Summer House

Spark their imaginations with fun garden trails and activities

Spark their imaginations with fun garden trails and activities

Update 27 November: We are closed from 27 November to 02 December inclusive. The gardens will now reopen on Thursday 03 December in line with updated guidance from the Northern Ireland Executive.

When

Closed


Ticketing information

The Summer House is open daily in all seasons, during normal opening times.


Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

Book Hillsborough Castle and Gardens tickets

Our Summer House is the perfect start to your adventure at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

Created especially to keep little ones entertained during your visit, this fun corner of the grounds will catch the attention of any little wildlife expert or future gardener.

You can find the Summer House between Moss Walk and the east wall of the Walled Garden, just a short walk from the Weston Pavilion.

Explore the gardens with fun activities

Pick up a special activity sheet to record what you see and smell during your day, or learn more about the animals, birds and other creatures that live in our gardens with our pull-out displays.

Can you spot the swans, kingfishers and other wildlife on the beautiful lake, and listen for the ravens in the Pinetum?

Maybe you can see bees and butterflies in the Walled Garden, or even otters in the pond near Lady Alice's Temple?

Find out which cute creature steals fruit to line its bed and learn what buried treasure our gardeners have found in the grounds.

Children explore the Summer House at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Find out what's growing in the gardens

There are 100 acres of grounds at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, which keeps our gardeners busy! From our kitchen produce in the Walled Garden and our wild meadow on the South Lawn to our huge lake and pinetum, there is always something to do, cultivate or grow.

The gardens also have a long history going back to the 18th century, and many gardeners have tended to the ground here.

In the Summer House you can find out what's growing in the garden at the moment and learn more about the characters who have worked here over the years.

Gardener picking apples from a tree in the Walled Garden.
Things to see

Enter the castle grounds through this 18th-century walled garden, which has been expertly restored using traditional methods.

Closed. Reopening Thursday 03 December.

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

Lady Alice's Temple, looking west across the terrace and pond. 

This domed temple was given as a wedding gift to Lady Alice Hill by her brother, the 5th Marquess of Downshire in 1867. A circular seat inside the temple sits behind a screen of Ionic columns.
Things to see

Take a seat in this 19th-century temple and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding gardens.

Closed. Reopening Thursday 03 December.

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

The Glen at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, showing a stream running through a woody green area under a blue sky
Things to see

Explore this intimate corner of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, which is full of colour and intriguing details.

Closed. Reopening Thursday 03 December.

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

A selection of products from Royal Palace collection
Royal Palace fine bone china dessert plate 30142978.  Royal Palace luxury ceramic bauble 30169631. Royal Palace fine bone china tea for two gift set 30162646 comprising of two cups and saucers and tea strainer, Royal Palace china tea po

Shop afternoon tea gifts and accessories

Exclusive English fine bone chine tea sets inspired by our historic royal palaces. Collect our traditional Palace china afternoon tea sets, with designs including elements from all our royal palaces.

From £10.00

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

Food and drink category

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.

From £3.99