Bangor, a cathedral city in northwestern Wales with plenty of history which commands the northern entrance to the Menai Straits, is a small but lively city and is home to Bangor University.
As the oldest city in Wales, Bangor attracts tourists every year who plan to either stay for the duration in the city or who are also looking to take day trips to neighbouring areas such as the Isle of Anglesey. So if you are planning a family trip to Bangor, this article will cover the top 10 things to do in Bangor with kids:
1. Penrhyn Castle and Garden
Starting off our top 10 things to do in Bangor with kids is this Castle which was built in the early 19th century and is preserved by the National Trust, it has impressive architecture, luxurious interiors and a fine art collection which lean on years of British history. Set on the Menai Straits, with a backdrop of Snowdonia’s summits, Penrhyn Castle boasts views to its quarry, and to the port where slate was exported around the world. It is surrounded by wooded and open parkland, great for exploring and walking, and has a walled Garden which is even older than the Castle and provides tranquility, perfect for your family to stop and sit and eat your packed lunches. The Castle, and its amenities such as the Garden, Shop and Cafe are all open every day from 10am till 4pm, with last entry at 3.15pm, tickets cost £13 for adults, £6.50 for children, £32.50 for a family and £19.50 for a one adult family. For more information, click here.
2. Bangor Garth Pier
Celebrating its 126th year anniversary in May this year, the Bangor Garth Pier has the most magnificent views of the Isle of Anglesey, the beautiful waters of the Menai Straits, Snowdonia and Llandudno. At intervals along the length of the Pier deck, you will see pretty Victorian kiosks, each of which contains a small enterprise such as a Gallery with lovely original artwork; mostly local land and seascapes, The Pavilion which serves homemade soup or veg broth with a bread roll for only £3.50 or the Whistlestop Cafe on the Pier which occupies just a small kiosk with room for just two tables inside was named one of the best places to eat in the city, after receiving 53 five-star reviews from visitors on Trip Advisor. Perfect for a stroll with your children after a busy day or if you want to soak up the sun and admire the fantastic views, if you are visiting Bangor, the Garth Pier is a must.
3. Greenwood Family Park
Voted the best family attraction in North Wales, this eco-adventure park is another one of our top 10 things to do in Bangor with kids as it is packed full of quirky thrill rides, plenty of activities and playground areas so your little adventurers won’t be disappointed! This forest family adventure park is suitable for any ages from toddlers to grown-ups, with eco-friendly rides including the World’s Only People Powered Rollercoaster ride and the water ride Splashdown which is the UK’s first solar-splash-powered water slide. You can also go super sliding on North Wales’ longest sledge run and tower climbing. Greenwood also offers glamping experiences as you can rest up in the Tipi Woodland Village, with the luxury Tipis having log burners, quality snuggle duvets and amazing views over Snowdonia. Children under three years old go free to the park, tickets for children over three cost £16 online/£18 walk-up and £19/£22.50 at peak times, adult tickets cost £16.50 online/£20 walk-up and £19.50/£23 at peak times. To book, click here.
We have a full review of Greenwood Forest Park here.
4. Bangor Local Market
Every Friday in the centre of town on Bangor High Street you will find this local market where you can purchase fresh Welsh produce, home and garden items, gifts, crafts and lifestyle essentials. From fish and chips, to handmade jewellery, to perfumes and beauty products, to scarves and bags, this market really has so much to explore and find. Visit this market if you want to soak up the atmosphere of Bangor and feel like a true local. There are also often exciting events held here too such as live music and street art, including ‘Chalk the Walk’ for passers-by to get involved in. The market is held between the hours of 9am to 4pm, so whether you want to get your morning coffee from an independent cafe stall, or treat the kids to lunch and a browse round the arts and crafts, this market is definitely worth a visit during your stay in Bangor.
