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Dinners and receptions

Discover an elegant dining venue on the edge of Belfast

Discover an elegant dining venue on the edge of Belfast

Our palace, your place

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens is, without doubt, one of the finest dining and reception venues in Northern Ireland.

With an illustrious history stretching back over 300 years, the castle has been the backdrop to momentous political talks and lavish private receptions – and now it could be the setting for your special occasion.

Whether it’s a gala dinner or an intimate birthday celebration, this magnificent Georgian mansion has spaces to suit all kinds of events. Read on to find out more.

Enquire about events at Hillsborough Castle

The State Rooms

The Throne Room, lined with green silk damask and gold detailing is setup for a standing reception. A large central table is clothed in red damask and covered in fake moss, tealight candles and wooden food boards. A variety of food is displayed for self-service.

Throne Room

The Throne Room is every bit as impressive as its name suggests. Spacious and versatile, it is dominated by a glorious silk coat of arms and two magnificent ‘chairs of state’, which represent HM The King and HM The Queen when they're not in residence. The space is the ceremonial heart of the castle and is used regularly for investitures and citizenship ceremonies.

As the largest space in Hillsborough Castle, the Throne Room can be used for any number of purposes, from celebratory dinners and formal receptions, to presentations and award ceremonies. 


  • Up to 80 guests for dinner
    Up to 120 guests for receptions


  • Available for daytime and evening hire

The Red Room

The Red Room is both luxurious and intimate, making it perfect for smaller get-togethers. This splendid room was originally the Drawing Room of the house and guests attending royal dinners would assemble here before going through to the State Dining Room. The combination of hundreds of priceless oil paintings from the Royal Collection, a beautiful oak floor and crimson silk damask walls make a lasting impression and fascinating topics of conversation.

Enjoy an intimate dinner around the exquisite mahogany dining table or, like other esteemed guests before you, enjoy a pre-dinner drink before making your way into the State Dining Room for dinner. The French doors in the Red Room offer direct access to the stone terrace and west lawns. Perfect for pre or post-dinner drinks on a summer evening.


  • Up to 20 guests for dinner
    Up to 30 guests for receptions


  • Available for daytime and evening hire
View of Red Room - walls adorned with silk red damask. Walls covered with gold-framed paintings. A Waterford Crystal chandelier hangs above a small round mahogany table.

State Dining Room

The State Dining Room has been the setting for countless state dinners over the years, and its esteemed guests have included prime ministers, presidents and heads of state. HM Queen Elizabeth the Second was guest of honour at a dinner here to celebrate her coronation in 1953, and the royal family have hosted countless dinners here over the years. When HM The King himself hosts a dinner, he sits at the centre of the table, with his back to the fire. From here, directly in view is the Granville Garden, a rose garden created by his Great Aunt Rose, the Countess of Granville.

The State Dining Room’s illustrious history and grand appointments make it perfect for dinners and receptions that require a sense of ceremony.


  • Up to 40 guests for dinner
    Up to 60 guests for receptions


  • Available for daytime and evening hire

Exclusive Castle hire

Regardless of how you utilise our spaces, you'll be sure of exclusivity of the State Rooms during your event. We want you to have our undivided attention, and ensure you and your guests leave with memories to last a lifetime.

Should you wish to maximise the capacity of the venue for grand dinners and receptions, you may opt to use multiple spaces for your dinner, or offer a free-roam reception throughout the entirety of the State Rooms. These magnificent rooms have been used by royalty, presidents and peacemakers to create history – and now you can enjoy their luxurious surroundings for your own extra-special event.


  • Up to 140 guests for dinner
  • Up to 200 guests for a standing reception


  • Available for daytime and evening hire

South Lawn and West Terrace

Hillsborough Castle may be a masterpiece of architecture and interior design – but that’s only part of the story. The house’s idyllic grounds, with their pretty terraces, meandering waterways and immaculate lawns, are perfect for summer celebrations and alfresco dinners.

There’s a long tradition of entertaining and gathering here, including by the Hill family, Earls of Hillsborough and later Marquesses of Downshire, who often invited their tenants and neighbours to summer parties in the gardens, keeping barrels of beer cool under the trees.

Marquees, gazebos and other temporary structures can be erected on our marquee sites to shade and shelter your guests from the elements. So, regardless of what the weather may bring, you can be sure of a room with a view to impress.


  • Up to 350 guests for dinners and receptions


  • Available for daytime or evening hire

Approved suppliers

Over the years, we’ve worked with some of the best caterers, venue stylists, marquee providers and production specialists in the industry.

Whether it’s an intimate supper or a large-scale reception, our approved suppliers will help you deliver an unforgettable experience for your guests.

Find out more about our approved suppliers

Contact us

If you would like to hire Hillsborough Castle for your event, please call our team on +44 (0)28 9268 1342 to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, you can fill out an enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

Enquire about a venue

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