Bangor, County Down

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Located within the Belfast metropolitan area, Bangor is a large seaside town in the North Down district of County Down. It is positioned on the southern shore of Belfast Lough on the inlet of the sea. The town is the seat for the east-central Bangor Marina, which holds the Blue Flag status and is one of the largest marinas in Northern Ireland. This cathedral town has derived its name from the Irish word Beannchar, archaically termed as Beannchor, which means horned or peaked curve with a staked enclosure. The town is named so because of the shape of Bangor Bay appears similar to that of the horns of a bull.

The name of the town was originally recognized as “Inver Beg”, which was christened after the stream which ran past the abbey. However, the water of this stream is now channelled beneath the embankment. The Vale of Angels is another name given to this area; this name denotes the stay of Saint Patrick, who was an Irish glorified soul believed to have had a vision filled with angels.

In about 555 A.D., St. Comgall laid the foundations of a monastery in the heart of the town. This monastery, since then, has been considered a celebrated seat of learning. In the late 9th century, invasions of Danes destroyed Bangor. In the mid 12th century, the town was partially restored by St. Malachy, which includes the part of his stone church. Presently, the town has boomed as an important seaside resort with a small harbour. Along with numerous local industries, including light industry and a large retail centre, the town houses the headquarters of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club. Bangor also serves as a centre of cotton production and a Victorian and Edwardian holiday resort.

Predominantly, this dormitory town has a residential setup, with population totalling up to more than 58,388 in number. However, Bangor is reckoned as commuter town as it serves numerous people travelling from the Greater Belfast area. It is well-connected to other parts of the Northern Ireland with a direct railway line. Moreover, George Best Belfast City Airport, which stands 13.6 miles (22 km) east from the heart of Belfast, makes it convenient for tourists from all across the globe to visit this place. With its dazzling coastline, the town boasts an unusual blend of various activities, and offers elegance and comfort expected by today’s enthusiastic guests. Established in the year 1973, Bangor is twinned with the Austrian city of Bregenz, the German city of Prum and the US city of Virginia Beach.

Another captivating site in Bangor is the Bangor Old Custom House, which is located a few miles away from the heart of the town. The Clandeboye Estate, the largest remaining single piece of land owned in the area, is a prominent sightseeing attraction here. Bestowed with magnificent monuments and a beautiful seafront, this Irish town of County Down is a widely sought-after tourist destination, with tourism booming in summer. In 2007 and 2008, Ulster Television viewers voted Bangor as one of the most favoured tourist destinations in Ulster.

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About the author

Originally from Scotland, Colin now resides near the beautiful seaside town of Portstewart on the Causeway Coastal Route. By day he works in IT and by day off he spends much of his time travelling around the Island with his young family, writing about his experiences for many sites both locally and nationally.