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Explore for free with your Community Group

Join our community access scheme

Join our community access scheme

What is the Community Access Scheme?

The Community Access Scheme (CAS) offers local community groups the chance to explore and engage with us.

Who is it for?

CAS membership is open to community groups with a formal constitution or charitable status who are based locally to Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. We are particularly keen to hear from groups who would not normally visit the castle or see it as a place of interest for them.

What does the scheme offer participating groups?

To enjoy the benefits of CAS membership your group leader must first attend a compulsory CAS group leader training morning. These take place 2-3 times per year and are designed to equip group leaders with the skills and knowledge to confidently bring their members on site. Following attendance at training, and confirmation of membership, your group will then be able to enjoy the following:

  • Free year-round group access to our gardens for groups of up to 15 people accompanied by a CAS trained leader;
  • The chance to take a tour of the castle with your group (subject to availability);
  • Occasional opportunities to participate in creative workshop programmes and seasonal hands-on activities.

Please note that CAS membership is for groups interested in engaging with us regularly over an extended period of time and in a variety of ways. The scheme is not appropriate for groups wishing to make a one-off visit to the site.

How can I get involved?

Interested group leaders should register for a place on an upcoming group leader training morning to learn more about the scheme and how it works.

For details on the next available session, or if you have any queries about the scheme, please email Louise Smith, Learning Producer for Communities.


Two to three times per year as required

10.30 – 14.00


Group leader training sessions are held in our Clore Learning Centre.

Ticketing information

Please contact [email protected] for details of the next available training date and to register for a place.

Email to book a place

Working with communities

Our core programmes and projects create opportunities for people to meaningfully engage with our spaces and stories, inspiring everyone to feel a sense of belonging at our six wonderful palaces.

Explore how we work with communities


  • Things to see

Jubilee Parterre

Discover a charming formal garden and find out why the castle's 19th-century summer house is so unusual.

  • In line with gardens opening hours
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Included in all admission tickets (members go free)
Learn more
  • Things to see
  • Tours and talks

The Castle

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

  • Open Wednesday - Sunday
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Included in combined castle tour and gardens tickets (members go free)
Learn more
  • Things to see

Granville Garden

Take a moment in this elegant rose garden created by Lady Granville, aunt to Queen Elizabeth II.

  • In line with gardens opening hours
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Included in all admission tickets (members go 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

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Shop food & drink

Feast your eyes on our wonderful selection of food inspired by our royal kitchen. Shop chocolates, preserves, jam, chocolate coins and the finest liqueurs.

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In our home section you will find stylish lifestyle home accessories and furnishings, including cushions, tapestries, ornaments and much more which will add those finishing touches to make your room complete.

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