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A holly jolly at the first Hillsborough Christmas Market

Pictured at the launch of the Hillsborough Christmas Market are (l-r) Barbara Erwin, Foliage Works; Jonathan Wolf and Woodsman; Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Development Committee; Kay Armstrong, Deli Muru and Claire Wallace, In Klover.

As the festive season approaches, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has announced its first Hillsborough Christmas Market, set along the historic Dark Walk at Hillsborough Fort, from 3pm – 9pm on Friday 14th December.

Visitors to the market can expect Christmas spirit in abundance, as over 40 local artisan food producers and craftspeople set up stall at the market. It promises to be an ideal opportunity for shoppers’ keen to source local handmade products and pick up a few extra special gifts this Christmas. Foodies will be delighted with the artisan food producers taking part, from award-winning preserves, chutneys and pickles, handmade butters, fresh breads and cakes, micro-roastery coffee, fudge and chocolate. A host of arts and craftspeople will showcase unique Christmas gift ideas with The Bearded Candlemakers, local craft design shop, In Klover, Wee Yarn Designs and Rowallane Pottery and Claire Newell Ceramics, just a flavour of those taking part.

Speaking about the inaugural Hillsborough Christmas Market, Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Development Committee said, “We are delighted to host the first Hillsborough Christmas Market. We are looking forward to welcoming what looks like a great line-up of over 40 artisan food and craft producers, in what promises to be a festive evening in the picturesque setting of the Dark Walk at Hillsborough Fort. We are expecting to welcome great numbers through the gates of the Dark Walk on Friday 14th December to enjoy the festivities and get into the Christmas spirit. We really hope it proves to be the perfect anecdote to the stresses of the high-street with visitors picking up a treat or two for themselves as well as a few unique Christmas gifts.”

Shopping at Hillsborough Christmas Market will make those intentions of shopping local this Christmas much easier, with many of the traders from the Council area. Artisans such as chocolatier, Wee Choco, will have its distinctive range of award-winning chocolate bars for sale, perfect as a Christmas stocking filler. Lisburn start-up company, Wolf and Woodsman’s artisan sweet potato crisps have gone down a treat since they launched earlier this year and offer something different for party snacks this holiday season. Christmas dinner deserves nothing less than hand-churned and rolled butter made just up the road, and luckily, award-winning Irish butter connoisseurs, Abernethy Butter, will be on hand to make sure your fridges are well stocked up!

Visitors to the market can follow the tempting aromas to the street-food area, where they will be greeted by gourmet street-food vendors, Barn & Bread, The Hatch, Crepes 2 Go and The Oyster Catcher, each with a mouth-watering menu to choose from. To wash it down there will be a choice of seasonally inspired hot drinks from The Fancy Fox, Hills Mix Tape and the award-winning Refuge Hot Chocolate. Crumbs Vegan Bakery and Little Treats will be on hand to put the icing on the cake for a sweet treat.

Lucy Wallace, owner of Hillsborough’s craft design shop, In Klover, added, “We are really excited to be taking part in Hillsborough Christmas Market and we think it will add to the festive ambience in the village. Events like this are the ideal way for local traders like us, to showcase the range of craftspeople we champion around the year. It is really novel for us to get out of the shop and into the unique market setting alongside many more fantastic local craftspeople and artisan food producers.”

The community will play a key role contributing to the sights and sounds of Hillsborough Christmas Market. The heavenly voices of local children will filter through the open-air market, with Downshire Primary School Choir opening the market at 3pm followed by the sounds of Friends’ School Lisburn’s Brass Ensemble. At 6pm Friends’ Prep School Choir will entertain visitors and Santa Claus with a few carols as the man himself has promised to pop in to say hello from 5pm-7pm. He may even have a go on the funfair rides before toasting a marshmallow for himself and Rudolph!

Hillsborough Christmas Market is free to attend and will take place from 3pm – 9pm on Friday 14th December 2018. The advice is to wrap up warm and join the festive fun.


For more information and updates visit or follow @enjoylisburn on Facebook, Visit Lisburn Castlereagh on Instagram and @VisitLisburn on Twitter.

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