Can you remember what initially made you choose to study at Bangor University? If you’re like me, you were probably captivated by the marketing brochures which were filled with photos of the Menai Straits, Snowdonia National Park, and the beautiful and captivating Main Arts Building.
As a student at Bangor University, I feel incredibly lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the UK, with tourist attractions and natural beauty spots all around us. I aim to work hard during the week, and then take a day every weekend to explore one of Anglesey’s beautiful beaches or Snowdonia National Park. I’m now in my fourth year here and still discovering new places to visit every weekend. I don’t think I could ever get bored of living in North Wales, and I encourage you all to embrace this fascinating area too!
3rd year student and keen adventurer Rhiannon Besley is someone who inspires me on my North Wales adventures, as she’s always discovering new places and sharing them on Instagram. I chatted to Rhiannon to find out what her top-ten places are that she thinks students need to experience before graduating are, and this is what she said …
- Mount Snowdon
This is the highest mountain in Wales at 1,085m high. There are 6 different walking paths up the mountain with the Llanberis path being the least demanding. There is also the Snowdon Mountain Railway which takes you from Llanberis to the summit if you don’t fancy walking either or both ways.
Views from the summit are beautiful on a clear day but be prepared: the weather at the top can be different from at the bottom. Remember to pack lots of snacks to keep you energised!
- Llandudno / The Great Orme
This Victorian seaside town is full of things to do; from shopping to theatres, the promenade to the pier, cafes to beaches, it has it all. You can spend hours/days here and you won’t be bored. The West of Llandudno has the Great Orme, and there is a vast country park area for walking. Alternatively, you can drive around or to the summit for views of Llandudno and beyond. Seals are often spotted along the coastline here too!
- Zipworld Velocity 2
This is the world’s fastest zipline! With speeds over 100mph and zipping 1555m in length this is a great adventure if you want an adrenaline fix! The price is £65 approx.
- Beaches on the Isle of Anglesey
Anglesey is famous for its beaches. You can go to any part of the coast and you will find a gorgeous stretch of sand. Some of the most popular are Newborough, Rhosneigr, Benllech, Cable Bay and Aberffraw.
- Llyn Ogwen
This lake is only a short drive, bus or cycle from Bangor. It’s the base for a lot of mountain walks in the Glyderau, but for those not wanting to hike up mountains there are beautiful walks around the lakes – Ogwen and Idwal. If you’re walking around Idwal, make sure to look out for the famous Carneddau ponies that often appear there!
North Wales is brimming with historic castles. In fact, Wales has been nicknamed the ‘Castle Capital of the World’! One of the largest nearby is Caernarfon Castle, which you might have seen in the background of episodes of The Crown. Beaumaris, Penrhyn and Conwy castles are all lovely nearby places to visit and learn more about the history of North Wales.
- South Stack
This is an island just off Holyhead with a distinct lighthouse that you can cross a bridge and walk over to. There is a nature reserve for walking or wildlife spotting (it is popular for bird watching) and it is also a very beautiful spot to watch the sunset on a clear evening.
- Aber Falls
Aber Falls (or Rhaeadr Fawr in Welsh) is a spectacular 37 metre waterfall which is just a short drive away from Bangor. There is an easy walk to the waterfall from Abergwyngregyn, and there are also further, longer, more demanding walks which can be taken after reaching the falls.
This Italian-styled village is one of a kind. Spend a whole day pretending you’re in stunning Italy by the water with an ice cream, and visit the various shops and cafes. Portmeirion is full of endless backdrops for your Instagram photos and the restaurant is gorgeous too.
- Watersports / Boat Trip on the Menai Strait
Getting out onto the water here is so much fun. Whether its paddleboarding, jet skiing or a rib-ride boat you will have such a good time. Check out Plas Menai for hiring equipment.