Become a ‘Garden Explorer’ this Easter at Hillsborough Castle

Become a ‘Garden Explorer’ this Easter at Hillsborough Castle

Saturday 15 – Monday 17 April 2017

Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough, BT26 6AG

Spring has sprung at Hillsborough Castle and the gardens are bursting with seasonal bulbs and new growth. Grab your wits and your muddy boots as families are invited to take off on an adventure through the gardens as part of our special expedition over the Easter holidays.

Costumed characters from Theatre without Walls will meet you on your travels and introduce you to some of the famous explorers who brought exotic flora from around the world to Hillsborough. Find out how some of those familiar garden shrubs actually came from far flung lands. Listen as they tell you exciting stories about how these amazing plants got to this country.

Let the garden explorers enthrall you with tales of how they risked their lives; hanging off cliffs, being chased by wild animals and almost freezing to death at the tops of mountains!

There will also be hands on ‘make and take’ craft activities for families throughout the Easter weekend as well as giant garden games to play in the grounds. Activities and craft materials are all included in a general gardens admission and expeditions will take place at 11.30, 12.30 and 14.30 each day. Activities are best suited for ages 5 – 12 but all the family are welcome. Please ensure that you arrive 15 minutes before the start times.

Hillsborough Castle Gardens are open daily until 01 October 2017 with 96 acres to wander through and explore.  Developed from the 1780s onwards the gardens offer a contrast of ornamental grounds, peaceful woodland and meandering waterways. Admission to the gardens is £5.00 per adult, £4.00 per concession or £3.50 per child, family tickets £15.00.

The castle will open 1 April – 1 October 2017 for public tours of the eight opulent state rooms. Tours run Thursday - Sunday, with daily tours available during the Easter Holidays and throughout July and August. Tickets are priced at £8.00 Adult, £7.00 Concession, £5.50 child, £22.00 family and include access to the gardens.

Tickets for guided tours of the castle may be purchased in advance via the Historic Royal Palaces website or call the Historic Royal Palaces Contact centre on 0844 482 7777.

Notes for Editors

For further information and images of the castle please contact Cat Steventon in the Historic Royal Palaces press office on 020 3166 6302 or

Hillsborough Castle is part of a 100 acre estate made up of historic buildings, gardens and parklands in County Down and is the official royal residence of Her Majesty The Queen in Northern Ireland. Historic Royal Palaces, the heritage and conservation charity responsible for HM Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Banqueting House and Kew Palace, assumed responsibility for Hillsborough Castle from the Northern Ireland Office in April 2014.

Historic Royal Palaces is undertaking an ambitious £20m project that will see the site transformed and made more accessible with new visitor facilities including car parking, a learning centre and retail space opening up the castle and its gardens, ready to welcome 200,000 visitors each year by 2019. The project will be financed by Historic Royal Palaces, with support from a number of generous benefactors including the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which has awarded development funding to advance the plans.


You may also be interested in...