You are at the top of the page

Skip to content or footer

Start of main content

Walking With The Snowman™

Explore a magical festive trail

Explore a magical festive trail

Experience the magic of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman™, as Walking With The Snowman™ comes to Hillsborough Castle this festive season. The beloved Snowman™ is brought to life in a trail around the stunning gardens – a perfect Christmas treat for families and fans of all ages.

Wrap up warm, bring your family and friends, and get ready for a heart-warming festive adventure. There are 12 giant Snowman™ sculptures to discover, each beautifully hand painted by a different artist and inspired by the timeless Christmas classic '12 Days of Christmas'. Can you find them all?


18 November 2023 - 07 January 2024

In line with gardens opening hours

Ticket Information

Included in a standard Gardens ticket during daytime opening hours.

Members and under 5s go free.

Included in gardens admission (members go free)

Buy Hillsborough Castle and Gardens tickets

Along your way, you may also discover a special garden play trail, a royal walled garden and meandering waterways, along with plenty of space to explore and play. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a snowy day, have a go at making your own snowman! Finish off all that the exploring with a warming hot chocolate and festive treat from the café.

On select days, you can also see the Snowman™ in special screenings of the iconic animated film. Or on Saturday mornings in December, come and have breakfast with Father Christmas in our cosy café!

This is the first time the Snowman™ Wild in Art trail has come to the island of Ireland, so don’t miss out on this special adventure. Pre-book your tickets now, or become a member and visit time and again for free.

© Snowman Enterprises Limited 2023. THE SNOWMAN™ Snowman Enterprises Limited

Lady Alice's Temple sits on the edge of a small lake, surrounding trees frame the scene all laden with crisp, fresh snow. The reflection of Lady Alice's Temple visible in the lake below.
Back view of Laura Hutchinson (Head of Media &P PR) taking a photograph of a life-size "nine ladies dancing" snowman (long shot) by Wild In Art artist Sally Adams. The snowman is dark blue and decorated like a winter night sky with painted snowflakes and ethereal ladies dancing.
Moss Walk, showing the back view of a life-size "three French hens" snowman by Wild In Art artist Donna Newman. The snowman is painted using the colours of the Tricolour flag and features three hens wearing striped jumpers.
Yew Tree Walk, showing the back view of a life-size "eight maids a-milking" snowman by Wild In Art artist Jenny Leonard. The snowman is sky blue and white and its back is decorated with painted cartons of different types of dairy and non-dairy milk. Laura Hutchinson (Head of Media & PR) is seen in the background taking a photograph of the snowman.

Walking With The Snowman™ Trail Map

The Snowman™ Screenings

Cosy up with your family and watch the original animation of the beloved Snowman™ as part of your visit to Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. 

Screenings take place during weekends in December and every day 27-31 December. Admission is included as part of a Gardens visit but space is limited; please register your interest at the admissions desk on arrival to guarantee a space. 

Visit Clore 2 in the Stableyard at 12:00 and 15:00. The film lasts approximately 30 minutes.

02, 03, 09, 10, 16, 17, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 December

South Terrace, showing a three-quarter length view of a life-size "seven swans a-swimming" snowman by Wild In Art artist RP Roberts. The snowman is painted blue to represent a lake with painted swans.
Christmas at Hillsborough, showing visitors enjoying the light installation in the gardens at night.

Have brunch with Santa!

Every Saturday in December, Father Christmas will be paying a special visit to the café at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens! Come and meet our illustrious guest as you enjoy a drink or delicious meal with your family. Children are invited to share their letters and drawings with Santa, and take home some magic reindeer food. 

Saturday 02, 09, 16 and 23 December, 10.00-13.00

Find out more

Love The Snowman™?

Learn more about The World of the Snowman™ here, including delicious recipes and fun family crafting activities.

Back view of Amanda Hutchinson (Head of Media & PR) taking a photograph of a smiling Kim Diver (Operations and Business Support Officer) next to a  life-size "eleven pipers piping" snowman by Wild In Art artist Amanda Quellin. The snowman is red and white with a white hat and features an orchestra of painted woodland creatures.


  • Events
  • Christmas

Christmas wreath making workshop

Create a seasonal Christmas wreath using foliage from the castle grounds.

  • 08, 09 and 13 December 2023
  • 10:00 and 13:30
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Separate ticket (advance booking required)
Learn more
  • Families
  • Christmas

Christmas Family Activities

Celebrate Christmas with a range of festive family-friendly activities and workshops.

  • 11 November - 16 December 2023
  • 10:30 - 15:30
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Included in gardens admission (members go free)
Learn more
  • Families
  • Christmas
  • Events
  • Things to see

Brunch with Santa

Indulge in a magical brunch with Santa at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens!

  • 02, 09, 16, and 23 December
  • 10:00-13:00
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Free
Learn more


The story of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

‘The Grandest House in County Down’

Art at Hillsborough Castle

Hillsborough Castle has become a place in which to see amazing art