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The quality maritime resort of Bangor is situated on the picturesque south shore of Belfast Lough, some 12 miles east of Belfast. For more than 150 years, Bangor has been one of Northern Ireland's main tourist destinations. An array of top class attractions and specialist activities combine with everything from the best in family entertainment to superb facilities for the international sportsperson and excellent shopping, boasting one of Northern Ireland's most accessible towns for disabled people.
The centre of the town has seen major regeneration over the last decade. The seafront development which includes Bangor Marina, the largest in Northern Ireland, has cost over £20 million. Recently the Marina was awarded the prestigious 5 Gold Anchor Award. World class sailing events attract visitors from all over the globe. The impressive Marina acts as a wonderful backdrop to the beautiful landscaped gardens and promenade which surround it. On the far side of the Marina is Pickie Family Fun Park, a seaside oasis for children with giant swan pedal boats, paddling pools, adventure playgrounds, a cafe and a miniature railway.
Other attractions include the North Down Museum, situated at the back of the Town Hall in the beautiful parkland and gardens of Castle Park. Close by is Bangor Leisure Centre, a Multiplex Cinema and Ward Park where you can encounter exotic wildlife, enjoy a game of bowls or play tennis amid a blaze of colourful flowerbeds.
Bangor is unique in that it offers the visitor all the traditional attractions of a seaside resort but combines this with excellent shopping. Two major shopping centres have been built in the last few years, the Flagship Centre in the centre of town, and Bloomfield Centre on the Ring Road. These are complemented by a variety of quality shops, while Grays Hill offers a cluster of specialist antique shops.
The Wednesday Market is as popular as ever and there is an ever-increasing number of superb restaurants offering international cuisine. Mouth-watering menus are provided by top class hotels, guest houses, restaurants and pubs. Busy bistros mix with pizza parlours and burger bars, satisfying the appetites of adults and children alike, and each one has its own style and its own special ambience. Traditional pubs stand side by side with modern wine bars, and music of all sorts from foot-tapping folk to dynamic discos and this all adds to the convivial atmosphere and fun, known locally as "the craic"!
Bangor and North Down have some of Northern Ireland's best hotels, from the luxurious five star Culloden at Cultra to the Clandeboye Lodge set in the grounds of Clandeboye Estate, or the Old Inn in the picturesque Crawfordsburn which dates back to 1614. The Marine Court Hotel on the seafront has excellent leisure facilities and complements the refurbished Royal Hotel and Bangor Bay Inn. A full range of quality Guest Houses and Bed & Breakfast accommodation is also available.
Bangor is also known as Northern Ireland's premier events location, and major events combine with community and art festivals as well as concerts and firework displays which are organised throughout the year. So whether you're staying in a cottage, hotel, B&B or enjoying a short break or business trip, Bangor's unique combination of attractions, activities and accommodation will ensure a holiday you will long remember.