Earlier this year, 2002, in May, I travelled to Bangor. I went there with some big expectations because it’s the oldest city in Wales. You’d think that I would have a tonne to tell you, but I’m sorry I don’t since, in all honesty, I wasn’t all that impressed on this trip and I couldn’t get to some of the places I wanted to visit.
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It was a little run-down
It looked pretty dingy and run-down, at least in the city centre, and there were lots of boarded-up shops, which is really sad for a once-thriving city.
Since I just visited the centre and not too far outside of it, I can only report on those areas. Given that I was only there for a single day, there may be far more to it and several locations to find that I am unaware of. Please don’t misunderstand me; I’m sure there are many that genuinely enjoy Bangor, but I suppose it depends on individual tastes. But nonetheless, I did find some beauty spots.
Things start to look up
I remember Googling the location to see what places and things I could visit around the city centre or within walking distance of the center; normally, I take buses and venture out, but I didn’t want to do that; I wanted a fairly relaxed day without having to rely on public transportation, and though there weren’t many recommendations near the city center, I decided the things recommended would suffice.
As a traveler, I have an important rule I go by, and it is that no matter where I go, regardless, I must make the most of the adventure and look for all the positives of a place. So I started to seek out some of those recommendations I had found within walking distance.
Garth Pier is a listed structure and the second-longest pier in Wales, ninth overall in the British Isles. It is just a short 14-minute walk from the centre of Bangor.
There was a 50p charge to entire and no time retrictions at least when I went.
The pier and its surrounding area were beautiful.
After a walk down the pier, I walked around the cute residential area and found this little spot of beach down an alleyway and ate my lunch here; if I had known this part of the day would be the best highlight of my day, I would have stayed a little longer, but the curious Annie in me wanted to get going with zeal to see what else was on offer.
Port Penrhyn Harbour
Port Penrhyn Harbour was once a major exporter of slate from Penrhyn Quarry, which was once the world’s largest slate quarry.
There wasn’t that much to do here, but it was nice to walk around and enjoy the views of the mountains in the distance.
Lon Las Ogwen
Now this is the most disappointing part of my trip because I was really looking forward to visiting Lon Las Ogwen and the pictures looked absolutely breathtaking.
I couldn’t find this place for some reason and ended up here with no idea where I was, but it definitely wasn’t Lon Las Ogwen.
I had Google Maps on to help me find this place, but it kept leading to a set of gates that were closed, and then to a restricted residential area that I couldn’t get access to. So it ended up just sitting here. It was so quiet. I was here for almost 40 minutes, and I didn’t see a single person, just birds. It was actually quite blissful, but it was a little chilly. I couldn’t help but think how beautiful this little spot would be on a day when the tide was in.
As I wasn’t successful in finding this place, you may want to take a look here to discover more.
Besides the above-mentioned, I didn’t really do much else besides browsing in some shops and purchasing a new jumper before heading back to the train station.
Other recommended places I didn’t get to visit
I wanted to visit Penrhyn Castle, but unfortunately for me, on the day I went, the castle was closed and was only open over the weekends, although now it is back to its normal opening hours. The castle and its gardens look so beautiful, and I’m looking forward to visiting one day in the near future.
Menai Suspension Bridge
I also wanted to visit Menai Bridge; however, it was a 20-minute bus ride away or a 45-minute walk, and given my limited time, I wasn’t able to do so.
The Menai Suspension Bridge, which was built by Thomas Telford, is connected with the Britannia Bridge, built by Robert Stephenson, and connects Anglesey to mainland Gwynedd. It is a popular tourist attraction. The Swellies are located between the two bridges and are popular for their swirling whirlpools and ever-changing tide currents.
Overall, it wasn’t the best day trip. However, I would definitely go back to see the sites I missed I think had I gotten to visit these places, it would have added a lot more value to my trip. Nonetheless, it was good to get out and visit a new destination.
I also thought it was a little unfortunate that over the years, the oldest city in Wales has not received as much investment as other cities have, but I’m happy to learn that there are fresh plans and finances for a redevelopment. So I’m quite looking forward to seeing what will happen in the future in this city.
All in all I would definitely re- visit with a bit more organisation.
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