Additional information for your visit

Additional information for your visit

  • Do you have issues downloading your tickets?

    We are sorry to hear that you have had issues downloading your tickets. We are making some changes to our website to improve our customer experience and that has caused a technical issue for a small number of ticket holders.

    If you are not able to download your e-tickets using the link in your confirmation email, please show your reference number which begins 421xxxxxxxx to the ticket desk when you arrive and staff on site will be able to print your tickets for you.

  • When is Hillsborough Castle and Gardens open?

    The gardens are open Wednesdays to Sundays. Please note that the Castle is closed and only available for group visits

  • Do I need to wear a face covering?

    In line with government guidelines, you must wear a face covering inside our shops, unless exempt.

    We expect and recommend that face masks are worn in indoor spaces and that visitors continue to maintain a respectful distance from staff and other visitors not in their group. Please continue to show courtesy and consideration for other people visiting the Palaces.

  • I'm a member of Historic Royal Palaces - how do I book a time slot?

    As a member, you need to pre-book a timeslot for your visit using the Member portal. This is to ensure the safety of both visitors and staff. 

    If you are unable to login with your membership number and surname, try a space after your surname. It is not case-specific. If this doesn’t help, please email our team at [email protected].

  • Do I have to arrive at the beginning of my timeslot (gardens-only)?

    You can arrive within within 15 minutes of their booked slot (if you booked for 10.00, can arrive between 10.00-10.15).

    Please note that for the last entry to the gardens, those arriving fifteen minutes late cannot be guaranteed entry.

  • What happens if I'm late?

    Please note that you will need to arrive 45 minutes before your castle tour begins.

    In the event that you arrive later, the admissions team will try to admit you on the next available slot.

    Please be aware that timeslots on the day may be fully booked and this cannot always be guaranteed. 

  • Is there car parking on-site?

    On-site car parking is available free of charge including 27 disabled parking space, free for Blue Badge holders. Please please follow the brown tourist signs on the A1 south to our sign-posted car park entrance. Visit the Getting Here page for more information.

  • Will there be toilets open?

    Toilets are available in the following locations:

    • Pineapple Yard
    • Gardens
    • Weston Pavilion (Lower Visitor Centre) from 26 May 2021

    All toilets have disabled access and baby changing facilities.

  • Who is entitled to the Concession rate?
    • Student: You are entitled to a concession rate ticket if you are over the age of 16 and in full time education. You are required to show a current student identification card once on site to validate the discounted price. International students are entitled to this rate if they also meet these requirements with a valid ID card.
    • 65+ years: You are entitled to a concession rate ticket if you are 65 or over. You may be required to show an identification card (with your date of birth) once on site to validate the discounted price. International visitors are entitled to this rate if they also meet these requirements of proof of age.
    • Those with a registered disability: You are entitled to the concession rate as parts of the gardens are difficult to access for those with accessibility needs.
  • Are free carers tickets available?

    Those with a registered disability are entitled to a free carers ticket.

    Complimentary adult carer tickets can be obtained on the day of your visit upon presentation of proof of registered disability (such as a Blue Badge, Freedom Pass, DLA letter or PIP letter).

    The access page has further details on what to expect during your visit. 

  • Can I show my ticket on my mobile device?

    Yes, tickets purchased directly through our website can be shown on your mobile device or printed out.

  • Can I collect my online ticket on site?

    No, we will not be offering ticket collection on site at this time.

  • Are dogs allowed into the site?

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

    All registered assistance dogs, even those in training, are welcome and can accompany their owners on castle tours. Please bring the dog's 'Assistance Dog's (UK)' identification book (or appropriate international equivalent) and ensure that dogs wear their designated jacket or lead slip.

  • Can I bring my own food or drink?

    Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and enjoy picnics in the gardens – we simply ask that you observe social distancing, for your safety, and the safety of our other guests.

  • Are the cafes and gift shop open?

    Our café in the Lower Visitor Centre in the Western Pavilion is open, 10.00-16.30. The café at the Stableyard will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

    Our on site shop in the Weston Pavilion will open on 26 May 2021. You can shop exclusive Hillsborough gifts at our online shop.

  • How long should I allow for my visit?

    You can spend as much time as you like in Hillsborough Gardens during opening hours. Most visitors spend an average of 3 hours on site.


  • Will I be searched as I enter the site?

    As a working Royal residence and home to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland we have a commitment to ensure our site is safe for all. As you enter the site you will pass through our security area where bags and individuals may be searched.

    Small handbags are permitted inside the castle on the condition they may be searched before entering. Rucksacks and large bags are not allowed inside the castle but can be deposited in the Stable Yard. Upon entry to the castle you can also store bags in a secure bag drop facility. 

    The following items are strictly banned from the premises: 

    • Weapons, including knives
    • Fireworks and smoke bombs
    • Pepper spray or any other articles intended to cause injury
    • Any article which is illegal to possess under UK law
  • Can I bring a buggy?

    Pushchairs are welcome in the gardens, but not in the castle.

    Free lockers will be available for bag and buggy storage.

  • Are the gardens accessible for wheelchair users?

    Due to the natural terrain of the gardens, some paths are unsuitable for wheelchair users and those with restricted mobility. For further information on accessibility at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, see our Accessibility page.

    We offer some wheelchairs to use on a first come, first served basis which are sanitised between each use.

  • I am fundraising - can I get complimentary tickets?

    As Historic Royal Palaces is a charity, we receive no funding from the Government or the Crown, so we depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors. We are unable to support other fundraising activities with complimentary tickets.

  • Where can I leave my bag while visiting the castle?

    Rucksacks, large bags and buggies are not allowed inside the castle.

    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 bags coming into the castle will be a non touch search as they go into the state entrance.

  • Can I take photos in the castle?

    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.

    Images of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens are also available for sale from our Photographic Library. Requests for commercial photography, filming or sketching should be made in advance.

  • What is the dress code?

    There is no specific dress code for visitors to Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. We do ask that you dress respectfully as families are likely to be present. If there are offensive slogans or other clothing items deemed to be inappropriate you may be approached by a member of staff.

  • What if I'm late?

    If you arrive late, please alert a member of staff who will try their best to accommodate you on an alternative time slot. This is subject to availability. 

    As per our terms of use, Historic Royal Palaces operates a no refund policy.

  • I think I left some property behind, how do I retrieve it?

    If you lose something during your visit, please contact the nearest member of staff. Alternatively, contact [email protected]and we'll do our best to try to reunite you with your property.

  • How do I get more information on the displayed collections?

    For general information browse History and Stories and What's On. For detailed information relating to the collections on display, email [email protected] 

  • Will I be able to enter the gardens from the top site or only from the main entrance?

    Entrance will be via the visitor entrance off the A1, which is closest to our beautiful gardens.