Hillsborough Castle Special Interest Tours

Delve into art, royalty, conservation or LGBTQ+ themes at Northern Ireland’s royal residence

Delve into art, royalty, conservation or LGBTQ+ themes at Northern Ireland’s royal residence


October and November

Ticketing information

October and November tickets on-sale soon. Pre-booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. 

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

Do you have a special interest or want to delve deeper into Hillsborough Castle’s unique history? Join our specially themed guided house tours, running for a limited period only this autumn.

Whether you’re intrigued by Hillsborough Castle’s centuries old connection to LGBTQ+ lives, want to learn more about our unrivalled art collection, see how we conserve our famous collection or simply learn more about the Castle’s royal connections, we have a tour for you. You may even be lucky enough to access some behind-the-scenes areas in the Castle not usually seen by visitors.

Find out more about our range of special house tours below, and book your tickets today to secure your exclusive slot.

Looking to entertain your little ones? Explore our Family Fun Tours during weekends in October, running alongside our spectacular Scarecrow Festival.


Led by an expert guide, you will get to explore changing attitudes to sexuality and gender identity using stories from the Castle's past and the rich collection of objects and paintings on display. From royal relationships and public scandals to political activism and evolving attitudes, Hillsborough Castle's connection to LGBTQ+ lives has existed for centuries.

Saturday 01 and Saturday 15 October, Saturday 5 and Saturday 19 November

State Entrance Hall at Hillsborough Castle with artworks hanging on the walls.
The Throne Room, showing Kim Diver (Castle Steward Visitor & Events, Hillsborough Castle) crouching down and using a small brush to clean a red velvet and giltwood throne chair. An identical second throne is seen on the left of the image.

Royal Tour

Find out more about Hillsborough Castle’s long-standing connection to royalty. On this expertly guided tour, you’ll discover the stories that make Hillsborough Castle such a unique and important royal residence.

Sunday 06 and Sunday 20 November

Art Tour

From Reubens to Ramsey and Lely to Lavery, Hillsborough Castle is a place to see great art. Devised by leading art historian Amanda Croft, this tour guides you through Hillsborough’s treasures including unique works from the Royal Collection and other major lenders on display for the first time in Northern Ireland.

Sunday 02, Friday 07 and Sunday 16 October, Sunday 13 and Friday 18 November

Conservationist attending to a painting
The State Dining Room, showing Jean Adams (Household Assistant Hillsborough Castle) handling a two-handled silver cup (1908). (Blurred interior of room seen in background.)

Conservation Tour

Discover how we conserve and preserve historic furniture, paintings, silverware and clocks for display in the magnificent State Rooms of Hillsborough Castle. Led by Castle and Collections Manager David Orr, you will see the techniques used to care for our superb collections, visit behind-the-scenes rooms not on the regular tours, and meet one of our highly skilled specialist furniture conservators.

Friday 11 November

Members go free

Join as a Historic Royal Palaces member today and visit Hillsborough Castle and Gardens time and again for free. Enjoy our season of unmissable events or simply return to see the seasons change.

Join as a member
Two visitors walking around the Lake along a path in the sunshine.
Tours and talks Events

Join us on guided walks and tours at Hillsborough Castle's gardens and discover the history behind their beautiful plants and flowers.

Various dates year-round

Hillsborough Castle

Separate ticket

Scarecrow Parade at Hillsborough Castle, showing a scarecrow on display in the garden.

Visit the Scarecrow Parade this autumn in the Walled Garden at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

01 October - 13 November

Hillsborough Castle

Included in gardens admission (members go free)

The Main Lawn. Showing shrubs in the foreground and trees seen across the lawn.
Things to see

Discover the ornamental lawns, meandering waterways, peaceful woodlands and picturesque glens that surround Hillsborough Castle.


Hillsborough Castle

Included in gardens admission (members go free)

Peter Rabbit my first library book collection 2001001, My first Peter Rabbit soft toy 8003005, My first Flopsy Bunny soft toy 8003006, Peter Rabbit board book 40110.

Shop Children's Toys

Discover our range of traditional toys and games inspired by Historic Royal Palaces. Bring history to life with our fun selection of toys and games inspired by our British heritage.

From £4.99

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

Historic Royal Palaces retail product - drinking glasses, books and deer cushion

Shop homewares

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.

From £9.99