Mini guide to Bangor

Jenessa Williams

Here are some reasons to visit the spectacular city of Bangor

The oldest city in Wales but with one of the smallest populations, Bangor feels special the moment you set foot in it. With students making up a vast proportion of its inhabitants, there’s a keen emphasis on learning and discovery, set against majestic hills and waters. Make the most of your visit with our top tips. 

 

Stay 

Settle into the lush location of the Ty’n Rhos Country House and Restaurant to truly feel at one with the earth. Located between Bangor and Caernarfon, you couldn’t ask for more peace and quiet, with the onsite team offering discreet, homely hospitality. 

Enjoy breakfast with ingredients grown from onsite vegetable beds, or indulge in a lay-in amongst Egyptian cotton sheets, all 19 rooms decked out in their own individual style. 

If you prefer something a little more cosmopolitan, The Slate Inn has been totally refurbished to create something quite stylish, complimenting the traditional low beams and slate finishes of the original coach house. Stay in for the evening to make the most of the onsite Tavern, stocked with the best of local liquors.

 

Shop

A close-knit community, Bangor is full of independent stores that guarantee unique and often lovingly-handmade items. Joli is the ultimate giftshop for all your treats and trinkets, full of bath bombs, candles, suncatchers and more. 

Mudshark Records is a must for audiophiles, while Phoebe’s Wardrobe Dress Agency can provide the perfect occasion outfit, stocking well-curated vintage and preloved garments. 

For the usual high street names, the Deiniol and Menai Shopping Centres carry all the essentials, conveniently situated right in the city centre. 

 

Get outdoors 

Fans of photography and spectacular views will want to explore the bridges of Bangor. Stroll along the Angelsey Coastal path to observe the intricate structure of the Menai Suspension Bridge, before taking in the Grade II Listed Britannia Bridge, newly restored following an elaborate 2011 restoration. 

For those who prefer a bird’s eye view, Bangor has plenty of action-packed exercise opportunities. Take the short trip to Penrhyn Quarry for Zipworld, an adrenaline-inducing zipline course that skims the skies, or put on your hiking boots to take on Snowdonia.

 

Learn

With roots that can be traced all the way to the 6th century, Bangor Cathedral is a must-see for architectural enthusiasts. The former Bishop’s Palace is now home to a museum and gallery offering up plenty of historical information. Make a day of it with a visit to nearby Pehryn Castle and Gardens, offering great panoramas on a clear day.

Blend arts and academics at Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre. Founded in conjunction with Bangor University, it is the city’s home of opera, cinema and dance, with a variety of interactive talks and workshops filling out it’s calendar. 

 

Eat

Situated just off the high street, Blue Sky Café is well-known amongst locals for its cosy interiors and eclectic, world-influenced menu. Start the day off right with avocado and feta on toast, or try their most popular dish, “Pig In A Barm”– crispy Asian-style Welsh pork, topped with soft boiled egg, spring onions and char sui. 

If you happen to be in Bangor on a Sunday, head to The Boatyard Inn for a hearty carvery of traditional welsh lamb teamed with honey roast parsnips and other fresh, seasonal veg. A friendly, low-key environment, small dogs are welcome and well catered for, making it the perfect stop after a bracing Welsh walk.