Bangor High Street & Clock
Bangor shown within Wales
|Population||21,735 (2008 estimate)|
|OS grid reference|
|- Cardiff||183.6 mi|
|- London||258.2 mi|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|List of places: UK • Wales • Gwynedd|
Bangor is a city in Gwynedd, Wales, and one of the smallest cities in Britain. It is a university city with a population of 13,725 at the 2001 census, not including around 10,000 students at Bangor University. Including nearby Menai Bridge on Anglesey, which does not however form part of the City of Bangor itself, the population is about 18,000. Although it is Wales' fourth largest city, this is somewhat misleading as it only ranks as 36th largest urban area in Wales. According to the census, 46.6% of the population speak Welsh (despite the fact that most of the students come from outside Wales).
The origins of the city date back to the founding of a monastic establishment on the site of Bangor Cathedral by the Celtic saint Deiniol in the early 6th century AD. The name 'Bangor' itself is an old 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 lies on the coast of north Wales near the Menai Strait which separates the island of Anglesey from Gwynedd. Bangor Mountain lies to the east of the main part of the city, but the large housing estate of Maesgeirchen, originally built as council housing, is to the east of the mountain near Port Penrhyn. Bangor Mountain casts a shadow across the High Street, Glan Adda and Hirael areas, so that from November to March some parts of the High Street in particular receive no direct sunlight. Another ridge rises to the north of the High Street, dividing the city centre from the south shore of the Menai Strait; this area is known as Upper Bangor (Bangor Uchaf).
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 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 19th century, exporting the slates produced at the Penrhyn Quarry.
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 is home to a small BBC broadcasting centre, producing a large amount of output for BBC Radio Cymru. The studios are also the main North Wales newsroom for television, radio and online. The BBC's Light Entertainment Department moved to Bangor during World War II and many classic programmes (like ITMA) came from Bangor.
Bangor is also home to two commercial radio stations, Heart Cymru (serving Anglesey and Gwynedd) and Heart North Wales Coast (serving the North Wales Coast), which share studio facilities on the Parc Menai office complex.
In 1967, The Beatles came to Bangor, staying in Dyfrdwy, one of the halls comprising Adeilad Hugh Owen (Hugh Owen Building), now part of the Management Centre, for their first encounter with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, during which visit they learned of the death of their manager Brian Epstein.
On February 24th, 2010 BBC Radio 1's The Chris Moyles Show announced Bangor as the location for Radio 1's Big Weekend concert festival. The morning show was broadcast on location from Bangor, with the announcement as well as a portion of the lineup being revealed.
Bangor has a number of retail outlets on Caernarfon Road, on the outskirts of town. One of these is St. David's Retail Park which houses Matalan, DW Sports Fitness and PC World. It was constructed on the site of the demolished St David's maternity hospital. Other outlets along Caernarfon Road include a large modern Tesco.
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, 7 May 1988.
Bangor has a long-established football team, Bangor City F.C. which competes in the national Welsh Premier League (Formally League of Wales). Bangor City have won the League of Wales on two occasions and been continuous members of the league since its inception. Bangor City have also won the Welsh Cup seven times, most recently in 2009. Before 1992 they were members of the English football pyramid, peaking with the Northern Premier League title in 1982 and being FA Trophy runners-up in 1984. They have also competed in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup three times (including its final season, 1998-99, before being merged into the UEFA Cup), UEFA Champions League twice, and UEFA Cup five times, though they have not progressed far in any of the European competitions.
The city of Bangor is mentioned as the birthplace of the wife of Mr. Tebbs, in the popular BBC series "Are You Being Served?" in the series 6 episode "Shedding the Load."
Ysbyty Gwynedd is based in Bangor within the Penrhosgarnedd area. The hospital is the largest of all the North West Wales NHS Trust hospitals and the main administrative centre is based in Bangor.
Looking down the Garth Pier, Bangor, with the coast of Anglesey in the background
The High Street, Bangor
Bangor is a small city in Gwynedd.
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. However, as a bustling university town, the city is not lacking in cafes and restaurants and enjoys a vibrant night life.
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.
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:
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.
Students visiting or moving to Bangor with a lot of luggage may find it safest to travel by coach.
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:
There are more, and they're small private places with varied food and menus. It's worth asking a local!
|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!|