With a population in 2001 of just 14,000 inhabitants, Bangor is one of the smallest cities in the United Kingdom. Bangor is located in County Gwynedd, on the north coast of Wales, along the Menai Strait that separates County Gwynedd from the island of Anglesey.
Bangor University is an important aspect of the city and, with 10,000 students, nearly doubles the population during school months. In fact, if you want to visit Bangor and avoid the crowded aspect of the student population, visit in July or August. Of the remaining local population, almost half speak Welsh.
Although the University is an important aspect of the city, Bangor’s main focal point is Bangor Cathedral. The site of the building has been a place of worship since the arrival of the Celtic Saint Deiniol in the 6th century AD. C. The cathedral itself dates from the 12th century, but has since been enlarged and altered. It is built in a low-lying area, which is believed to have been strategically chosen to prevent potential assailants from seeing the Cathedral from afar.
The city is bordered to the south by Bangor Mountain, which casts such a shadow that parts of the High Street are bathed in shadow throughout the winter. Venture to the top of the mountain for wonderful views of the city and the island of Anglesey.
Bangor is also known for Garth Pier, which at 1,500 feet is the second longest in Wales. It is known as one of the best in the UK and was almost demolished in 1974 due to its state of disrepair. It has since been completely renovated (work started in 1982 and completed in 1988) and even gained a grade 2 listed status.
Be sure to visit the Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery, which tells the story of Bangor and its people through the centuries. And if you’re feeling energetic, Bangor is at one end of the 60-mile North Wales Way, which features spectacular coastal scenery, and the other end is at Prestatyn.