Northern Ireland news

Holywood, Ballycastle, Enniskillen, Hillsborough and south Belfast named best places to live in north

Holywood in Co Down has been named as the best place to live in Northern Ireland. Picture by Mal McCann

HOLYWOOD, Ballycastle, Enniskillen, Hillsborough and south Belfast have been named the best places to live in Northern Ireland.

The Sunday Times ''Best Places to Live 2019' guide put Holywood, Co Down at the top of the list.

Factors assessed ranged from employment, schools, house prices and broadband speed to culture, community spirit and local shops.

The judges found that Holywood offered the "perfect combination of seaside and city, with vibrant Belfast just a 20-minute train ride away".

They also cited the town's "sailing, cycling and jogging, plus rugby, football and the golf club where Rory McIlroy started his golfing career".

"The high street, with its brightly painted buildings is unusually attractive and offers a high-quality range of food and drink, from fine dining at Noble, which has a Michelin Bib Gourmand to the traditional Maypole Bar."

Hillsborough, also in Co Down, returned to this year's list and was "praised for its immaculate town centre, Instagram-worthy Georgian houses, countryside setting and appealing pubs and restaurants".

South Belfast also makes the list, described by the guide as "the most favoured corner of the city", while the "beautiful traditional market town Enniskillen and Ballycastle, a lively, independently minded foodie hub on the stunning coast of Co Antrim" are also included.

Helen Davies from The Sunday Times said: "Finding our very own best place to live now feels more important than ever, for our wellbeing and wealth, happiness and health."

The guide and an overall UK winner will be published on Sunday.

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