Bangor Tourist Guide


Bangor, in Gwynedd, North Wales. A great place to base a holiday in Snowdonia. Accommodation and Tourist Guide.

Bangor, in Gwynedd, North Wales, is one of the smallest cities in the United Kingdom. It is a university city with a population of 13,725 at the 2001 census, not including around 8,000 students at Bangor University. Including nearby Menai Bridge the population is about 18,000. Also, according to the census, 76.7% of the population speak Welsh (despite most of the students coming from outside Wales).

History of Bangor
The origins of the city date back to the founding of Bangor Cathedral by the Celtic saint Deiniol in the early 6th century AD. The name 'Bangor' itself comes from a Welsh word for a type of fenced-in enclosure, such as was originally on the site of the cathedral. The present cathedral is a somewhat more recent building and has been extensively modified throughout the centuries. While the building itself is not the oldest, and certainly not the biggest, the bishopric of Bangor is one of the oldest in Britain. Another claim to fame is that Bangor allegedly has the longest High Street in Wales. Friars School was founded as a free grammar school in 1557, and Bangor University was founded in 1884.

Bangor's Geography
Bangor is largely contained to the south by Bangor Mountain although the large housing estate of Maesgeirchen, originally built as council housing, is to the east of the toe of the mountain near to Port Penrhyn. The presence of Bangor Mountain casts a shadow across the High Street, Glan Adda and Hirael areas such that from November through to March some parts of the High Street in particular receive no direct sunlight as they lie in the shadow of the mountain. Another ridge rises to the north of the High Street, dividing the city centre from the Menai Strait; this area is known as Upper Bangor.

Bangor has two rivers within its boundaries. The River Adda is a largely culverted watercourse which only appears above ground at its western extremities near to the Faenol estate, whilst the River Cegin enters Port Penrhyn at the eastern edge of the city. Port Penrhyn was an important port in the nineteenth century, exporting the slates produced at the Penrhyn Quarry.

Bangor lies at the western end of the North Wales Path, a 60 mile long-distance coastal walking route to Prestatyn. It is also on routes 5, 8 and 85 of the National Cycle Network.

Bangor railway station, which serves the city, is located on the North Wales Coast Line from Crewe to Holyhead.

The Arts & Culture
Theatr Gwynedd [9] is the city's main venue for drama (in both English and Welsh, but mainly Welsh), ballet, opera, comedy and cinema. Bangor is an important centre for classical music, with regular concerts given in the Powis and Prichard-Jones Halls as part of the University's Music at Bangor concert series. The city is also home to the Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery. The University has announced plans for a major new arts centre in the city.

Bangor hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1890, 1902, 1915, 1931, 1940 (through the medium of radio), 1943, 1971 and 2005, as well as an unofficial National Eisteddfod event in 1874.

Garth Pier
Bangor has a pier, which is the second longest in Wales and also the 9th longest in the British Isles, being 1,500 feet (or 472 metres). Its name is the Garth Pier, and was almost demolished in 1974 due to the poor condition it was in at the time. However local support for the pier ensured that it survived and gained a Grade 2 listed status, as it was considered one of the three finest surviving piers at the time. Restoration work began in 1982 and did not finish until 1988. The pier was re-opened on Saturday, 7th May, 1988.

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Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015