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What is Banbridge? Everything You Need to Know

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What is Banbridge? Everything You Need to Know

Banbridge is a small town in Northern Ireland which, if you’ve never heard of it, is likely to change with the planned redevelopment of the area over the coming years.

The town sits on the River Bann, just a half an hour’s drive from Belfast, and despite its small size, it has a surprisingly long history dating all the way back to 1626.

A Brief History

The Baron of the Fews, Sir William Annesley, commissioned the erection of Banbridge in 1626. He was granted a royal charter to build the bridge over the River Bann, and in so doing, laid the foundation for what would become the town of Banbridge.

Since then, the town has seen numerous updates and reshapings as it responded to economic and cultural changes. At one stage during the 18th Century, a series of Acts of Parliament were passed which allowed residents to establish up to 28 linen manufactories within the town. The linen industry provided an immense boost to the local economy and economy of whole of Northern Ireland.

However, as with many other towns throughout Ireland, the 19th Century brought hard times to Banbridge. During this period a number of agricultural depressions left people struggling for work and food and resulted in mass emigration from Ireland. This trend was repeated into the 20th Century, with thousands leaving the area between 1921 and 1951.


Presently, Banbridge is a very popular tourist spot for both Irish nationals and people from abroad. The town is renowned for its open countryside as well as its numerous shops, restaurants, and pubs.

Banbridge is particularly attractive to tourists thanks to its customer service, which is widely seen as superior to many other tourist locations throughout Ireland. Tourists looking to spend a few days shopping, dining out, and getting lost in the countryside are well catered for in Banbridge due to its wide range of attractions and services.

The town is also highly appealing to anyone who enjoys outdoor sports such as rugby, cricket, and golf, as there are ample facilities to enjoy them here. On top of this, there are plenty of events such as festivals and markets held here every year.


In addition to the existing tourist attractions and events in the area, planning permission has recently been granted for an extensive redevelopment of the town which includes retail, leisure, office, and community uses. The proposed plan will give rise to a brand new Banbridge with a much larger number of residents and visitors expected.

Some of the developments projected by 2023 include:

  • A seven screen cinema complex at The Outlet
  • A new hotel overlooking the River Bann at The Outlet
  • Several new restaurants and pubs
  • Relocation of existing shops within The Outlet
  • A regeneration of Banbridge Town Centre with improved public spaces and retail opportunities
  • A Business park created around Banbridge Town Centre on Corbet Road

These developments will bring the total number of jobs in Banbridge up to 9,500 – a sizeable increase for an area with a population of just over 18,200 people. What’s more, this redevelopment will be done in an environmentally sustainable manner via green energy sources. This means that once complete, Banbridge will be set to become an even more desirable place to call home or visit as a tourist than it already is.

Arts & Culture

Artists are an integral part of what makes Banbridge so vibrant. As part of the town’s redevelopment scheme, a new arts centre is being built on The Square – an old linen mill near Market Street – which will offer space for both established and emerging artists. The centre will be hosted by Banbridge District Council and will provide a unique platform for artistic creation as well as performances from both local musicians and international acts.

Additionally, Banbridge boasts a strong literary culture which can be seen in its numerous local bookshops that offer a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books from all over the globe. For those looking for something a little more relaxed, there are plenty of barber shops and beauty salons too where you can enjoy some pampering!

Overall, Banbridge makes for an exceptional place to live in or visit – its long history coupled with its modern redevelopments mean that there’s something new and exciting around every corner. Whether you’re looking for restful countryside walks or lively cultural attractions, you’re sure to find it all in this quaint Northern Ireland town.

To find out more about what’s happening in Banbridge you can visit this website:

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What is Banbridge? Everything You Need to Know

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!