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Practical information for your visit

Practical information for your visit

Route and Map

Download our map for gardens and estate highlights, as well as the locations of palace facilities. 


Download Hillsborough Castle map


Toilets are available in the following locations:

  • Pineapple Yard
  • Gardens
  • Weston Pavilion (Lower Visitor Centre)
  • Stable Yard

All have disabled access and baby change facilities.


Dogs are not permitted in Hillsborough Castle and Gardens unless they are trained assistance dogs.

Trained assistance dogs are welcome inside the castle and gardens. This includes medical alert dogs. We are happy to provide water on request.

Facilities for families

Extra care should be taken in the castle gardens where there are water features or wildlife. For the safety and well-being of all our visitors, the use of balls, frisbees, scooters, bicycles and roller-blades are not allowed in the gardens.

Buggies and pushchairs

A buggy park are available in the Stable Yard.

Baby changing

Baby changing facilities are available in both the male and female toilets in the Pineapple Yard and in the Stable Yard.

Filming and photography

Visitors are welcome to take photographs within most areas of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

Personal photography is not permitted inside the Castle. Our Hillsborough Castle Guidebook offers beautiful photos of the State Rooms and can be purchased alongside your tickets or in the gift shop.

Historic Royal Palaces has a photography policy that applies to media / commercial photography. When taking photographs at our site, you may be approached by our staff and asked about the purposes of your photography or filming. Historic Royal Palaces reserves the right to request you stop your activities if these are believed to be in breach of the policy.

The photography of certain, individual items may not be allowed due to loan arrangements. Please ask a member of staff if you’re unsure.

Commercial and media photography

Requests for commercial and media photography, filming and sketching should be made in advance by contacting our Media and PR Team.

Photographic equipment

Equipment such as tripods, monopods, selfie sticks (interiors) and gimbals may not be used at the site unless arrangements have been made in advance with our Media and PR or Conservation teams.

Wedding photography

Wedding photography is exclusive to couples hiring Hillsborough Castle and Gardens for their wedding day. To find out more about hiring Hillsborough Castle and Gardens for your event, visit our Hire a Venue page.

Other visitors

We ask that you respect the privacy of our other visitors while taking photographs at our site. Historic Royal Palaces is a safeguarding organisation and takes its responsibility to protect children and vulnerable people seriously. We may sometimes ask therefore that visitors refrain from filming or photographing other visitors.

Read our Safeguarding policies

Left Luggage

Large bags (anything bigger than approx. A3) and buggies will not be allowed in the Castle.  Free lockers will be available for bag and buggy storage. 

Small handbags are permitted inside the castle on the condition they may be searched upon entry, using non touch.


Free Wi-Fi is available inside the castle only, not in the gardens.

Simply follow the on-screen prompts on your mobile device to get connected.

Lost property

Please speak to a member of staff if you lose something during a visit. Alternatively contact our Visitor Services team with a description of the lost item and the date of your visit by emailing [email protected]

First Aid

Please alert a uniformed member of staff if someone within your party requires First Aid during your visit.

Health and safety

Our castle is very old and has many uneven surfaces, for example cobbles, worn steps, uneven steps and slopes. Please choose footwear that is comfortable and appropriate for the conditions.

Some surfaces may be slippery, particularly if they are wet from rain.

Light levels can be low in some places, so please allow sufficient time for your eyes to adjust, particularly when using stairs.

In some of our gardens we have steep slopes and drops from height, so please be aware of these, especially if you have children with you.

Where water features are present, please ensure children are supervised at all times.

Look out for our safety signs and follow the advice given to avoid spoiling your day.

There are many insects and in particular bees and wasps nests around the site which are undisturbed.

Throughout the gardens there are open lakes and small bridges please approach with caution especially if you have children with you.

There may be some traffic movements from our gardeners on the arterial service road. When crossing please do so with caution.


  • Tours and talks

New Year’s Day Garden Walks

Join our Head Gardener for an uplifting New Year’s Day walk around the gardens at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

  • 01 January 2024
  • 10:00 and 11:30, approximately 75 minutes.
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Included in gardens admission (members go free)
New Year’s Day Garden Walks
  • Families
  • Christmas

Christmas Family Activities

Celebrate Christmas with a range of festive family-friendly activities and workshops.

  • 11 November - 16 December 2023
  • 10:30 - 15:30
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Included in gardens admission (members go free)
Learn more
  • Families
  • Christmas
  • Events
  • Things to see

Brunch with Santa

Indulge in a magical brunch with Santa at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens!

  • 09, 16, and 23 December
  • 10:00-13:00
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Free
Learn more


The story of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

‘The Grandest House in County Down’

Art at Hillsborough Castle

Hillsborough Castle has become a place in which to see amazing art