Thursday, December 14

A Visitor's Guide to Bangor, Ireland

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If you are looking for a place of peace and quiet where you can have the vacation of your dreams without the crowds, Bangor is the perfect Irish seaside destination just a 30-minute drive from Belfast. This was once a very popular resort in Victorian times and the stately homes along the harbor front will take you back through the pages of time.

There are several hotels and bed and breakfast establishments in Bangor where you will have a comfortable night’s sleep for an amazingly low price. The restaurants and cafes serve traditional Irish fare as well as international cuisine. However, the town is not conducive to late night dining as most of the eating establishments close down at 9 p.m.

There are no major sightseeing destinations within Bangor itself. It is a great base of operations for your tours of Belfast and the surrounding countryside. Within the town, though, there are great opportunities for those who enjoy walking. The Coastal Path is a walk that will take you along the water’s edge from the marina.

Take in the fantastic views of the marina from the end of the North Pier. Here you can also see a mosaic that honors the fleet anchored offshore on D-Day in 1944. Rose, the seal, is a icon that makes visitors and locals laugh as she frolics in the waters.

The North Down Museum is the place to visit if you want to learn about the Viking history of Bangor. Here you can find out some fascinating facts about the Vikings who visited this area in days long gone.

There are two major tourist destinations that are worthy day trips from Bangor. The Somme Heritage Centre is just three miles south of the town. Here the exhibits bring battle experiences of World War I to life in the life-sized figures and re-creations of trench warfare.

Mount Stewart House is a prime example of what affluent lifestyles were all about when the Protestant English started to take over Ireland. There are hourly tours of this stately mansion in which you can view the stunning furnishings and architecture. This house also contains the original seats that the heads of state of the European countries sat in when they held a Congress following Napoleon’s defeat in 1815. You can leave this site without taking a tour of the idyllic gardens where there are fanciful sculptures decorating the flowers and shrubs.

Bangor will provide you with a vacation to remember and one that you will want to repeat many times over.

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