A summer of family days out

Take some time and enjoy family fun with days out at historic Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Take some time and enjoy family fun with days out at historic Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Updated 30 July. Following government guidance, the castle and gardens at Hillsborough Castle are now open Thursday-Sunday. Please read our visit information.

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.

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).

Mother and son sitting on concrete steps in the gardens looking at a garden paper trail.

1. Discover our summer garden highlights route or follow the Explorer's trail

Explore our summer garden highlights route or follow the Explorer's trail to immerse you and the family in nature. 

Can you spot the swans and their new family or kingfishers and other wildlife on the beautiful lake.

Listen out for the ravens in the Pinetum. Or maybe you can see otters in the pond near Lady Alice's Temple?

2. Go hunting for mini-beasts

Bring some bugnoculars or a  magnifying glass and see what you can find hiding in the gardens.

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

3. 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.

4. Discover heroic tales in the Glen

Learn the story of legendary Irish poet Ossian alongside his statue in the Glen

5. 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?

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

Book your tickets and arrival time online before your visit.

Buy tickets now