Great shops, new homes and excellent road and rail links make Lisburn an attractive alternative to nearby Belfast.
Lisburn is found in Northern Ireland’s picturesque Lagan Valley, on the River Lagan that forms the border between County Antrim and County Down. Part of the metropolitan area of Belfast, it lies just eight miles south west of the capital.
Granted city status in 2002, Lisburn continues to attract major business investment and is considered to be one of Northern Ireland’s key retail destinations.
As well as shopping opportunities, property buyers are drawn to the city for its growing number of modern homes, many of which are more affordable than in nearby Belfast.
The current average house price is £142,000, a sizeable drop from Belfast's average of £154,000. Although pricier than other areas in Northern Ireland, city workers could certainly get more for their money here. You can check the latest prices here.
Interested in Northern Ireland? You may also want to take a look at our guide on Ballymena.
Living in Lisburn: what to expect
Lisburn has a thriving city centre and a well-deserved reputation as a shopping hotspot. One shopping centre has more than 70 stores while premier shopping streets, such as Chapel Hill and Market Place, have a lively collection of independent shops, cafés and businesses.
Outside of the immediate centre are quieter residential neighbourhoods of family homes, which are now being bolstered by new estates of contemporary properties.
The city’s geographical location is undoubtedly a big draw for buyers. Positioned alongside the M1 to Belfast, commuters can reach their workplaces in 30 minutes. A direct rail service from Lisburn station offers a similarly rapid journey.
Lisburn is happily situated on the Lagan River in the Lagan Valley Regional Park – the only park of its kind in Northern Ireland. Stretching between Stranmillis, Belfast and Union Locks, the Park encompasses countryside, urban parks, heritage sites, nature reserves and riverside trails.
Where to start your property search
In the city: The central area of Lisburn offers a huge variety of housing. Older, pre-1950s properties are available, but there is a particular abundance of modern and new-build estates.
Bungalows are prevalent and can be found on roads including Drumbeg Drive, Monaville Close and Woodland Avenue. For modern, spacious, three- and four-bedroom terraces, semis and detached properties, try Divis Way, Dromara Park and Delacherois Avenue.
Some of the latest new-build developments in Lisburn include Cottars Chase on the north-western edge of the city. It's been designed to encourage a community atmosphere and is located just a few minutes’ walk from local schools and shops. Its three- and four-bedroom homes are affordably priced.
Another new development is Lady Wallace Square in north Lisburn. It's located just off the new North Feeder road in Thaxton Village, which provides excellent access for those commuting to Belfast. Blaris Fields is another option and situated directly opposite the entrance to the Lagan Valley Regional Park.
The Belsize Road area is also a hotspot for new properties with recent developments including Belsize Manor, Belsize Meadows and Belsize Gardens. The latter boasts properties of modern architectural design as well as more traditional styles.
If you'd prefer an apartment, there are several modern complexes to choose from in the city. Quay Meadows is a unique riverside development just off Hillsborough Old Road, south of the River Lagan. It has a private, landscaped communal area by the river and is conveniently located for shopping and access to the M1.
Alternatively, the Wallace Apartments on Wallace Avenue is within easy walking distance of the railway station and Wallace Park.
In the suburbs: In general, the suburban area surrounding Lisburn is the best place to look for the biggest homes, many of which come with large gardens or land. For period properties, try the Station Road area in the village of Lambeg.
North of the city are the new-build developments of Hilltops and Linen Mews. The former is found on Magheralave Road and Linen Mews is situated just off the highly sought-after Pond Park Road.
To the west, the Woodbrook estate at Brokerstown Village is designed to capture the charm of a village community. It has a tree-lined village green and traffic calming to encourage use of the streets as recreational areas.
Near the village of Drumbo in the east is the Ballantine Garden Village development. It possesses large, luxurious properties – some with five bedrooms – and Georgian architectural influences.
Getting around Lisburn
By rail: Lisburn train station is located in the east of the city, close to Wallace Park. Regular services travel to Belfast, with a journey time of between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the service.
