Bangor’s history is a wide and varied one. The first settlement was in Neolithic times but it was the founding of the monastery by St Comgall in AD558 that laid the town foundations.
The trail focuses on many aspects of Bangor’s history highlighting it’s key sites and buildings of interest. The walk takes approx. 1½ hrs to complete (unless you follow the coastal path for a time or take a walk through one of the parks).
A number of beautiful beaches are found nearby - these include Helen's Bay Beach, Crawfordsburn Beach, Ballyholme Beach and Groomsport Beach.
Point of interest:Tower House, North Down Museum, Bangor Abbey, Bangor Castle
OS map:Sheet 15
Terrain:Urban footpaths and tarmac paths
Route:The walk begins at the Tower House on Quay Street on Bangor’s seafront. From here cross the road to the old Harbour Masters Office, the Eisenhower Pier, RNLI Lifeboat Station and the Long Hole.
Then turn back towards the town centre heading along the promenade past the Coastguard Station and McKee Clock. Go through the Sunken Gardens passing Bangor Marina to Pickie Park at the far end of the promenade next to the South Pier.
At this point you can continue on along the North Down Coastal Path towards Crawfordsburn and returning to the town walk at any time.
To follow the town walk turn left at the 2nd fountain, crossing through Marine Gardens and heading uphill on Tennyson Ave. Approx. 20m up this street turn left along Princetown Road to the roundabout. Follow Dufferin Avenue slightly to the left. Continue slightly uphill until reaching Main Street with the train station on you right and the Post Office straight ahead.
Turn right along Abbey Street, continue along this road until reaching a major junction and a set of traffic lights. Cross the road (to the left) and enter Bangor Abbey through the main gates at the front of the Abbey.
Having spent some time exploring the Abbey (open Wed, Thurs and Fri 2-4pm) and the grounds, exit through the gate to the rear of the Abbey.
Turn right passing Malachy's Wall, noting the sandstone Gate Lodge on your left. Continue through Castle Park to Bangor Castle (Bangor Town Hall) and North Down Museum (located at the rear of the Castle), which are surrounded by Castle Park.
On exiting the museum head towards Castle Park Road and turn right and make your way down Castle Park Road towards Ward Park.
If you have time, walk though the park and take in the sights including German submarine UB 19 boat from World War II, Bangor's War Memorial, children's playground and the parks wildlife, then return to Castle Street.
If time is short and you have to miss out on the park, turn left up Castle Street and head back toward the town centre, passing Bangor Hospital and Bangor Parish Church. Turn left at the Parish Church and walk approx. 100m to the Spectator Newspaper offices on your left and 1st Bangor Presbyterian Church opposite.
Turn and retrace your steps crossing at the lights at the Northern Bank (originally the market house, later a school and the town hall) on the corner of Main Street and Castle Street.
Head down Main Street on the right hand side where the walk finishes at Eason’s just past Trinity Presbyterian Church.
For those of you with a car parked at the shore, from here it is a short walk downhill and right along the shore front to the starting point.
Be sure to download the accompanying guide, which includes detailed information on the sites on the walk along with a map.
Facilities:Refreshment opportunities are numerous from fine dining to coffee shops. A wide variety of accommodation from hotels to B&B's, and self-catering to guest houses. Quality shopping from fashion to antiques. Various town centre car parks are available both free and pay and display. All include disabled parking. The most convenient parking is available in the free public car park opposite your starting point at Tower House.
Public toilets are located in the sunken gardens close to your starting and finish point, on Abbey Street en route to Bangor Abbey and at North Down Museum.
Accessible toilet facilities:Yes
Accessible terrain:The route is covered in the main by street paving. In other areas such as parks or the coastal path it is even bitmac type surface. There are a couple of areas of gradient which may cause mobility issues but they can be avoided without effecting the walk in the main. These areas are marked in the accompanying guide.
Publication:Bangor Town Walk and Cultural Trail
Publication availability:Downloadable from this site or at www.northdowntourism.com
The leaflet can also be collected from the Tourist Information Centre in Bangor, located at the start of the walk in the Tower House.
Getting to the start by public transport:Bangor is located 13 miles and 30 minutes from Belfast.
By car follow the A2. Drive through Bangor Town Centre and along Quay Street where you can park directly opposite Tower House the town’s Tourist Information Centre and starting point for the walk. Free Parking is available opposite Tower House.
By train or bus; the town’s bus and rail station is located in the town centre. From the station walk down Main Street and on reaching the sea front turn right along Quay Street to Tower House.