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FAQs

Tickets and entry

Can I change the date or time of my booking?

We can make changes to unused admission tickets bought directly via our website (exc. events such as the Ceremony of the Keys or special events etc.) for an amendment fee.

You don’t need to make this change before your visit and can visit between now and 28 February 2025 on any date we’re open, subject to availability. Check availability of tickets across the sites here, pick your date and time, call our team on 0333 320 6000 to make change. Our phone lines are open Monday – Friday, 09:00-14:00.

Ticket changes are subject to Terms of use and availability, and must be made at least 3 working days before your new visit date. In the meantime, DO NOT make a new booking as it will not be refundable.

My e-tickets are missing

We recommend searching your email inbox for hrp.org.uk. If you can't find your e-tickets, you can show your confirmation email/booking reference at the Ticket Office.

I can't download my e-tickets

Please show your confirmation email / booking reference at the Ticket Office.

I don't have a booking confirmation email

You can search your email for hrp.org.uk or you can quote your booking number or email address at the Ticket Office. 

Use your membership number and surname to log in, click on the name of the palace you wish to visit and make your ticket selection. Don't forget to book a place for each member of your party, including children (except for under 5’s). 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 need to arrive at the beginning of my timeslot?

You can arrive any time within your selected 30 minute timeslot. For example, if you have a 10.30 timeslot, you can enter the palace anytime between 10.30-11.00.

My ticket has no time slot / says 6am

If you were not prompted to choose a time whilst booking your ticket, it is an off-peak ticket and you can enter any time from opening to last admission. Tickets marked 6am are also off-peak but are showing this time due to how tickets are configured in our ticketing system.

You can arrive at any time within your chosen timeslot, but if you cannot make this allotted time, the admissions team will try their best to accommodate you in the next available timeslot.

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

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

Complimentary adult carer tickets can be booked online (1 per booking) or 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 detail on what to expect during your visit.

Yes. Simply open your ticket on your smartphone and have the QR code visible to show at the entrance. 

No, we are not able to offer ticket collection on site at this time.

Groups are recommended to book in advance to guarantee entry, and on their desired timeslot. Only Blue Badge Guides are allowed to guide around Kensington Palace, in groups of no more than 6, plus Guide. Groups of 15 and over can buy tickets at a discounted 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.

Third party vouchers cannot be redeemed on the Historic Royal Palaces website, and you will need to contact the voucher provider to make your booking for you. Tickets purchased through a third party provider are subject to the Terms and Conditions of that company and you would need to contact them directly to discuss your booking or request further information about the offer.

You can’t pre-book tickets for any discounted offers at any of our sites. You need to bring your card / pass with you to the Ticket Desk to collect a ticket. Children using a Blue Peter Badge need their badge, card and proof of age and must be accompanied by an adult. We’ll admit you on the next available timeslot (subject to availability) and will not ask your party to split up if you are visiting with people with pre-booked tickets however due to limited capacity, you may have to queue.

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.

In line with government guidelines, we ask visitors to consider wearing a face covering in our indoor spaces, shops and crowded places unless exempt.

We recommend 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.

At the palaces

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.

Dogs are not permitted in Hillsborough Castle and Gardens unless they are trained assistance dogs. This includes medical alert dogs. We are happy to provide water on request.

Toilets are available in the following locations:

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

All toilets have disabled access and baby changing facilities.

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

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.

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

Free lockers will be available for bag and buggy storage.

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.

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.

Our café in the Lower Visitor Centre in the Western Pavilion is open 09:00 – 16:00. 

The café in the Stable Yard is closed for winter from 30 September 2023.

The gift shop in the Weston Pavilion is open. You can also shop exclusive Hillsborough gifts at our online shop.

Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and enjoy picnics in the gardens

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.

 

Breastfeeding is welcome throughout the Castle and Gardens. Team members are always on hand should you need any further information and we will happily assist should you wish to breastfeed off the main visitor route.

Other

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.

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. For more information on visitor photography can be found here

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.

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

Please be aware that adults are not permitted to enter at the castle or gardens in costume unless otherwise stated as part of an event arranged by Historic Royal Palaces.

EXPLORE WHAT'S ON

  • Tours and talks
  • Events

Garden Workshops

Join our expert gardeners in workshops and explore Hillsborough Castle's historic gardens.

  • Until 14 September 2024
  • 10.30 - 12.30
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Separate ticket (advance booking required)
Learn more Buy Tickets
  • Tours and talks

Hillsborough Castle Special Interest Tours

Led by an expert guide, delve deeper into Hillsborough Castle's unique history.

  • July - November
  • 60 minutes
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Separate ticket
Learn more Buy tickets
  • Families

Summer Music In The Gardens

Spend a summer afternoon relaxing in the gardens and listening to music.

  • 29 June - 17 August
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Included in all admission tickets (members go free)
Learn more

BROWSE MORE HISTORY AND STORIES

Art at Hillsborough Castle

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

The story of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

‘The Grandest House in County Down’