Ballyhackamore edges Holywood as best place to live in Northern Ireland

Ballyhackamore in east Belfast edged out Holywood as the most desirable place to live in Northern Ireland
Ballyhackamore in east Belfast edged out Holywood as the most desirable place to live in Northern Ireland

Ballyhackamore has been named the best place to live in Northern Ireland in 2018 in a new study carried out by the Sunday Times.

The ‘Best Places to Live’ guide names the east Belfast area ahead of Holywood, Newcastle, Portrush and Strangford as the most desirable place in the Province.

The study declares that “there’s nowhere more appealing to settle down and bring up the kids than Ballyhackamore, a once unheralded corner east of the centre”.

It says Ballyhackamore has become known as “Ballysnackamore” thanks to the “brunching, dining and sipping of cocktails that are enjoyed along the Upper Newtownards Road”.

It adds: “The new Belfast Rapid Transit system, which will whizz commuters into the city on bendy buses from September, should give the area a further boost.”

Ballyhackamore beat Holywood into second place with the seaside Co Down town hailed because of its links to Rory McIlroy and Jamie Dornan, and “because nowhere else in the region can match it for convenience”.

The study says: “The location, alongside Belfast Lough, is glorious, with an uninterrupted coastal path to Bangor. The buildings are attractive: colourful in the centre, with brick terraces and Victorian villas further out.”

The study says Holywood’s schools are “grand” with Sullivan Upper one of the UK’s top 100 according to The Sunday Times Parent Power league table.

It adds: “The lengthy high street has butchers, bakers and organic food stores to meet all your needs, as well as an appealing selection of shabby-chic antique places, boutiques and cafes.”

The overall winner of the Sunday Times UK competition was York in Yorkshire.