5. Y Llangollen
This restaurant makes it into our top 10 things to do in Bangor with kids due to it having fantastic reviews and offering traditional Welsh and other British cuisines, with both lunch and dinner menus. Situated on Bangor High Street, it is the perfect place to stop after a long day walking or exploring with your children. Serving everything from a Sunday roast, to salmon or lamb, to pizzas, to vegetarian and vegan dishes and even a wide variety of desserts including cheesecakes and waffles, it’s sure to suit the whole family. For the adults you can enjoy delicious beer, ale, wine or a variety of cocktails and this spot is also known for its fantastic service, and decent pricing as well as having lovely modern decor. For enquiries or to book, call 01248605175.
6. The Play Centre in Bangor
Great for a rainy day or when the kids are restless, this indoor soft play centre is the perfect place to keep your children entertained, with this safe and secure multi level play environment with a newly extended toddler zone. Suitable for children aged from 12 months to 12 years old, there is everything from climbing frames, tunnels, slides to ball pools and even arcade machines. For parents, they are able to relax in their comfy zones which have complimentary newspapers and magazines, and you can also grab something to eat or drink. Located on the High Street, the Play Centre is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 10am to 4pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 6pm, prices range from £3 to £4.25 and crawlers go free.
7. Menai Suspension Bridge
This suspension bridge spanning the Menai Straits between the island of Anglesey and the Welsh mainland was designed by Thomas Telford and completed in 1826, and was the world’s first major suspension bridge. At 1,265 feet long and with a central span of 579 feet, it is quite magnificent to see the architecture and at night, when it is lit up, is even more spectacular. Take an evening walk across the bridge and you’re sure to capture some amazing photographs, or visit the bridge in the day and you’ll find easy access to the Belgium Promenade which runs adjacent below the bridge next to the Menai Straits. Although this is not an attraction which will fill up a whole day, it is a stunning piece of infrastructure, which has a height and width to amaze your little ones, and where you will find great views.
8. Day out to Anglesey
Just a 20 minute drive from Bangor is the Isle of Anglesey which is a famous holiday destination, and the largest island in Wales and the seventh largest in Britain. Its coastline is classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with many sandy beaches, notably along the east coast between Beaumaris and Amlwch and west coast from Ynys Llanddwyn through Rhosneigr to the bays around Carmel Head. Whether you and your family are looking for tranquility, adventure or exploration, you can go swimming in the sea, visit several of the island’s historical sites, or take a trip to Anglesey Sea Zoo and observe the marine wildlife. You definitely don’t need to worry about finding somewhere to eat or drink in Anglesey too as there are several cafes and restaurants to choose from.
You can read our 10 Things to do in Anglesey with Kids
9. Aber Falls
A half hour drive away from Bangor you will find one of Snowdonia’s most dramatic waterfalls; Aber Falls, where you can soak up nature and wildlife and discover beautiful and breathtaking scenery. Situated at the northern foothills of the Carneddau, the waterfall is part of Afon Goch’s (Red River) final descent to the Menai Straits. The river plummets dramatically from a height of 120 feet, crashing into a shallow rocky pool. The route, there and back again, is 4.5km and generally takes about an hour, so it is very popular amongst those who do not want to spend their whole day walking, or families with young children who will become very tired after walking for over an hour. Be aware that especially on weekends and during school holidays, the car parks available fill up quickly.
10. Storiel Museum and Gallery
The final of our top 10 things to do in Bangor with kids is this museum which houses a collection that was first formed in 1884 by Bangor University as well as the Gwynedd county collection. There are a variety of exhibitions on display here and many artifacts, including the Roman Segonitium sword, the Welsh Not and the King of Bardsey’s crown. There are also art galleries here which have a range of pieces by local and international artists, for example at the moment until the 25th June there is an exhibition on an open theme showing art-work of various media including painting, print, photography, textiles and ceramic. There is a shop too where you can purchase hand-made crafts such as jewellery, greeting cards and prints. Storiel is open from 11am to 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday and is free to enter.