Image of Bangor Marina. Boats can be seen docked in the marina. A row of colourful townhouses can be seen in the background. Image used in the Guide to living in Bangor blog post
7 May 2021

A guide to living in Bangor


Are you planning a move to Bangor? have created a guide to living in Bangor which showcases the best that this seaside town has to offer.

Living in Bangor

A seaside resort on Belfast’s doorstep, the beauty of Bangor is immediately evident upon arrival. The bustling town boasts an array of places to explore, making it a popular destination with locals, day-trippers and tourists alike.

The picturesque marina is the backdrop to Bangor Castle, the Abbey, North Down Museum and the ever-popular Pickie Funpark, while outdoor activities such as sailing, golfing and karting truly offers something for everyone.

Renowned as a town steeped in natural history, Bangor has seen plenty of talent hail from here in recent years, paving the way for a new story to tell. Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, musician Voy Fance, Blue Peter’s Zoe Salmon and Winter Paralympics athlete, Kelly Gallagher are just a few of the famous faces who once called Bangor home. In 1858, author Charles Dickens sought solace during a lecture tour by taking a swim at Ballyholme Beach.

Those living in Bangor benefits from a perfect fusion of independent retailers and high street stores on their doorstep. Shoppers flock to the Bloomfield Centre and Springhill Shopping centre, while those who seek something a little bit different have their needs met thanks to a collection of one-of-a-kind boutiques. A wealth of eateries, pubs and entertainment venues cater to your every whim.

A lighthouse logo and detached house with garage logo. Used in the Guide to living in Bangor blog post.

Who is Bangor ideal for?

An area of prime development, Bangor presents a variety of new-build homes in highly sought after areas. Those living in Bangor enjoys close proximity to Belfast which makes it a firm choice for families who commute to the city by day and soak up the idyllic location of Bangor by night.

The town also offers a variety of mansion style homes, apartments, semi-detached and detached houses, meaning living needs are easily met.

Compass logo used in the Guide to living in Bangor blog post.

Where to eat in Bangor?

  • The Salty Dog: In two old Victorian townhouses beautifully restored into a boutique hotel, The Salty Dog presents fine dining, with views of Bangor’s Marina and Belfast Lough. This makes it a hub of tranquility and the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
  • Jamaica Inn: The homely atmosphere of The Jamaica Inn is instantly inviting. Stunning views, log fires, hot toddies and freshly cooked food proves a winning recipe, which sees diners frequently return.
  • Porky’s Smokehouse & Grill: The smokehouse and grill provides a taste of America, served in a party atmosphere. A popular hotspot for celebrations, the restaurant offers classic BBQ dishes, which go down an absolute storm.
  • The Ava Wine Bar & Bistro: Modern décor is housed in a building dating back to 1840 for a twist on the expected. Customer favourite dishes are served alongside cocktails with five-star service for a winning combination.
  • Yaks: Serving contemporary Nepalese and Indian dishes, Yaks is popular with a wide range of diners. An emphasis is on great food at affordable prices, which therefore sees this as a thriving restaurant.
  • The Guillemot Kitchen Café and Wine Bar: For casual dining, make this hidden gem your first port of call. Customer favourites such as Spanish tostada and Mediterranean lunch can be enjoyed with a crisp, cold glass of wine.
  • The Boat House: If you’re looking for fine dining, then The Boat House is simply unmissable. Set in one of Bangor’s most unique building, you can enjoy locally sourced produce and speciality seafood which is perfectly matched to their extensive wine menu.
  • The Wheathill: Expect a modern twist on traditional dishes, expertly created using local produce. An original menu, sociable atmosphere, warm welcome and spectacular views prove the ideal combination at what has become a popular eatery in Bangor.
Map logo used in the Guide to living in Bangor blog post

What to do in Bangor?

  • Bangor Castle: A great starting point for soaking up Bangor’s heritage, the castle was built in 1852 for the Ward Family. Nowadays, it’s home to Ards and North Down Borough Council, with the mansion’s spectacular grand salon used as the council chamber. Situated in the grounds of Castle Park and just a short walk from Bangor Castle Walled Garden, spend a few hours here and revel in its beauty.
  • Bangor Abbey: Evolved in line with history, the church was subjected to Viking attacks, and restored to its former beauty in the 1600s. The churchyard houses an array of fascinating gravestones, including a memorial to the assistant surgeon of the Titanic, John Edward Simpson.
  • Pickie Funpark: Down by the marina resides the institution of Pickie Funpark. Offering the opportunity for a fun-filled family day out, the park boasts many activities including the Pickie Puffer Steam Train, pedal boat swans and an 18-hole nautical inspired mini-golf course.
  • Bangor Marina: Recognised as one of Ireland’s largest marinas, Bangor Marina was awarded Blue Flag status. The McKee Clock and Sunken Gardens can also be found here, while the maritime-inspired Sea Bangor Festival is a highly anticipated summer event.
  • North Down Museum: Uncover the history of Bangor in its dedicated museum. Travel from the Bronze Age to the present day or enjoy a free exhibition hosted throughout the year.
  • Clandeboye Estate: The historic Clandeboye Estate and Courtyard is one of just a handful in Northern Ireland, which is still under the ownership of the original family. Spread across 2000 acres, discover private gardens or check out a regular event.
  • Bangor Golf Club: Quoted by Rory McIlroy as “one of my favourite parkland courses in Ireland”, Bangor Golf Club is located a stone’s throw away from the town centre. Charming and challenging in equal measures, the 18-hole championship course boasts exquisite views.
School logo used in the Guide to living in Bangor blog post.

Schools in Bangor

  • Glenlola Collegiate: Glenlola Collegiate is a dynamic girls’ grammar school set in the heart of Bangor. First established in 1880, this school is steeped in history and has a strong focus on academic achievement and extracurricular activities.
  • Bangor Grammar School: Bangor Grammar was first established in 1828 and now resides on a brand-new site in Bangor. The school exists to provide the best in modern grammar education. Bangor Grammar excels within its sporting teams and offers a vast range of extra-curricular activities.
  • St Columbanus’ College: St Columbanus’ College was established in 1960 to serve the parishes of Bangor, Holywood and Newtownards. The school has a wide curriculum and an emphasis on vocational & technical skills.
  • South Eastern Regional College: SERC is a further education college which offers a range of traditional and vocational courses for further and higher education. The Bangor campus specialises in Sciences, Technology, Media, Arts, Construction and Sports.
A lighthouse logo and detached house with garage logo. Used in the Guide to living in Bangor blog post.

Properties for sale in Bangor

Plan on living in Bangor? Are you searching for a property for sale in Bangor? Find out what’s on offer at

Properties for sale in Bangor.

Properties to let in Bangor

Looking to rent a property in Bangor? Find out what’s available to let on

Properties to rent in Bangor

Searching for jobs in Bangor?

Are you searching for a job in Bangor? Browse current vacancies from companies and recruitment agencies on

View all jobs in Bangor

Planning your next move?

Check out the area guides from across Northern Ireland here.

Related Articles