Our garden play trail
Family fun awaits
Enjoy a day out discovering our 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 as the seasons change.
Book your adventure today with a Gardens only ticket.
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?
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!
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!
- Tours and talks
Join our Head Gardener for an uplifting New Year’s Day walk around the gardens at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.
- 01 January 2024
- 10:00 and 11:30, approximately 75 minutes.
- Hillsborough Castle
- Included in gardens admission (members go free)