28/11/2018

Your Guide To Northern Ireland's Christmas Markets

News Image

The Christmas countdown is on, so why not kick-start the celebrations with a wander through one of Northern Ireland's Christmas markets to really get you into the festive spirit. From browsing unique gifts, to sampling mulled wine or meeting Santa, Christmas markets are an excellent way for people of all ages to start the season.
Some may be enticed by the smell of cinnamon and roasted chestnuts alone, but if that isn't enough, the details below should have you filling your festive diary in no time.

Ballycastle Christmas Artisan Market
On 09 December the North Coast and Glens step into Christmas with an artisan market in Ballycastle that offers many hand crafted treats and a rumoured visit from Santa.
Head to the town's Marine Hotel anytime between 11am and 5pm for some festive indulgence and a taste of what the finest local artists have to offer.
A "fabulous fanfare" is in store at the free event, with home-made festive treats, quirky gift ideas, aromas of mulled wine and many eclectic treasures that won't be found anywhere else.

The Creative Peninsula Christmas Fair, Newtownards
For a unique shopping experience, craftspeople and artists from the Ards Peninsula will be showcasing their designs at the Creative Peninsula Christmas Fayre in Newtownards.
This free event runs on Friday 30 November and Saturday 01 December from 10am-5pm, the perfect way to start the merry month.
When browsing the Georgian and Sunburst galleries of the Ards Arts Centre you are sure to get some gift inspiration from the vast array of unique handcrafted items on offer, and maybe even tick-off the pickiest family members from your shopping list.
Seasonal interludes, complimentary gift wrapping (to save you struggling with sellotape on Christmas Eve) and festive refreshments are also on offer!
Donations will be accepted in aid of the chosen charities of the Mayor of Ards and North Down Borough Council.

Belfast Christmas Market
The popular Belfast Christmas Market will return to the city from 17 November- 22 December, giving you plenty of time to squeeze in your annual wander through the grounds of the City Hall to absorb the sights and smells of the season.
Enjoy a hot mug of Glühwein (mulled wine), taste the delicate meat flavours from around the world, indulge in some mouth-watering chocolates or feast on a hog roast…the choice is yours!
Bring the kids to visit Santa in his magical grotto and support a local charity before taking a ride on the vintage carousel, or if you're feeling brave, enjoy a birds eye view of the market from the top of the helter skelter.
The Belfast market really does have something for everyone…you can also sample some foreign beers at the Continental Bar or hear some great live music at Lavery's traditional Irish bar.
The opening times from Saturday 17 are as follows:
• Monday- Wednesday: 10am-8pm
• Thursday- Saturday: 10am-10pm (Open 12noon on Saturday 17 December. Closes 6pm on Saturday 22 December)
• Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Santa's Grotto will be open Monday to Wednesday 3pm-6pm, Thursday to Friday 2pm-7pm, Saturday 11am-7pm and Sunday 12noon to 6pm.
Get in quick and post Santa a letter by Tuesday 18 December (in his very own post box in the grounds of the market) to receive a letter back!
For more information on the market, visit Belfast Christmas Market

Christmas at St. George's Market
Festivities will begin at one of Belfast's much loved weekly markets on November 24, when Father Christmas makes his grand arrival to May Street.
While Santa spreads festive cheer, traders will have a wide variety of seasonal treats on offer. From locally grown ingredients to take home for your Turkey dinner, to unique handmade gifts for that perfect present, St. George's market has Christmas covered this year.
A selection of live performances from local musicians are also scheduled for the advent period at the market, which runs until 23 December, along with a selection of children's activities to bring a touch of magic for the little ones.
As if that isn't enough, clear your calendar for the evening of Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 for the Christmas Twilight Market, where you will step into a winter wonderland of your favourite local traders with an added touch of Christmas sparkle.
St. George's Market will be open as usual over the festive period, during the following opening hours:
• Fridays 6am-3pm
• Saturdays 9am-3pm
• Sundays 10am-4pm
• Extended opening hours on Christmas Eve, Monday 24 December, from 8am-2pm.

Latest Northern Ireland Features

20 May 2019
What's On Spring-Summer 2019
As the evenings stretch out and temperatures begin to soar this spring, calendars are filling up with holidays, concert dates and day trips across Northern Ireland. Whether you're hoping to plan an exciting Bank Holiday weekend, a fun day out for the family or a culture-filled tour, there's plenty on offer right through the summer.
07 May 2019
A Weekend At The North West 200 Races
Northern Ireland is the proud home of motorcycle racing on closed public roads and every May the picturesque setting of the Causeway Coast is showcased on the world stage as one of sport's most spectacular events- the International North West 200.
26 April 2019
Belfast City Marathon: Race & Travel Info
The largest single participatory sporting event in Northern Ireland is set for a massive year of change with a brand new, flatter and faster route for marathon participants, a new marathon start location on the grounds of the iconic Stormont Estate and a historic move to a Sunday for the first time ever.
27 March 2019
Explore NI's Top Game Of Thrones Locations & Experiences
The excitement is building among Game of Thrones fans with the final season set to air in only a matter of weeks. Living in Northern Ireland, we're lucky enough to have the majority of its filming locations right on our doorstep, from the northern lands of Winterfell to the southern island of Dragonstone.
15 February 2019
Beat The Weekend Boredom By Visiting NI's Top Indoor Play Areas
With the winter months not yet past and the novelty of many Christmas presents worn off, it won't be long before some parents are crying out for fun ideas to get the family out of the house for a while to pass a rainy afternoon.
07 February 2019
Where To Dine This Valentine's
As the most romantic day of the year approaches, eateries across Northern Ireland are promoting their best deals and fine wines in a bid to host loved-up couples for Valentine's.
18 January 2019
Family Activities To See You Through Winter
Rather than wallowing in the January blues, a New Year is a perfect time to renew your sense of adventure and plan some fun-filled activities to enjoy with your family.
02 January 2019
January Money Saving Tips
As well as the complete loss of Christmas cheer, January can be particularly challenging in terms of money. Even if you funded the festive period without running up a host of credit card bills, the month of indulgence can still leave a money hangover to be dealt with in the New Year.
17 December 2018
Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas
Not to panic you, but Christmas is just around the corner and the high streets are buzzing with shoppers rushing to fill their baskets.
28 November 2018
Your Guide To Northern Ireland's Christmas Markets
The Christmas countdown is on, so why not kick-start the celebrations with a wander through one of Northern Ireland's Christmas markets to really get you into the festive spirit. From browsing unique gifts, to sampling mulled wine or meeting Santa, Christmas markets are an excellent way for people of all ages to start the season.