Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Discover Northern Ireland's royal residence

Discover Northern Ireland's royal residence

Explore 100 acres of stunning gardens in the grounds of Northern Ireland's only royal residence. Afterwards, enjoy delicious food and drink in our award-winning café.

Four silhouetted figures walking under a festive light installation at night

Christmas at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

03 December - 02 January 2022 (Excluding 06, 07 and 25 December)

A brand new after-dark illuminated Christmas trail through festive gardens at Hillsborough Castle.

Buy tickets

Things to see and do

Illustration of birds, animals, insects and carriage set in green fields
Things to see Families

This winter, enjoy a day out discovering our brand new interactive play trail - the Imaginary Menagerie.

Open

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

The Main Lawn. Showing shrubs in the foreground and trees seen across the lawn.
Things to see

Discover the ornamental lawns, meandering waterways, peaceful woodlands and picturesque glens that surround Hillsborough Castle.

Open

Hillsborough Castle

Included in gardens admission (members go free)

Gardener picking apples from a tree in the Walled Garden.
Things to see

Enter the castle grounds through this 18th-century walled garden, which has been expertly restored using traditional methods.

Open

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

What's on this Christmas

Families Events

A brand new after-dark illuminated Christmas trail through festive gardens at Hillsborough Castle.

03 December to 02 January 2022. Excluding 06, 07 and 25 December

Hillsborough Castle

16:30-20:00. Last entry at 20:15. On 24, 26 and 31 December, last entry is at 19:15. 

Separate ticket (advance booking required)

Choral group Cappella Caeciliana stand in a 'V-shape' outside the State Entrance doors at Hillsborough Castle. The men are dressed in black suits with green ties, the women in dark green frocks.
Things to see Christmas

Enjoy an evening of festive performances at Hillsborough Castle with the incredible vocal talents of Cappella Caeciliana this Christmas.

11 December 2021

Hillsborough Castle

Separate ticket (advance booking required)

Illustration of Hillsborough Castle with snow and Santa in the foreground
Tours and talks Families

Discover festive traditions and their surprising origins in a tour of the State Rooms at Hillsborough Castle this Christmas.

Various dates throughout December 2021

Hillsborough Castle

Included in combined castle tour and gardens tickets (members go free)

Illustration of Father Christmas outside of Hillsborough Castle

Hillsborough Castle Christmas Tours

December 2021

Discover festive traditions and their surprising origins in a tour of the State Rooms at Hillsborough Castle this Christmas.

Learn more
Christmas gifts and hanging decorations on a bright green background.

Christmas gifts and tree decorations

Discover unique souvenirs inspired by our palaces and give a gift of history this Christmas.

Browse our online shop
Adult and child looking and pointing at plants against a decorative panel in the Walled Garden.

Members go free

Escape to the past whenever you want when you join us today.

Enjoy unlimited adventures at our palaces, a 10% discount in our shops and cafés, and exclusive events when you become a member of Historic Royal Palaces.

White spring blossom growing up a brick wall

Be the first to hear more

Sign up for our Hillsborough Castle and Gardens e-newsletter for the latest news, events, offers and competitions.

Sign up now

Support us

As a self-funding charity, we urgently need your help

The new blue and black Heritage Lottery Fund logo for 2019, displayed on a white background

Our supporters

The restoration and re-presentation of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens was made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund,
Mark Pigott KBE KSTJ, Garfield Weston Foundation, the Clore Duffield Foundation, the Foyle Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and other generous donors.

Hillsborough Castle Gardens, looking east across the pond towards Yew Tree Walk.

How you can help

With a £100 million shortfall in our finances this year, and as a charity, we have never needed your support more. If you love the palaces and believe in what we do, please consider supporting us or by visiting our online shop.

A group of visitors enjoying a viewing of the Red Room, one of Hillsborough Castle's State Rooms. Two young girls appear in the foreground along with a young couple. A small group of older ladies and gentlemen can be seen in the background having just entered the room. The walls are lined with a deep red silk damask and a variety of oil paintings in gold frames of various sizes fill the walls. A chandelier hangs above a small round wooden table in the centre of the room. The walls are lined with grey and gold detailing.

Volunteer with us

Volunteers support the palaces in many different ways. See what roles we have available and register your interest.