Autumn family activities

Enjoy foraging walks and Halloween arts and crafts

Enjoy foraging walks and Halloween arts and crafts


Selected dates in October

Ticketing information

From 2 October and on selected dates during October.

Please note, places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Free with a garden ticket.

Included in gardens admission (members go free)

Buy Hillsborough Castle and Gardens tickets

Take part in the family fun at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens this autumn

Scarecrow Parade

Visit the Walled Garden at Hillsborough Castle during October to see a gathering of scarecrows made by local schools and community groups in partnership with local artists. With so many famous faces from history guarding our crops, we’re expecting a bumper harvest this year! Who will you spot?

Date: 2 – 31 October 
Time: 10.00–17.00
Location: The Walled Garden

Wonder Weekends: Family Foraging Walk

Explore the wild food growing in Hillsborough Castle’s gardens on this fun foraging walk for families. Learn more about the season of autumn and the flora and fauna all around us, and taste test some delicious goods made from foraged food! For families with children aged 5 and above.

Date: Saturday 2 October
Time: 10.30–12.00, 13.00–14.30, 15.00–16.30
Location: In the gardens. To secure your place, please collect a ticket from the blackboard, in the stable yard 30 minutes before each session begins. 

Harvest Knots

Celebrate autumn and harvest time by trying your hand at straw craft. With help from our artist facilitator, make your own harvest knot to take home. For families with children aged 6 and above.

Date: Saturday 9 October 
Time: 10.30–11.15, 11.30–12.15, 12.30–13.15, 14.00–14.45, 15.00–15.45
Location: Clore Learning Centre. Please queue at the blackboard in the Stable Yard.

Storytelling Walks

In this relaxed session for families, enjoy a wide range of stories inspired by autumn and Hallowe’en as you walk through Hillsborough Castle’s gardens. For families with children aged 3 and above. 

Date: Saturday 16 October
Time: Timed walks at 10.30–11.30, 12.00– 13.00, 13.45–14.45, 15.15–16.15
Location: In the gardens. Please meet by the blackboard in the Stable Yard.

Hallowe’en Lanterns

Make a spooky lantern to take home! Why not use it to light your way on our atmospheric Wild Raven Walk? For families with children aged 5 and above. 

Date: Saturday 23 October
Time: Timed walks at 10.30, 11.45, 13.30, 14.45. Last entry 14.45
Location: Clore Learning Centre. Please meet by the blackboard in the Stable Yard.

Get crafty: Mini Scarecrows

Get crafty with our artist facilitator and make your own mini scarecrow to celebrate harvest and the season of autumn. For families with children aged 5 and above. 

Date: Saturday 30 October
Time: 10.30–11.00, 11.15–11.45, 12.00–12.30, 13.15–13.45, 14.00–14.30, 14.45-15.15, 15.30–16.00
Location: Clore Learning Centre. Please meet by the blackboard in the Stable Yard.


Group of children making Halloween arts and craft

Further information

Outdoor sessions will only be cancelled in the event of extreme adverse weather.* Please dress appropriately for each activity. Hillsborough’s gardens are hilly, there are bodies of water onsite and not all areas are fully accessible. Participant discretion is advised. 

Numbers are limited for each activity and are on a first come, first serve basis. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Please help us safely manage numbers by maintaining social distancing while queuing.

*For Storytelling Walks, in the event of adverse weather, the session will take place in the Clore Learning Centre.

Halloween at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, 2020
Various pumpkins and squashes including Musquee de Provence, Atlantic Giant, Triple treat, Jack O Lantern and Galeux de Eysines placed on a crate in the Kitchen Garden at Hampton Court Palace. Showing vegetables of varying sizes maturing in the autumn sunshine. Beds containing herbs and other produce can be seen in the background
Family explore the Ice House at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens
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.
Things to see

Discover elegant State Rooms still used by the royal family inside Hillsborough Castle.

Closed (open to group bookings only)

Hillsborough Castle

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

Families Tours and talks

Take the family on a magical sound and light walk through the gardens this Halloween and discover a spooky side to Hillsborough Castle.

28, 30 and 31 October 2021

Hillsborough Castle

17.30 – 21.00 (Walks last 40 minutes)

Separate ticket (advance booking required)

Illustration of birds, animals, insects and carriage set in green fields
Things to see Families

This autumn, enjoy a day out discovering our brand new interactive play trail - the Imaginary Menagerie.


Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

Selection of plates and cutlery on a blanket

Shop picnicware

Enjoy fine dining outdoors with our magnificent picnic hampers. Discover our luxury hampers and exquisite picnic blankets.

From £19.99

A collection of stationery items under the Royal Victoria range shown left to right:
Royal Victoria white A5 luxury notebook, Royal Victoria Royal Victoria B6 glitter gold and silver notebook, Royal Victoria Luxury White Pencil Case, Royal Victoria navy gem pen, Royal Victoria list notepads set of two

Shop Stationery

Our stationery collection ranges from greetings cards, notebooks and pens to calligraphy sets and unique home and desk accessories.

From £4.99

Palace China Collection, serviettes and cake stand.  Design inspired by the palaces in our care; delicate details taken from the rose gardens at Hampton Court Palace, the famous gates at Kensington Palace and the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.   'Tea Fit for a Queen' book - reciipes and drinks for afternoon tea.  Lifestyle

Shop HRP Books & Publications

Discover books inspired by the palaces in our care, learn about fascinating periods of British history, including our official palace guide books, children's books and more.

From £10.99