Belfast has emerged from the dark days of the sectarian troubles into a stylish city, and a renowned place for shopping! Given the economic climate at the moment, everybody’s looking for that extra value for money, and hunting for that bargain or two! The very first Belfast Shopping Festival runs throughout the month of April 2009, so if you are in Belfast make sure to drop along and get the chance to fill those shopping bags at great prices! Read on for more…
The retail sector of Belfast offers great choice for the consumer, value for money, and the highest quality of goods. The growth of the retail scene in the city and its popularity with shoppers both north and south of the border led to the idea and the creation of the Shopping Festival by bodies throughout the city, such as the City Council, the Visitor and Convention Bureau, and the Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
Whether its high street stores, upmarket boutiques, shopping centres or arts and craft stores that interest you, the Belfast Shopping Festival has it all especially for you! From the bargain seeker to the fashion queen, this Festival will cater for all.
The plan of the Festival is to have a weekly focus on one of the main shopping areas of the city, throughout the month of April. There will be a proper festival feel to each area, with each area displaying street decorations, live entertainment and plenty of opportunities to win fantastic prizes and vouchers! And not only can you enjoy the shopping in Belfast, you can factor in some sightseeing as part of your visit, as you will be shopping in areas that have some very impressive historic buildings.
Week beginning Monday March 30th – The Festival is concentrated on Bloomfield Avenue and Belmont Road. The Festival kicks off here in this area, and you can savour shopping at the brand new Connswater Shopping Centre, which houses over 50 stores in total at the retail park! Bloomfield Avenue is home to plenty of designer boutique stores and gift shops. The Belmont Road area has plenty of charming shops and restaurants, which give it a family type feel. Saturday 4th April sees the family day in the area, so it is a great day for the family to get together and shop and enjoy the sights.
Week beginning Monday April 6th – The Festival is concentrated on the Belfast City Centre. There is a family day on Saturday 11th April in the city centre, which happens to be Easter Saturday! There will be plenty of offers and prices reduced in the stores, boutiques and restaurants of the city centre so get there early during this week! There are many high street shops that you can browse through from Donegall Place to Royal Avenue, or you can spend time in the Corn Market and picturesque Church Lane area, which will bring you to the wonderful Cathedral Quarter of the city.
Week beginning Monday April 13th – The Festival is concentrated on the Lisburn Road and Ormeau Road. Again, Saturday April 18th is a fun filled family day. The chic galleries, shops, restaurants and cafes of the Lisburn Road are sure to attract the serious shopper! The Ormeau Road is not lacking in quality shopping outlets either!
The Ormeau Road area, which is close to the River Lagan area, has some wonderful boutiques, and plenty of trendy bars and eateries. Why not visit the delightful Ormeau Park, one of the oldest parks in the city. And if you venture to the Queens Quarter, close to Queens University, you will enjoy shopping at select stores along Botanic Avenue and Stranmillis Road.
Week beginning Monday April 20th – The Festival is concentrated on the Falls and Shankhill Road areas. Saturday April 25th sees the family day in this area. As you enjoy the Festival in these two areas, you will become acquainted with the businesses that have been in place for generations. You will also come across trendy fashion shops, arts and craft shops and plenty of other gift stores that will surely take your fancy!
There have been plenty of innovative steps by the Festival organizers to make sure events run smoothly, and which look after you, the consumer! For example, there is car parking special for some car parking outlets for the duration of the festival. £3 is the Saturday rate in two of the most prominent car parking areas in the city – The Great Northern Multi Storey, which is close to the City Hall, and right beside Victoria Station and the Europa Bus Centre and the Donegall Quay Car Park, which is close to the Cathedral Quarter and the nearby city centre shopping areas!
So now you have it - a guide to the very first Belfast Shopping Festival!
If you are planning to head to Belfast for the Belfast Shopping Festival this month, you’re going to need a place to stay, after a long day shopping! Take a look at our list of Hotels in Belfast.
Have you been to Belfast in the past? Are you planning to head north to the Shopping Festival? If you have any queries or travel tips please get in touch. We appreciate your comments!