An Irish Victorian Christmas

When

  • 28 November to 23 December 2018
10:00-16:00

Ticketing information

All events are included in a guided tour of Hillsborough Castle. The last tour will leave at 16:00.

Tours featuring costumed interpreters will take place at weekends.

Father Christmas will be in residence in the castle on the 09, 15, 16, 22 and 23 December 2018.

Included in palace admission (members go free)

It's 1895 and Lord and Lady Arthur Hill are decorating the castle for their Christmas and New Year celebrations. Join the household each day from 28 November to 23 December 2018 as they prepare for a festive bazaar and plan their musical entertainment.

Enjoy the elegant State Rooms, gorgeously decorated and lit by candlelight. Then make a wish and steal a kiss under the mistletoe kissing ball in the Stair Hall and enjoy the festive music around the traditional Christmas tree.

Christmas decorations will adorn the State Rooms including exquisite paper cut artworks by local artist Emma Davison. Our Explainers will introduce the castle's characters and their stories as they guide you through.

Meet Father Christmas

Father Christmas will be in residence in the castle on the 09, 15, 16, 22 and 23 December 2018.

Listen to a storyteller before dipping into the Bran Tub for an authentic Victorian Christmas gift.

Live music and festive food

Each weekend, costumed interpreters will bring the castle to life as its residents above and below stairs prepare for the festivities.

There will be live music from local musicians including Downshire Brass and Sestina, and the kitchen staff will provide Twelfth Cake and Wassail Cup to sample as they describe the menu for each occasion.

Festive family fun

Workshops for all ages will explore wreath making and paper cutting — see our full schedule of family workshops below.

From November - December there will be a series of festive events and activities at Hillsborough, including live music, food, family workshops, choral concerts and Christmas ghost stories this November and December at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

Meet the Victorian household of Lord & Lady Arthur Hill, the Tower of London's famous Yeoman Warders, Lucy Worsley and, of course, Father Christmas as you explore Northern Ireland's royal residence.
Visitors and live interpreters during the Hillsborough Castle Christmas celebrations in 2017
Costumed interpreters pose in front of a grand fireplace decorated with Christmas foliage at Hillsborough Castle
Visitors and live interpreters during the Hillsborough Castle Christmas celebrations in 2017

Family workshops

All of these family workshops are included in your castle tour ticket for the date specified. There is no need to book, although spaces are limited. Suitable for children aged 5+. All children must be accompanied.

15 December 2018

Christmas Decorations Workshop

Join Hillsborough Castle's resident florist to make a festive decoration to take home, using natural materials from the grounds.

Workshops will take place every half hour between 14:00 and 16:00 (last workshop starts at 15:30) in the Market Room.

16 December 2018

Victorian Cornucopias Workshop

Make your own traditional Victorian Cornucopia and silhouette decoration to take home, with artist Kim Montgomery.

Workshops will take place at 10:30-11:15, 11:15-12:00, 12:00-12:45, 13:45-14:30, 14:30-15:15 and 15:15-16:00 in the Market Room.

Moss Walk at Hillsborough Castle in the snow
Events

Join acclaimed actor Ian McElhinney for a special candle-lit reading of spooky stories in the atmospheric Throne Room.

28 December 2018 (sold out)

Hillsborough Castle

19:00

Separate ticket (advanced booking required)

Still from the feature film The Favourite
Highlights Things to see

See costumes from The Favourite, the critically-acclaimed film starring Olivia Colman as Queen Anne on display at Kensington Palace.

14 December 2018 to 08 February 2019

Kensington Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

A Yeoman Warder stands outside the White Tower during a Twilight Tour or the Tower.
Tours and talks

Dare you visit the Tower at night and take one of our Twilight Tours? Discover secrets of the Tower's history with exclusive after-hours access.

Selected Sundays in January-April

Tower of London

19:00

Separate ticket (advanced booking required)

Hand embroidered in silk and metal threads, this luxury tree decoration depicts Victoria as a young Queen.

Queen Victoria tree decoration

Hand embroidered in silk and metal threads, this luxury tree decoration depicts Victoria as a young Queen.

£10.99

Picture of our Royal Victoria bone china tall mug - gold, silver and white

Royal Victoria bone china tall mug

Enjoy an afternoon tea party with our exquisitely designed Royal Victoria tall mug. Made in the UK from bone china, the design is inspired by Queen Victoria's Honitons lace wedding flounce which she wore for her wedding.

£22.99

Image is of a tea cup and saucer with our exclusive design.

Royal Victoria bone china tea cup and saucer

Enjoy a regal afternoon tea with our Royal Victoria blue tea cup and saucer set. Available exclusively from Historic Royal Palaces, the design is inspired by one of Victoria's most iconic crowns and by the pattern found on her wedding dress.

£50.00