The Sunday Times has awarded east Belfast’s Ballyhackamore the title of “Best Place to Live in Northern Ireland”.
Though Ballyhackamore took the winning spot, five other areas of Northern Ireland also made the list of “Best Places to Live in Britain”.
The expert panel at The Sunday Times took a variety of factors into account, from jobs, schools and local shops to community spirit.
The guide said of Ballyhackamore: “there’s an attractive swagger about Belfast, and there’s nowhere more appealing to settle down and bring up the kids than Ballyhackamore.”
Cyprus Avenue, situated in the picturesque, leafy suburbs was also recognised as the best address in the area. The tree-lined road is particularly striking during the colourful months of autumn.
And though we might be a little bias, we can’t help but agree that Belfast is truly one of a kind!
Ballyhackamore in Belfast
Earning the nickname “Ballysnackamore” due to the flourishing brunch, dining and cocktail spots around the area, a starter home in the neighbourhood averages at around £95k.
You’ll find the bustling community of Ballhackamore situated between Belfast city centre and Dundonald Village. The vibrant spot is home to an array of high-end restaurants, stylish coffee shops and independent businesses.
Author Patricia Kernaghan writes: “Development was assured when, in the late-1750s, it was decided to build a new road between Belfast and what was known then as Newtown. The decision was not without controversy as farmers objected to the original plan for the road. Work finally started in 1760.”
Local businessman Jason Shankey opened his first of a chain of salons in the area 20 years ago, when the streets of the area were more bare than busy. As more and more small businesses saw its potential, the popularity of the area continued to grow and develop.
Mr Shankey shared with the Belfast Telegraph, “Even back then, it was a peaceful area and it was quite mixed, so it had a good foundation. As more businesses opened, competition between them heated up and, with competition, there inevitably comes a rise in quality.”
He added, “when you look around now, Ballyhackamore has some of the best quality restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, retailers and estate agents anywhere – everything is top class, really.”
Meanwhile, operator of the Ballyhackamore.com website Stephen McBridge, expressed his pride for the area and its progression. Mr McBride emphasised, “from its humble beginnings with one Chinese restaurant (and I still remember the excitement when that opened) to its current plethora of trendy coffee shops and top class restaurants, it’s been quite a journey.”
The George Best Hotel
As well as being one of the best places to live, Belfast is also one of the greatest places to visit and stay. And at The George Best Hotel, we’re set to bring Belfast an entirely new experience, from luxury accommodation to wining and dining surrounded by history.
Following a similar format to Liverpool’s hugely successful Shankly Hotel, our upcoming project is expected to attract Belfast’s locals and bring in plenty of visitors to the city, boosting the Belfast tourism industry.
Following an entirely unique theme, The George Best Hotel will celebrate the life and legacy of arguably the world’s greatest ever football player. The exciting development will see Belfast’s fantastic Scottish Mutual Building transformed into a luxury venue bursting with character.
George Best’s sister Barbara McNarry said: “We are delighted that George’s life and career are being honoured in such a stunning building and look forward to seeing it evolve into the George Best Hotel.”
To enquire further or to keep up with the latest developments, make sure you head over to our Facebook page. This is where we’ll keep you posted on the progress of the hotel and future offers and restaurant deals.
We hope to see you soon!