Bangor, located in Maine, is the county seat for Penobscot County. It has a population around 33,000. It was founded in the middle of 19th century, initially based on lumber and building ships.
These industries saw the Penobscot River as the main draw, connecting to the Atlantic Ocean about 30 miles downstream.
This city has a rich past. The city’s economy today is built on many sources, including education, retail, and healthcare.
Bangor Marina is my first port of call. Most visitors to Bangor will arrive by yacht so Bangor Marina should be their first port of call. It is also the most popular attraction in the picturesque seaside town of Bangor. For those arriving by train or bus, follow the street to the end and you will be there. Bangor Marina is a great place to take a stroll around and is close to other attractions along the coast. The promenade that faces the sea is quite charming, but the Queen’s Parade is a little bit of a disaster. Ask any Bangorian about it and they’ll tell you “… that their art pods are amazing.
The Eisenhower North Pier
Near the Marina is Bangor’s Pier. Officially known as The Eisenhower Pier but some locals continue to call it North Pier. I don’t know why. Bangor’s Pier is where larger boats dock. In the opposite sea was once a large group of ships, led by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. They were preparing to attack Normandy at D-Day. The Eisenhower Pier is the result. Guillemots are also found at the Pier, which is home to some very elusive and erratic Guillemots. They seem to be migratory. There’s also a smaller, but still useful, pier at the entrance. It was used once to berth smaller vessels, but it seems more popular with dog walkers and seagulls. You can also fish or take a coastal boat tour. These tours are organized by Bangor Boat Tours from the Pier.
Pickie Fun Park
Pickie Fun Park can be found on the south side of Bangor Marina. It was once an outdoor swimming area (Pickie Pool). This is quite crazy considering the cold temperatures. The sea is not something I would recommend. It is now a Fun Park with tons of family fun, or at the very least, for the children. Attractions include the Pickie Puffer (a kids train track), Disco Ducks, and the main attraction of the Swans, the pedalo Swans. Make sure to bring your Lemon Top ice-cream. Pickie Fun Park is open every day between 09:00AM and 09:00PM in Spring and Summer. It also opens on different dates throughout the year. Fun fact: Pickie Fun Park is home to the “Pastie Supper Lover”, one of my favorite monuments in Bangor. It is being moved because of its location, which is quite dangerous next to a children’s playground.
The Coastal Path
You can walk from Bangor to Holywood by following the coast path that Pickie Fun Park has created. It’s about 10 miles, with 7 stops along the way. It’s probably best to take the train. There are many scenic spots along this route (as shown in our amazing video below), including coves and rugged coastlines, numerous pebble and sandy beaches, and connecting forest parks along its coast path. Strickland’s Glen is an excellent spot for carrying out beer, Buckfast, and cider (two leets, obviously). Crawfordsburn Country Park is a must-see. The iconic Irish coastlines are a highlight. It is truly a beautiful area of the globe.
Bangor Main Street
You can walk up to Bangor Marina or down to the bus and train stations. Depending on your origin, Bangor’s Main Street is where you are. This has been somewhat dead in recent years, or more specifically, the last 10 years. Maybe 15 years. This is true for most/most British towns, to be fair. Thanks to Amazon and out-of-town shops, it’s also the case in many British cities. It works better for tourism than the high-street shopping scene of old has a central cafe culture and quaint local charities shops. Although local business owners may not agree. There’s also the more common stuff like Subway Sandwiches, Boots, and other such things. It’s worth a visit to the Flagship Centre, an indoor mall located at the corner of Main Street. It’s a little ghost mall, and a monument to the UK’s declining economy.
Castle Park and Town Hall
For anyone arriving by train or bus, the first images in Bangor will be the Town Hall, and Castle Park. They are located directly opposite the stations. It’s hard to miss the Town Hall or Bangor Castle, which is located directly opposite the two stations. This area is a good starting point for exploring Bangor’s central town center. You can also start your exploration with the nearby Castle Park. It is more wooded than your typical town park. There aren’t many activities here, such as ducks and swans. It is a lovely place to go on a romantic walk. You’ll likely meet other dog walkers, squirrel chasers, and dogs walking dogs. There are a lot of interesting trees throughout the park for those who love botany. Castle Park also houses the North Down Museum.
North Down Museum
Although the North Down Museum is connected to the Town Hall’s side, the name may be misleading for those newcomers. It’s named after North Down, the local borough council. This is so that other areas don’t feel excluded. Most people simply call it Bangor Museum because it is in Bangor. Or the Bangor Heritage Centre. This was its older and better name before it gained’museum status’. They wanted to be proud. Bangor Museum isn’t one of the worst I’ve seen. My dad likes it. It is also easy to find in Castle Park. To share some of the most notable attractions, at least for me, there’s the Bangor Bell. It is a glass beehive on the upper floor and a replica Town Hall made from 2011 sugar cubes. You can also visit the museum for free, with an additional incentive from the Coffee Cure café.
The Walled Garden
The local tourist board calls this restored Victorian Garden “a real hidden gem”. It is worth a visit if you love gardens and flowers. There’s even a fountain in the middle. My mum likes it. It connects to Castle Park’s back, so you don’t have to travel far to find it. It is only open from Spring to the end of the Summer, and is therefore a seasonal attraction in Bangor. You will find the Bangor Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex, which has a swimming pool. There is also the retro-looking Omniplex cinemas nearby. If you have any questions, they are always available.
Ward Park can be found following Hamilton Road, but it is a little further from Main Street. It has ponds and ducks and people feeding them. There are also aviaries that house exotic birds. You can copy/paste the Discover NI website, but I’m lazy. “Ward Park is a 37-acre park that includes a children’s playground and all-weather hockey pitches, putting green, bowling greens, and putting green. The War Memorial monument is another notable attraction. A U-Boat gun, which can be used to swing upside down from, is also available. Fun fact. Fun fact. The local media tracked down Dianna Peacock, the otherwise unknown Councillor, to report on the matter.