Let’s move to

Ban­gor, County Down

The Guardian - Weekend - - Contents -

What’s go­ing for it? Ban­gor is quite the sur­prise. I’m not sure what I was ex­pect­ing but I think it in­volved grey peb­bledash. The town is full of cheer. Vic­to­rian town­houses painted the colour of sweet­ies. Freshly paved streets with perky new trees, as if civic dig­ni­taries were ex­pect­ing the Queen on Tues­day. Be­ing a sea­side town in the Bri­tish Isles, it has that in­evitable dou­ble edge of joy and sor­row, but here joy gets the up­per hand. Partly that’s down to wealth. This area has long been nick­named the Gold Coast, pulling in Belfast’s rich for more than a cen­tury. While we’re not quite talk­ing Mal­ibu rich, the town has its share of hefty piles and la-di-da. You’ll have to travel a few min­utes out of town for de­cent beaches. Ban­gor’s pe­tite bay cuddles a ma­rina of yachts straight out of Howards’ Way (ex­tremely woke con­tem­po­rary cul­tural ref­er­ence there). Much of the town, though, is more your bucket-and-spade-kiss-me-quick sea­side, and all the bet­ter for it. Pickie Puffer, the minia­ture steam train that chuffs through Pickie Fun Park, is a par­tic­u­lar high spot. Who says I don’t know how to have fun? The case against Quite pricey, by lo­cal stan­dards.

Well con­nected? Trains: half-hourly to Belfast (40 mins). Driv­ing: on the A2 to Belfast (30 mins) and be­yond to Belfast air­port (45 mins).

Schools Pri­maries: Craw­fords­burn and St Malachy’s are “good”, says ETI North­ern Ire­land, with Bal­ly­holme, Kil­maine and Tow­erview “very good” and St Com­gall’s “out­stand­ing”; strike ac­tion pre­vented the lat­est re­ports at Grange Park, Bloom­field and Rath­more. Sec­on­daries: Ban­gor gram­mar is mostly “good”, St Colum­banus’ “very good”; strikes again pre­vented the lat­est in­spec­tion of Ban­gor Acad­emy.

Hang out at… Ban­gor Bay lob­ster at the Boat House? Or how about a nice pint at the old­est pub in town, Jenny Watts?

Where to buy A good wodge of seasidey Vic­to­rian town­houses and vil­las in gay colours, such as around Duf­ferin Av­enue, Bryans­burn Road and Farn­ham Road; and a denser, vil­lagey nook by the quay around Hol­born Av­enue. Big piles lurk west­wards, es­pe­cially the av­enues around Prince­town Road. South has pleas­ant sub­urbs on and off Gran­sha Road and Bal­ly­crochan Road. Large de­tacheds and town­houses, £300,000-£550,000. De­tacheds and smaller town­houses, £175,000£300,000. Semis, £120,000-£250,000. Ter­races and cot­tages, £70,000-£150,000. Flats, £60,000£150,000. Rentals: not that much around; a twobed­room flat, £450-£650pcm.

Bar­gain of the week This is a bar­gain – a onebed ter­race house “priced for mod­erni­sa­tion”, £45,000, with reed­srains.co.uk

Tom Dy­ck­hoff

Do you live in King’s Lynn? Do you have a favourite haunt or a pet hate? If so, email [email protected]­guardian.com by next Tues­day.

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