A summer of family days out

Keep the family entertained with days out at historic Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Keep the family entertained with days out at historic Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

From tiny wild beasts to big picnic spots and incredible history, things to do at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens come in all shapes and sizes this summer!

Explore our historic gardens with your day admission ticket to Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, or become a member to enjoy unlimited adventures for a whole year.

Enjoy special events and tours

A young teenage girl and her younger sister smile as they view a replica of a silver tiara studded with diamonds, on a red display cushion.
Families Tours and talks

Uncover the stories behind guests of Hillsborough Castle, on this fun tour designed with families in mind.

Daily

Hillsborough Castle

11:15 and 15:15

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

A woman and her two children enjoy The Glen at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens on a bright sunny day
Families

Get hands-on with history in our handling collection, discover something exciting in the garden explorer’s cart and 'make and take' with the Georgians.

Selected dates in July and August

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

Two actors dressed in historical costume throw up their hands in horror as part of a Horrible Histories performance. The Horrible Histories logo appears in the background as part of the set.
Events Families

Prepare yourselves for this special one hour production of Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

10-14 August 2019

Hillsborough Castle

Performances are at 12:00 and 15:00. Duration 1 hour.

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

Top 5 ways to explore the gardens

Discover something new and exciting in the gardens as part of your day admission ticket (members go free).

A woman and her two children enjoy playing on the South Lawn Hillsborough Castle and Gardens on a bright sunny day

Scribble, draw and colour in your Gardener's Notebook

Pick up a special Gardener's Notebook in the Summer House to record what you see and smell during your day.

Can you spot the swans, kingfishers and other wildlife on the beautiful lake, and listen for the ravens in the Pinetum?

Or maybe you can see otters in the pond near Lady Alice's Temple?

Discover heroic tales in the Glen

Learn the story of legendary Irish poet Ossian alongside his statue in the Glen. You might even find the 3rd Marquess telling tales of Ireland's mythological heroes and maybe pick up a cúpla focal. Find out when you can hear the 3rd Marquess on our summer activities page.

Go hunting for mini-beasts

Pick up some bugnoculars, a magnifying glass and an identification kit from the garden explorer's cart (available 4-6 July during the Food Festival and 15 July – 1 September 2019) and see what you can find hiding in the gardens.

Look out for bees in the Walled Garden, butterflies in the Wild Meadow and, if you're lucky, even a newt in the pond!

Discover the Ice House and Willow House

Follow the trail through the Grotto to the Ice House, where the Hill family managed to trap winter in a cave the whole year round.

Then hide out in the Willow House to learn about The Night of the Big Wind.

Find special plants and trees

Some of the trees in the gardens were planted by grand visitors on special occasions. These trees have plaques next to them, recording the date and name of the visitor. Can you find some?

Find out more about our summer family activities
A woman and her two children play in the pond area at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, with the castle and Yew Tree Walk in the background under a bright blue sky

Book tickets online to save

Save money and time by buying your tickets online before your visit (members go free).

Buy tickets now