If you’re heading to Wales and looking for a complete guide to Bangor, look no further!
Ever since my dreamy escape to Langland Bay in Swansea, I was itching to come back and explore more.
Coincidentally, as I was daydreaming Virgin Trains reached out, looking to show people some of the amazing destinations that are available on their map. Bangor happened to be one of those destinations and was highlighted as a city break that’s easily accessible and filled with adventure.
So I headed over to north-west Wales to check Bangor out and explore its offerings. In this blog post, I’m going to share all my findings with you…
If you do happen to plan a trip to Bangor, consider extending it with a trip to the Gower Peninsula in South Wales. It’s flippin’ gorgeous!
A guide to Bangor, Wales…
How do you get to Bangor?
My friend Lydia and I took the 3-hour direct train from London Euston to Bangor (North Wales). The train station was just a 10-minute stroll into the city centre.
Typically, when I travel I’m either flying or road tripping to my destination. Both have their advantages, but both also have the disadvantages of airport security faffs, delays, traffic jams, navigation mess ups etc. As much as there can be adventure in some of the latter, getting the train really was a breath of fresh air for me!
From the moment I stepped on the train, my holiday began.
From there, all I had to think about was which biscuits I wanted with my tea from the on-board cafe and which direction I fancied facing. I used the journeys to edit my content and catch up on work on my laptop. I even browsed Lonely Planet magazine on Virgins BEAM app (an app that allows you to watch movies/entertainment on the journey for free).
Other transport options include:
The best places to eat in Bangor…
I highly recommend the ginger crunch dessert at Voltaire, a vegan restaurant!
Blue Sky Cafe
Blue Sky Cafe is definitely a slice of me, and probably my favourite restaurant-find in Bangor. It was highly recommended to me and sits high in TripAdvisor’s recommendations. It’s definitely no secret, but it’s still amazing. Blue Sky Cafe has an open plan, wooden interior and serves a health conscious menu filled with freshly cooked and locally sourced ingredients.
I noticed they host a lot of live music and comedy nights there too, so definitely head down there, be it for a hot chocolate and marshmallows or an evening cocktail.
Note: Currently closed after a devastating fire that destroyed the building in December 2019. The owners are deciding what to do next, but I hope they reopen somehow as the food was incredible!
The best things to do in Bangor, Wales…
1. Explore the university.
We accidentally stumbled across the paved balcony at the back of the university, which gave us the most gorgeous panoramic view over Bangor. We then continued on throughthe side door of the Old Building, founded in 1884, up the stairs and to the third floor for more beautiful views.
2. Have afternoon tea at the Cricket Pavilion Tea Room & Cafe.
3. Watch the sunset from Bangor Pier.
4. Head to Zipworld at Penrhyn Quarry to take on Europe’s longest and the world’s fastest zip-line.
I have done many a zip-line in my time, and hands down, I can say this was my favourite. You go so fast, the ground drops as you glide over the quarry lake and the length of the zip line means you have time to enjoy it. Like, really enjoy it and take in the stunning surroundings which, if you go on a nice day like we did, will blow your mind. Check out the website here.
5. Hike the Cwm Idwal walk.
This is a 4.8km hike through part of Snowdonia National Park. If you want to go big and you have time, you should definitely consider ascending Snowdon itself. Check out my guide to climbing Snowdon here.
If you’d like to hike but don’t consider yourself very fit or even enthusiastic about a strenuous hike, you can still park at Ogwen Cottage and walk up to Lake Idwal, which is equally as stunning. Check out all the photos from my Cwm Idwal walk here.
6. Explore Penrhyn Castle.
7. Marvel at Bangor Cathedral.
8. Go for a morning wander on the pier.
9. Go chocolate tasting in ‘Two guys from Brussels’.
Watch our weekend in Bangor come to life here…
Have you been to Bangor?
What were your favourite things to do in Bangor? I’d love to know!
Love as always and happy adventuring,