Local Heroes - Castlecourt...

This is the first of a regular piece I want to do on the blog to feature local businesses here in Northern Ireland. I know lots of you aren't from here so I won't do these too often - about once a month or so - but in the case of this first one, I've lots of favourites picked from high street stores that we all have at our fingertips.
First up, I've chosen Belfast's original shopping centre - Castlecourt, which has just celebrated its 25th birthday. I came to Northern Ireland 20 years ago this year and I still remember my first trip to this shopping mecca. Coming from a small town in the South of Ireland, it was a BIG deal and I still enjoy shopping there now.
'Why would you shop in Castlecourt?' my friend asked me the other day. She's a Victoria Square woman and admitted she'd not been further than Zara for several years. 
For me, there are 4 shops I love to visit - Gap, Dune, Debenhams and New Look.
Firstly - Gap....a brand that I've bought so much from in the past few years. They do jeans so well...I have quite a few different brands in my wardrobe but the Gap ones get worn the most. 
But this visit it was all about the accessories - the snakeskin slip on's (not online),
the amazing leather ballet flats (sadly too much toe cleavage)
and this yellow statement handbag which is similar to my black one, real leather and in the sale too (not online)!
Moving onto Dune London - fast becoming my favourite shoe shop. 

It's where I bought my croc slip on trainers and these other beauties caught my eye too..
Next up - New Look...
I was on a cream top hunt here and there are some beauties that I've seen on quite a few blogs recently. 
Also adore these sandals which have been another blogger favourite:
The final destination for me is always good old Debenhams. I found out on my last visit that they now stock Clarks here - quite a good range too..
But for me Debenhams is top destination for beauty brands Urban Decay and Mac...

On a practical level, there are two further reasons why Castlecourt works for me. Number 1 is that it's got a couple of shops that my kids absolutely love, which means there's never an argument about going there  - Hawkins Bazaar....a treasure trove of toys and 'stuff' 
and good old Toysarus. 
Number 2 is that you don't get bankrupted in the car park. There's no jaw-dropping surprise when you put that parking ticket into the machine :)

Congratulations Castlecourt for becoming my first School Gate Style Local Hero!



  1. A great round up Avril, those Dune shoes - all of those tassels. The car park, don't get me started. My local town charges £1 an hour, it's ridiculous. Our next biggest shopping town is 40p an hour - far more appealing and about 4 times the size! x

  2. Debenhams really is an amazing shop! I always think it when I'm in there & then forget to go in! I popped in the other day to make a return & really must make it my first port of call when I'm in town! They stock some great brands! x

  3. Of course now I'm going to have to go to Dundrum and check out if that yellow bag is in our Gap ... aaarrrggh! Too. Much. Temptation!
    Lovely idea to do a local hero piece - well done you!

  4. Great post Avril. I haven't been in Castle court in years. I'll have to get in again at some stage. I love Gap. I got that leather bag in blush online for £16.99 they had other colours too. Great round-up : ) x


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