Food glorious food at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens’ Inaugural Food Festival 2019

20 May

20 May

Get set for a scrumptious summer as a transformed Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, County Down, invites visitors to its first ever food festival, from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 July 2019. Hosted in partnership with BBC Good Food and supported by Tourism Northern Ireland, tickets are now on sale for the Hillsborough Castle and Gardens Food Festival, giving visitors the chance to discover an array of local flavours and aromas.

Set in 100 acres of stunning Castle grounds, visitors can enjoy a majestic day out, shopping from mouth-watering local food and drink producers. Visit the Discover Northern Ireland Tasting Theatre hosted by leading Northern Ireland chef Paula McIntyre and explore the artisan produce, street food and pop-up bars with the stunning Castle as a backdrop.

Enjoy live cookery demonstrations, with top culinary tips from local and international chefs, including Nadiya Hussain, Dr Rupy Aujla and Chris Bavin – with more names to be announced. There’ll also be music and kids’ entertainment on the bandstand, adding to the family festival atmosphere. 

Laura McCorry, Head of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, said, “We are delighted to be hosting these predominantly local food and drink producers at the Hillsborough Castle and Gardens Food Festival for the first time this year. The newly transformed Castle and gardens provide the perfect weekend setting for a foodie extravaganza for all the family to enjoy.

“Along with street food and artisan producers to whet the appetite, visitors will also be able to sample the fresh local produce of the Castle gardens in the newly opened café. Visitors can also make a day of it by exploring the Castle’s history, brought to life on guided tours led by the Castle’s team of expert explainers. With so much on offer throughout the weekend there is truly something for everyone.”

Adult festival tickets including access to the gardens and a 45-minute guided tour of the Hillsborough Castle state rooms start at £17.50, while adult festival tickets with gardens only access start at £13.90. Free for Historic Royal Palaces members. Family ticket options are also available. People are advised to book early as tickets are selling fast.

To book tickets and for more information on Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, visit

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens has been completely transformed by independent charity Historic Royal Palaces after five years and a £24 million investment – supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other generous donors. Greeting visitors upon arrival is a new visitor centre complete with café and shop. Meanwhile new access and learning facilities will host schools and community programmes reaching out to the widest possible audience. 

Notes to editors

Historic Royal Palaces has invested £24m into an ambitious programme of capital projects and associated activities that will open the site to the widest possible audience; conserve and re-present the heritage; explore its stories and engage communities and learners. The Hillsborough Castle project has received a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and significant support from Mark Pigott KBE, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Clore Duffield Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation and other generous benefactors.

Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.  We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit