Things to see and do this summer

Explore Northern Ireland's royal residence with a visit to the transformed Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Explore Northern Ireland's royal residence with a visit to the transformed Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Now open daily

Located just 20 minutes from Belfast, the restored and re-imagined Hillsborough Castle and Gardens has something for everyone.

Explore 100 acres of beautiful gardens, including the newly-restored Walled Garden, the previously unseen Lost Garden, meandering waterways and picturesque glens.

You’ll find parking easy in our free car park. Enjoy delicious food and drink in our relaxing café, within our brand new visitor centre.

Inside the castle, discover the fascinating history of the re-presented State Rooms on one of our new guided tours. At the end of your day, pick-up a gift or souvenir in our brand new shop.

Garden highlights

The Walled Garden at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, showing the pergola in the distance surrounded by planting and bedding. An archway surrounds the frame of the image and there is a blue cloudy sky
Things to see

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

Open daily

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

Lady Alice's Temple, looking west across the terrace and pond. 

This domed temple was given as a wedding gift to Lady Alice Hill by her brother, the 5th Marquess of Downshire in 1867. A circular seat inside the temple sits behind a screen of Ionic columns.
Things to see

Take a seat in this 19th-century temple and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding gardens.

Open daily

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

The Glen at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, showing a stream running through a woody green area under a blue sky
Things to see

Explore this intimate corner of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, which is full of colour and intriguing details.

Open daily

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

A group of visitor enjoy a wander around the Granville Garden in the grounds of Hillsborough Castle on a warm Summers Day. The open iron gates of the garden are visible in the foregrouns and a blue clouded sky above is in start contract to the bright green of Europe's largest rhododendron, also visible behind the garden.
Things to see

Take a moment in this elegant rose garden created by Lady Granville, aunt to Her Majesty The Queen.

Open daily

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

A large lake at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens under a cloudy sky. Foliage from the surrounding trees and planting surrounds the water
Things to see

Explore an expanse of picturesque waterways and magnificent giant sequoia trees in the Lake and Pinetum.

Open daily

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

A lady and four young children walk down stone steps on the South Terrace towards the Jubilee Parterre. The South Façade of the Hillsborough Castle is visible in the background and a blue sky hangs above. The sun is shining brightly and highlights the nearby box-trimmed hedges and white flowers.
Things to see

Discover a charming formal garden and find out why the castle's 19th-century summer house is so unusual.

Open daily

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

A pathway leading down to a gateway, surrounded by trees and leading to a fort in the background
Things to see

Uncover the origins of the Hill family in their first home in Hillsborough.

Open daily

Hillsborough Castle

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)

Castle tours and State Rooms

A guide shows a group of visitors the Throne Room in the State Rooms at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. Two red and gold thrones sit at one end of the room and the walls are lined with green silk damask and the walls are lined with historical artwork.
Tours and talks Things to see

Discover elegant State Rooms still used by the royal family on a guided tour of Hillsborough Castle.

Open daily

Hillsborough Castle

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

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.

Until 1 September 2019

Hillsborough Castle

11:15 and 15:15

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

An exterior photo of the South facade of Hillsborough Castle on a sunny September day. Framed by greenery.
Tours and talks

Join us as we uncover the hidden histories of Hillsborough Castle from a different perspective.

31 August, 28 September and 26 October

Hillsborough Castle

16:30

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

Throne Room with silk green damask walls, wooden floor and large rug. Two red and gold Chairs of State, or 'thrones' are situated at the far end of the room. Gold-framed paintings of landscapes adorn the walls and three large chandeliers hang above.
Things to see

Explore the ceremonial heart of the castle, where Her Majesty The Queen received guests at a coronation ball in 1953.

Open daily for castle tours

Hillsborough Castle

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

A lady stands in a Georgian room, looking around her at the gold-framed paintings adorning the Red Room. The walls are covered in deep red silk damask and a marble fireplace is visible. An older couple can be seen in the background, also looking at the paintings.
Things to see

Political history meets royal life and a spectacular collection of art, deep in the heart of Hillsborough Castle.

Open daily for castle tours

Hillsborough Castle

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

Visitors enjoying the State Drawing Room in Hillsborough Castle. A young couple are in the foreground sat on a 2-seater sofa, seemingly enjoying the views around them. The rest of the group are spread around the room; a HRP Explainer stands in the background.
Things to see

Discover contemporary Irish art from the collection of HRH The Prince of Wales in this elegant family space.

Open daily for castle tours

Hillsborough Castle

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

Two young girls look at a replica of a diamond silver tiara on a red display pillow in a historic room.
Things to see

Explore this stylish setting for Georgian entertainment, where Her Majesty The Queen still hosts dinners.

Open daily for castle tours

Hillsborough Castle

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

A middle-aged couple walk through the State Entrance Hall whilst other visitors explore behind them. The room features a stone-tiled floor with painted-effect stone walls. Large oil paintings and portraits in gold frames hang on the surrounding walls.
Things to see

Start your tour in the magnificent state entrance, where royals, politicians and peacemakers all enter the castle.

Open daily for castle tours

Hillsborough Castle

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

A group of visitors wander around Lady Grey's Study. A crystal chandelier hangs above the room which features a soft teal wallpaper, hand-block printed with a flower design
Things to see

Discover this calm, cosy room and learn about the historic meetings that have taken place within its walls.

Open daily for castle tours

Hillsborough Castle

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

View of Stair Hall looking towards stairs that lead to the Royal Corridor. The walls are a soft blue and a large patterned rug covers most of the wooden floor. The walls are adorned with old political cartoons depicting the history of Irish and American politics. A gold-framed mirror hangs on the wall and a red-cushioned bench sits opposite.
Things to see

Explore the story of some key moments in the history of Ireland that shaped the role of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

Open daily for castle tours

Hillsborough Castle

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

Ante Room with wooden floor, olive-green walls and dark green damask curtains. A marble bust stands in the corner, and two deep red chairs frame the doors leading to the State Entrance Hall.
Things to see

Discover the heart of the castle, which provides access to some of the most important spaces.

Open daily for castle tours

Hillsborough Castle

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

Meet the Keeper of the Walled Garden

Adam Ferguson, our Keeper of the Walled Garden, and his team have reimagined the Walled Garden using a combination of heritage and modern techniques.

Meet Adam and his team, and hear about their future plans, in this short film.

Find out more about the Walled Garden
Two gentlemen and a group of visitors enjoy a wander through the Granville Garden on a sunny Summers day at Hillsborough Castle. The westerly facade of the castle is visible in the background.

Buy tickets online to save

Save money and time by buying your tickets online before your visit.

Buy tickets now

Our supporters

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

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.