisure, Treborth Hall Farm, +44 1248 364399 (, fax: +44 1248 364333), [20]. A two-star touring caravan and camping site, 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.

Get out

  • Anglesey particularly the Anglesey Sea Zoo, Pili Palas (a butterfly palace) and the 13th Century Beaumaris Castle
  • 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).
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!






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