Additional information for your visit

Additional information for your visit

Updated 25 March. In line with Public Health England guidance, we have taken the decision to close all six of our palaces and gardens until 31st May. We will be reviewing this and will keep you updated. Please read our statement for further information. Read our statement

  • 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. These tickets can be booked through our Contact Centre in advance, and no later than a week before your planned visit, to avoid disappointment. Please email [email protected] to book your free carer ticket and please include your original booking reference. 

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

  • I'm a member of Historic Royal Palaces - how do I book my visit?

    As a member, you do not need to pre-book for Gardens only admission. If you would like to join a tour of the Castle, log in to the Membership portal where you can book your preferred tour time.

  • Can I purchase garden-only tickets?

    A separate ticket is available for those wishing to only access the gardens. Visit the tickets and prices page to book.

  • Can I collect my online ticket on site?

    If you choose to collect on site as the delivery option, please take your booking confirmation to the admissions desk to collect your tickets for entry. 

    Tickets purchased online can be delivered to you (time for postage permitting) or you can select the 'print-at-home' option.

    You can purchase tickets on the gate but tours have limited capacity due to strict regulations for visitor numbers. During busy periods you may have to wait for the next available time slot. 

  • Can I show my ticket on my mobile device?

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

  • 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.

  • Is there car parking?

    Onsite car parking is available free of charge. During busy periods, alternative parking arrangements will be in place to accommodate additional visitors. Visit the Getting Here page for more information.

  • Will your group be arriving by coach?

    Did you know that we may be able to arrange for you to park at the village entrance? From here it is only a few minutes' walk to the state entrance for your tour. Parking in this location is by pre-arrangement only, as space is limited, and is on a first come first served basis. Please email [email protected] to arrange.

    There is also a coach park in the main car park, off the A1 which can be used with no prior arrangement.

  • 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.

    If you are booked onto a castle tour you should aim to arrive up to 45 minutes prior to your tour to allow sufficient time to park and make your way to the State Entrance to start your tour.

  • 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
  • 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.

  • Are the castle and gardens accessible for wheelchair users?

    The castle tours follow a step free route and are accessible to all. A vehicle is available to assist you in moving from the car park to the State Entrance of the castle.

    Mobility scooters aren't allowed in the castle, however we do have wheelchairs available for visitors to borrow, on a first come first served basis.

    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.

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

    Rucksacks, large bags and buggies are not allowed inside the castle. Buggies can be left in the buggy store, whilst rucksacks and other large bags can be left in the locker room, buggy store or secure bag drop facility at the State Entrance.

    Lockers and a buggy park are available in the Stable Yard. Lockers are available on a first come first served basis and are operated via a £1.00.

  • Can I take photos in the castle?

    You are welcome to take non-commercial photographs (without the use of flash) within the castle in most cases. Some items or imagery may be prohibited from being photographed and this will be clearly signposted, or ask a member of staff if you are unsure. The use of tripods and selfie-sticks in prohibited.

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

  • Can I bring a buggy into the castle?

    Pushchairs are welcome in the gardens, however we're currently unable to facilitate them inside the castle. Pushchairs may be left at the buggy parks in the Stable Yard and Pineapple Yard.

  • Can I bring food or drink into the castle?

    For conservation purposes we ask that you do not eat or drink in the castle. There are catering facilities available in the Stable Yard and Pineapple Yard.

  • 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 or miss my castle tour?

    Tours start at the State Entrance at the time stated on the ticket. It is advisable that you arrive on site 45 minutes before your tour to allow sufficient time to park and make your way from the Lower Visitor Centre, through to the gardens and to the Castle State Entrance.

    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]