It takes an hour to reach Bangor from Lisburn and, in the opposite direction, 30 minutes to Portadown. Services from Lisburn station to Dublin Connolly are also available.
Those living in suburban areas to the north east of the city can use stations at Lambeg and Hilden.
By car: The M1 is only a couple of miles south of the centre. The journey to the capital by car takes just 20 minutes.
By air: Lisburn has two airports within easy reach. For UK and European flights with airlines such as Aer Lingus, flybe and British Airways, the George Best Belfast City Airport is 12 miles north east of Lisburn.
For journeys further afield, the Belfast International Airport is 10 miles north of Lisburn. Both airports can be reached by car in less than 30 minutes.
Things to do in Lisburn
History: The village of Hillsborough is one of Lisburn’s historical showpieces. Among its many architectural attractions is Hillsborough Castle, a two-storey mansion house dating from 1797. It was here that Secretary of State for the Colonies Wills Hill played host to Benjamin Franklin in 1771 – a meeting that may have contributed to the American War of Independence.
For something a little different, try the Limestone Way at Belshaw’s Quarry National Nature Reserve on Bensons Road. Excavations here have revealed 11 geological features for visitors to explore, as well as evidence spanning 250 million years.
More opportunities to explore Lisburn’s heritage can be found at the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum, Brookhall Historical Farm and in Lisburn’s Historic Quarter.
Outdoors: Right on Lisburn’s doorstep is the Lagan Valley Regional Park. The park is a 4,200-acre Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty made up of countryside, meadows, woodland, parkland and ponds. Towpath and woodland walks provide opportunities for relaxation and wildlife-spotting, while cycling and canoeing offer a slightly more adventurous way to enjoy the landscape.
Even closer at hand is Wallace Park, which is in the centre of Lisburn. Covering 25 acres of mature parkland, it provides opportunities for family time in the state-of-the-art children’s play area, as well as gentle strolls and dog walking.
Alternatively, walkers can visit the historically important Castle Gardens, which mark the site of a 17th-century fortified manor house.
Shopping: A centre for retail in Northern Ireland, Lisburn boasts several busy shopping streets and two malls. Bow Street Mall and the Sprucefield Centre are full of high-street names such as H&M and New Look, as well as several chain cafés and restaurants. The Forestside Shopping Centre in Upper Galwally is also close by.
Yet more shops can be found lining Chapel Hill and Market Place, including local independent stores.
Leisure: Plenty of sport and leisure activities are available in the Lisburn area, including watersports, cycling, horse-riding, horse racing, and golf at courses such as Lisburn Golf Club and Aberdelghy Golf Course.
The Lagan Valley LeisurePlex boasts the largest free-form leisure pool in Northern Ireland, with water rides and a children’s water play area. It also has a 25-metre competition pool, diving pool, sports hall, squash courts and a health and fitness suite. Also nearby is an Omniplex cinema and a 10-pin bowling centre.
Food and drink: Lisburn residents have their pick of contemporary dining. Square Bistro has regular theme nights as well as live music on Saturdays. Creative dishes include hay-smoked Irish beef fillet with braised ox cheek and chestnut puree.
For a classy country pub, try Gowdy's of Down Royal, which is found next to the Down Royal Racecourse. It's family friendly and has a large outdoor patio for the summer months. It offers typical pub grub as well as a large Sunday Roast with all the trimmings.
Panoramic views of the Lagan Valley, Dromara Hills, Mourne Mountains and Lough Neagh can be enjoyed from The Little Green Allotments. The allotments are just three miles from Lisburn city centre and allow visitors to wander around the cultivated plots.
5 reasons to live in Lisburn
- Just eight miles from Belfast
- Quick access to the motorway network
- Affordable property prices
- Lots of modern and new-build homes
- Retail and leisure hub
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Are you tempted to find a home in Lisburn? Tell us why this Northern Irish city appeals to you in the comments below…