The Imaginary Menagerie

Our brand new play trail opening summer 2021

Our brand new play trail opening summer 2021

When

Open 26 June 2021

Daily

Ticketing information

Trail and installation will open in June.

Suitable for families and visitors of all ages and abilities.


Included in gardens admission (members go free)

Buy Hillsborough Castle and Gardens tickets

A summer of family fun

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

This animal-inspired play trail throughout the Castle's gardens will take you on adventures celebrating the animals and wildlife that have made, and continue to make, Hillsborough their home.

From Governor Lord Erskine’s tropical fish which he bred in the Staircase Hall and Lady Salisbury’s horse and carriage, to the robins, kingfishers and otters that thrive in the gardens today - Hillsborough has a whole menagerie of animals for you to uncover. 

Book your adventure today.

Play, marvel or relax among wildlife

Follow the kingfisher and robin trails around the gardens at your own pace. Discover magical places to play, marvel or relax with your family.  

You'll find sculptures integrated into the landscape, hands-on play, as well as opportunities to watch nature in action like our  bee hives and lakeside bird hide.

Which animals will you find along the way? 

Families at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, enjoying the Imaginary Menagerie play trail and installation.
Illustration of a blue and orange kingfisher

Kingfisher trail

The trail takes you around the Lake and takes about 30 minutes to walk plus extra time to play.

Look out for the kingfishers. Follow them around the trail to see what you can find.

Feel the earth between your toes in Barefoot Walk, create marvellous music with the wooden chimes in the Sound Forest, spot our birds including majestic swans or perhaps one of our resident kingfishers and find your favourite Hillsborough Hound!

Robin trail

The trail takes about 40 minutes to walk plus extra time to play.

Look out for the robins. Follow them around the trail to see what you can find.

Hide out in the family nest, talk to the animals and birds or your friends with our amazing talk tubes, explore the crannog over the stream and lookout for the exotic birdcage sculpture. You can also build your own folly.

There is so much to explore!

 

Illustration of a blue and orange kingfisher

Imagine with us

We're delighted to share this unique new experience with members and visitors alike and hope you're as excited as we are to share your experiences of our new play trail.

Two male visitors look at white flowers in a lush green garden under a blue sky in the summer
Tours and talks

Join us on a walking tour of Hillsborough Castle's gardens and discover the history behind their beautiful plants and majestic trees as they have grown and evolved over time.

Wednesdays from 30 June 2021

Hillsborough Castle

14.00-15.00

Separate ticket

Children and actors dressed in Tudor costumes enjoy a range of Tudor sports including falconry, archery, quintain and football.
Families Events

Get ready for the Round Robin Games and join the fun with family and friends.

10 July - 11 July 2021

Hillsborough Castle

Daily 11.00 – 17.00

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

Children smile as they colour and draw during family activities in the Stableyard cafe courtyard of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens
Families Events

Come along for a weekend full of falconry, arts and crafts, live music and picnicking on the South Terrace garden!

26 June - 27 June 2021

Hillsborough Castle

10.00-17.00

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)