Explore the stunning gardens that surround the castle
Updated 2 July. Following guidance from the government, outdoor spaces at Hillsborough Castle are now open Thursday-Sunday. The castle will re-open 30 July. Please read our visit information.
Hillsborough Castle's glorious gardens are bursting with colour and are a joy to explore.
Discover ornamental grounds, peaceful woodland, meandering waterways and picturesque glens at Northern Ireland's royal residence.
The historic gardens, which were developed from the 1760s onwards, offer intriguing contrasts between ornate formal gardens, woodland and meadows.
Keep an eye out for specimen trees and rare plants as you explore the grounds.
On arrival, don't forget to pick up your copy of our garden explorer map which reveals more of the garden's unique features, including the Walled Garden, Yew Tree Walk, Moss Walk, the Lake and Lady Alice's Temple.
These special gardens are a delight to the senses throughout the seasons and offer countless places to unwind, contemplate, socialise and seek inspiration.
The Walled Garden
The South Terrace
Yew Tree Walk, leading to Lady Alice's Temple
The Granville Garden
Moss Walk, leading to Lady Alice's Temple
Don't miss the tranquil Lady Alice's Temple, where former resident Secretary of State Mo Mowlem once found welcome respite from the pressures of politics.
The temple was given as a wedding gift to Lady Alice Hill by her brother, the 5th Marquess of Downshire in 1867.
Take a seat and relish the tranquility as you enjoy stunning views of the surrounding gardens.
This picturesque path is the route of the original road to Moira which passed in front of the house and into The Square. It was enclosed during the mid 1800s and is now named after the paired Irish Yew trees that line the path.
It offers outstanding views of the nearby Lady Alice's Temple.Learn more about Lady Alice’s Temple
The beautiful Granville Garden was created in the 1940s and 1950s by HM the Queen's aunt; Lady Rose Bowes-Lyon. Lady Rose was the wife of the Earl of Granville, the second Governor of Northern Ireland.
As young princesses, HM the Queen and HRH Princess Margaret would visit their aunt and uncle here at Hillsborough Castle.Learn more about the Granville Garden
Take a wander alongside the beautiful Moss Walk, framed under a canopy of lime trees.
This stunning area of the gardens has recently had new paths incorporated to follow the original historic layout from the 1770s and is a beautiful photo spot throughout the seasons.
The estate is very large and spans over 1km from the Pineapple Yard to the State Entrance. Distance information has been included on the directional signs in the gardens.
Due to the natural terrain of the gardens, some paths are unsuitable for wheelchair users and those with restricted mobility. Some paths have steps and steep slopes that will become slippery in wet weather.
Step-free routes and ramps are available in both the Pineapple Yard and the Stable Yard. A step-free route between the Walled Garden and State Entrance is clearly marked on-site.Accessibility at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens
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