Bangor is one of the campus centres of the University of Wales and the town’s population practically doubles during term time when an influx of 12, 000-odd students makes this one of the most important centres of learning in Wales. The town itself will win no beauty contests and relies rather heavily on its raucous student-night drinks promotions to foster a sense of nightlife.
Bangor is a major transport hub, however, with a raft of onward connections to Anglesey and Snowdonia, making it a useful place to break your journey before continuing onwards.
The first settlement of Bangor was probably a monastery established in AD 525 by St Deiniol, and the small, lopsided, proud cathedral named after him is the town’s main attraction today. Bangor was also a popular destination in Victorian times and retains lots of solid red-brick buildings from that period, particularly on the waterside bluffs, where a fanciful pier – wrought-iron, turreted and long – stretches out into the Menai Strait.