The Ultimate Guide to Shopping in Northern Ireland
From shopping centres and high streets filled with designer brands to village studios selling the wares of local craftspeople, Northern Ireland is a great place for shopping.
Here are the key destinations to hit the shops.
Victoria Square, Belfast city centre
This plush shopping village has over 60 stores, including a four-storey House of Fraser, an Apple Store and many designer names: Michael Kors, Reiss, Tommy Hilfiger, Coast and Karen Millen to name a few. For a special day out, dine in the Ivory Restaurant and afterwards take the elevator up to the glass dome for a 360° panoramic view of Belfast.
Castlecourt Shopping Centre, Belfast city centre
Debenhams is the big draw at Castlecourt, where there are more than 80 high street stores. Spend a few hours browsing and you can even get a professional makeover by the experts. Other shops in the centre include Dune, Miss Selfridge, Jack & Jones, Argos, Yankee Candle, Schuh Kids, Toys R Us and Hawkin’s Bazaar.
St George’s Market, Belfast city centre
Belfast’s historic St George’s Market is where much of the best local food produce is gathered under one roof – from fresh fish, fruit and vegetables to huge soda bread farls and ‘Belfast baps’, Suki Teas and Broughgammon goats’ meat. But it’s also great for clothes, vinyl, bric-a-brac, arts and crafts and memorabilia.
Named Best Market in the UK 2016 by the Observer newspaper. The market takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a different theme each day.
Lisburn Road, South Belfast
Independent designer fashion and homeware boutiques are scattered along the Lisburn Road, interspersed with coffee shops and restaurants. Shop at Jo Jo Maman Bebe, Bedeck, Maven, Oliver Bonas, Velvet Boutique, Real, Moda Shoes, and Hugo Thomas. Then relax with great food and drinks at Deane and Decano, The Albany, The Chelsea or Shu.
Bloomfield Avenue, East Belfast
For boutiques specialising in individual styles, Bloomfield Avenue is worth a visit. Spend time browsing for that special item in shops such as Siren, Peels Fashion Store, Harlequin, Annabelle Ladies Fashions and Arabesque shoe shop with its selection of Italian and Spanish shoes and handbags.
Queen’s Quarter, Belfast
For vintage clothing head to the Queen’s University area of South Belfast. Botanic Avenue has the Vibrant Yellow Submarine and the Rusty Zip and Viva Retro is in nearby Bradbury Place. After you’ve found that special outfit, indulge in great food at French Village Patisserie or get lost in a whodunit at No Alibis, a specialist crime bookstore. Belfast city centre also has some vintage and retro shops: Fresh Garbage, Vintage Magpie, Liberty Blue and Octopus Garden.
Abbeycentre Shopping Centre, County Antrim
The Abbeycentre and the surrounding Valley Retail Park on the outskirts of Belfast is popular with locals for its High Street names such as Next, Dunnes, Marks and Spencer, TK Maxx, B&M and Matalan. Break up your day’s shopping with an artisan coffee from Synge and Byrne.
Ballymena, County Antrim
The town of Ballymena has unique, independent shops with fashion at Primrose in Greenvale Street and the department stores McKillens in Church Street and Camerons in Broughshane Street.
Near Ballymena are Marmalade, known for its eclectic mix of well-known designer labels, and Pretty Woman Boutique in Kilrea for the latest designer fashion. There is also Junction One, located just off the M2 motorway, with its Next Clearance and M&S Outlet stores.
The Craft Village, Londonderry
Visit the Walled City of Derry’s Dickensian Craft Village for gifts created by some of the best craft producers in Ireland. The quaint streets have a dazzling array of fine art prints and photography, beautiful silk accessories, millinery tweeds and knitwear, jewellery and glass gifts along with beautiful soaps, candles and ceramics. Aran knitwear designer Edel MacBride is based here, who has designed for Hilary Clinton and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Coleraine, County Londonderry
Here you will find a number of unique small shops: Daisy Mae boutique in Belhouse Lane specialises in 1950’s vintage style reproduction clothing and accessories, Ken Young is known to provide the finest menswear in Ireland and Bishops Footwear is in the Diamond Centre amid other high street brands.
Magherafelt, County Londonderry
Spoilt Bella, Sarah-Jane and The Queen Bee are all to be found in Magherafelt’s Broad Street, with stylish fashion collections handpicked from Europe’s best designers. There is also The Fashion House in Market Street and for glamourous ladies’ footwear and handbags a visit to Four Seasons Boutique in Queen Street is a must.
The Linen Green, County Tyrone
This fantastic designer shopping village in Moygashel is full to the brim with quality homewares and interiors shops, including Anthologie, Bedeck, Gareth McFarland Design Yard and Lavish. These sit alongside fashion stores The Lingerie Room, Storey, Panache Shoe Company and The Boudoir – which is home to the leading young fashion blog My Sister’s Closet, whose popular dresses can be found in store. Anyone with a sweet tooth will love The Loft Coffee Bar’s cakes and traybakes.
The Buttermarket, County Fermanagh
Browse art galleries and craft studios at The Buttermarket in Enniskillen, on the site of a 19th century dairy market. This is a haven of original art, from pottery and ceramics to handmade jewellery, textiles and picture framing – which can only be completed with a coffee and homemade fayre in Rebecca’s Café.
The Outlet Village, County Down
The Outlet at Banbridge hosts outlet stores offering up to 70% off their retail price, from Gap and Jaeger to LK Bennett and M&S. It sits alongside the main A1 Dublin to Belfast road, and now has an Omniplex Cinema on site.
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