Festive food, drink & crafts returns to Royal Hillsborough for a Christmas Market

With the festive season just around the corner, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is delighted to announce its first Royal Hillsborough Christmas Market, which will be set up along The Dark Walk and Hillsborough Fort. Due to popular demand, the market will take place over two days, Friday 10th December from 3pm-9pm and Saturday 11th December from 10am-3pm.

Visitors can expect a host of festive foods, gift ideas, activities and entertainment guaranteed to awaken the Christmas spirit in all adults, children and ‘Bah Humbugs’ alike! The Royal Hillsborough Christmas Market will provide over 50 local artisan food producers and craftspeople a platform to showcase their unique produce and festive gifts.

Commenting on the upcoming Royal Hillsborough Christmas Market, Alderman Amanda Grehan, Chair of the council’s Development Committee said, “We are thrilled to host the Royal Hillsborough Christmas Market and it is wonderful to see that the market will be extended across two days. The high standard of local artisan food and crafts traders taking part is impressive. We are sure all marketgoers will enjoy browsing the market stalls and independent village shops. We are very much looking forward to welcoming vast numbers of visitors to the Royal Hillsborough Christmas Market to enjoy the festivities.”

Self-proclaimed ‘foodies’ are in for a treat with the wide range of artisan producers taking part including local favourites Spontaneous Deuce, Ispini Charcuterie, Rosie McNeill Cakes and Jack’s Fudge. Other offerings include seasonal chutneys and preserves, speciality cheeses and rare breed meats, organic teas, juices and much more to fill your festive larder. There will also be an impressive line-up of artists and designer craftspeople along The Dark Walk, with local makers including Ellie MacCandles, Wendy Ward Design, Plumpy Balms, LG Jewellery, Ruth Osborne Art and Lauren Fowler Handcrafted Company all taking part.

In addition to the local artisan offering, marketgoers will also get the opportunity to explore the ever-popular local street-food scene in the grounds of Hillsborough Fort. Delicious aromas will be floating through the winter air from a range of gourmet street-food and drink vendors including Dough Heads, The Hatch and Tribal Burger, with warming coffees and hot chocolates from Percy’s Coffee and Steady Neddy’s to name just a few, each with their own distinctively seasonal menus developed using the best of Northern Ireland produce.

“Having the opportunity to showcase our home and handmade products at markets and fairs throughout Northern Ireland is extremely important for independent traders and producers alike, especially during the festive gift-buying season” said Sinead McAtamney of Ellie MacCandles. “The Royal Hillsborough Christmas Market will have a charming and festive atmosphere for traders and visitors alike. We are delighted to be able to take part to remind marketgoers of the sheer quality and importance of shopping locally at Christmas and throughout the year.”

To ensure a festive atmosphere like none other, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has made every effort to impress by calling upon the local community to provide the seasonal entertainment. The sweet sounds of the Downshire Primary School Choir and Friends’ School Brass Ensemble will be on hand to open proceedings and welcome visitors to the picturesque setting. Children can partake in seasonal craft activities and there will even be a visit from the big man, Santa himself, so if you are not already, you need to make you have made the ‘nice list’, in time for the market!

Royal Hillsborough Christmas Market is free to attend and will take place Friday 10th December from 3pm-9pm and Saturday 11th of December from 10am-3pm. The market will be managed with COVID-19 mitigation measures in place. The advice is to wrap up warm and join the festive fun.

For more information and updates visit  www.visitlisburncastlereagh.com or @VisitLisburnCastlereagh on Instagram.

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