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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Hillsborough Castle buzzing with local producers for first ever Honey Fair

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens will open its grounds to over 30 high quality local producers and food vendors this summer for the first ever Hillsborough Honey Fair, in association with Food NI.

Taking place 21 and 22 August, the Hillsborough Honey Fair will bring two days of guided walks, demonstrations, family activities, foraging and a chance to learn more about the world of bees and the new hives that are making the Castle’s gardens a place for biodiversity to thrive.

Tickets are now on sale for the unique event supported by the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme, that will tickle the tastebuds of all who attend. Visitors to the castle that weekend will also be able to learn more about honey, bees and how Hillsborough Castle’s gardens can help inspire a bee oasis for home gardens.

Visitors can also sample and purchase products from local food producers which include Ballylisk Dairies, Erin Grove Preserves, Hellbent, Noisy Snacks, Irish Black Butter, Papas Mineral Company and many, many more.

Head of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, Laura McCorry says:

“The Hillsborough Honey Fair is an opportunity for us to bring together some of our top local foodies, foraging experts and chefs in a way that we’ve missed over recent years. Hillsborough is already a haven for foodies, so to be able to create this event at the heart of it is very special.

“Visitors will be able to discover and enjoy some of Northern Ireland’s top food producers and even get a taste from some of the food trucks we’ll have on site throughout the weekend.”

As well as tantalising their tastebuds, visitors can learn from Hillsborough Garden’s Beekeeper, Gwen Earnshaw to discover more about the world of bees and honey, including a fascinating look at the Castle’s very own hives. Plus, guided walks in the Walled Garden will be held by the Castle’s gardeners.

Michele Shirlow, CEO of Food NI added:

“We are thrilled to be working with Historic Royal Palaces to help create an event which not only celebrates our rich food heritage and local producers in Northern Ireland but will also share that vital education needed to sustain our lands and wildlife that help our farmers and growers to nurture and produce their quality products in the future.

“Food NI strives to raise the profile of local food and drink companies, and events such as the Hillsborough Honey Fair are an essential part of this, offering the producers the chance to interact with a captive audience and showcase, sample and sell their products to the public.”

Live music, delicious demos by local chefs and family activities including dancing with Leonie Pony, will be the cherry on top of the occasion, providing an event all the family can enjoy.

Tickets are on sale now and can be booked via Tickets will allow access to Hillsborough Castle’s gardens, the Hillsborough Honey Fair and access to the new interactive play trail, Imaginary Menagerie.


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