Lisburn in recent years has made the switch between being a mere borough to gaining city status. They’ve definitely ensured that they have kept up with their new title. With a growing population thanks to being only 8 miles from Belfast and with more affordable house prices, Lisburn has a lot more to offer than you may first think.
1. Ulster Aviation Society
The Ulster Aviation Society is a great day out providing an excellent experience to further public education in the history of aviation in Northern Ireland. The society is able to carry on thanks to a group of volunteer aviation enthusiasts that are excited to show off their heritage collection of planes.
2. Lisburn Half Marathon
It seemed like a natural progression from number 3. A big draw to Lisburn is their well organised Half Marathon that takes place in June. Personally, we’d probably stick to number 3, but we know that people actually, thoroughly enjoy marathons and choose to do them for fun. Yes, marathons for fun. Known as the ‘Flat and Fast route, it draws in approximately 6,500 runners per year, making the Lisburn Half Marathon one of the biggest events that Lisburn has to offer.
3. Irish Linen Museum
One of the most evident pieces of history to come from Lisburn is their heritage creating Irish Linen. This museum originally focused on the local history of Lisburn and the Lagan Valley but expanded in 1994 with the Irish Linen Centre which has drawn in tourists from all over the globe. The museum and its collections are showcased within the old Market House which is a stunning late seventeenth centre building. It is a great and informative day out.
4. Castle Gardens
Castle Gardens was once the site of Lisburn Castle which was a 17th-century manor house. The gardens offer a peaceful and beautiful walk around the grounds. It is free to access the garden and if you pre-book through the Irish Linen Centre, there is a free guided tour.
5. Bow Street Mall
Bow Street Mall really is the heart of shopping in Lisburn. It is handy to pretty much everything with a wide range of shops to choose from. It offers many famous shops and dining choices. Its location also provides quick access to the main street.
6. Wallace Park
Wallace Park makes for a special day out. We feel that there is something very peaceful about feeding ducks and an aimless stroll around a park. There is a playground for the kids to tire themselves out, I mean enjoy. Most importantly, we feel, is that there is usually a coffee stand. Think coffee, beauty and peace, it really does have it all, as long as it isn’t raining.
7. Island Art Centre
The Island Art Centre is an established venue that offers a wide range of events that cater to all ages. The centre prides itself on excellence in every aspect, from the atmosphere to the service. The architectural of the building is eye-catching and is a good sign that you have made it to Lisburn when you set your eyes upon this beauty.
8. Balmoral Show
If there was ever a way to draw out country folk, it is the Balmoral Show. In fact, it is the biggest example of diversity and peace in Northern Ireland, bringing both country folk and city folk together in harmony. In 2013 it was imported from the Belfast to Lisburn, we heard the animals didn’t like being so close to the big city. It is Northern Irelands biggest agri-food event, combining Northern Irelands best food with showing off demonstrations, exhibitions and other forms of entertainment. The Balmoral Show continues to prove itself to be a fun day out for all.
9. Hilden Brewing Company
The Hilden Brewery is an incredibly endearing family run microbrewery. The brewery is located behind the old Barbour Threads Linen Mill just outside Lisburn, the entire area shows off a stunning amount of character and history which really adds to the whole experience. Hilden shows off 11 draught beers that are all crafted on site. They offer a very enjoyable and informative tour for £10. Better still, this tour includes samples. Maths may not be our strong point, but we know a bargain when we see one. The tour ensures that visitors are able to experience the magic that their brewery has to offer, followed by the all-important sampling.
10. Lagan Valley Leisureplex
The true jewel of Lisburn. As children, there were three words that could calm even the most ill-behaved child, ‘Lagan Valley Leisureplex’. The thought of a day out to Lisburn Leisureplex for the slides was potentially the peak of excitement. Even as adults, it’s safe to say that we feel the same, though now we think we’d rather have a nap around the Lazy River. Whether you are feeling risky to go for the bigger slides or are happy to go for something slightly tamer, Lisburn Leisureplex is a great day out for everyone. Our only advice is to hold your nose on the ‘toilet bowl’ slide. Or you’ll have water up your nose for the rest of your life.