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Christmas at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Walking in the Air at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens this festive season

Walking in the Air at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens this festive season

  • Hillsborough Castle and Gardens to host first ever Walking with The Snowman ™ trail on the island of Ireland
  • Visitors can also explore Hillsborough Castle, join a screening of The Snowman™ on select dates, and enjoy a festive treat from the Castle’s on site restaurant during their visit.
  • Walking with The Snowman™ at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens is a daytime trail, and runs daily from Saturday 18th November 2023 to Sunday 7th January 2024 excluding Christmas closure days.


As one of the most heart-warming and cherished Christmas stories of our time, THE SNOWMAN™ is a timeless classic, loved by children and adults alike. This Christmas, the magic of the beloved story will land at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, with a sculpture trail, ‘Walking with The Snowman™’ that plays homage to the animation and the original picture book by the late Raymond Briggs making its debut in Northern Ireland.

Families and visitors will be able to discover 12 decorated Snowman sculptures throughout the 100-acre gardens, in a partnership with Wild in Art and Penguin Random House Children’s. Hillsborough Castle and Gardens will host the festive trail from Saturday 18 November, encouraging visitors to find the individually painted sculptures - designed by various artists and inspired by the carol, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.

Stuart Campbell, Public Engagement Manager at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens commented; “Christmas at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens is always the most wonderful time of the year. The State Rooms are decorated for the season, while our Gardens always provide a magical experience, and this year we are thrilled to present the Walking with The Snowman™ trail. Wild in Art has selected Hillsborough Castle and Gardens to debut their hugely popular experience in Northern Ireland, and our team has worked hard to create the perfect complementary activities and bring a real festive feeling throughout the trail.”

Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director and Co-founder at Wild in Art, said, “We're really excited to be continuing our ongoing partnership with Penguin Random House Children by bringing our ‘Walking with The Snowman’ trail to Northern Ireland for the first time.

Visitors to Hillsborough Castle and Gardens will discover the magic of the trail and see how the artists have brought Raymond Briggs’ iconic character to life.”

Izzy Richardson, Global Owned Brands Director at Penguin Random House Children’s said, “Our longstanding and valued partnership with Wild in Art continues to bring the timeless magic of The Snowman to families around the UK.  We are thrilled that ‘Walking with The Snowman’ will arrive at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens this winter and look forward to seeing the unique and beautifully decorated sculptures in this new location.”

In addition to finding each of the 12 The Snowman™ sculptures, visitors can enjoy a hot chocolate or cider from the Castle’s on-site restaurant to keep warm during their adventures.

First published in 1978 as a wordless picture book by Puffin, The Snowman™ has gone on to sell over 5.5 million copies.  Channel 4 has broadcast the film adaption every year since 1982, which is watched by millions of families who have made viewing The Snowman™ an integral part of their Christmas tradition. Throughout select dates* in December, visitors can also choose to attend a special screening of the Oscar winning, animated heartwarming story, The Snowman™, subject to availability.

Walking with The Snowman™ at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens runs Wednesday – Sunday from 10.00 – 16.00 and is included in a standard Gardens ticket, which also includes screenings of The Snowman™. HRP Members go free. Find out more at


Notes to Editors

*Screening dates for The Snowman™ at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens: 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, of December

Media Contact: Jane Williams, JComms: [email protected] / 07545206590


Historic Royal Palaces is a team of people who love and look after six of the most wonderful palaces in the world. We create space for spirits to stir and be stirred. We want everyone to feel welcome and accepted. We tell stories about the monarchs you know and the lives you don’t. We let people explore and we set minds racing. We are a charity and your support gives the palaces a future, for everyone. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit


About Wild in Art

Wild in Art is the leading producer of spectacular public art events that entertain, enrich, inform and leave a lasting legacy. It brings together businesses and creative sectors with schools and local communities through the creation of uniquely painted sculptures.

Since 2008, Wild in Art has animated cities across the world including Manchester, Sydney, Auckland, Cape Town and São Paulo, and created trails for the London 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Historic Royal Palaces and Penguin Random House.

Wild in Art events have:

  • Enabled over £23.6m to be raised for charitable causes
  • Injected £3.8m into local creative communities
  • Engaged over 1 million young people in learning programmes
  • Helped millions of people of all ages to experience art in non-traditional settings | @wildinart | #wildinart



The Snowman was created and illustrated by Raymond Briggs as a picture book, narrated entirely through hand-drawn illustrations and first published in 1978.  Since then, The Snowman has sold over 5.5 million copies globally and has been translated into 21 languages.  Adapted for screen by producer John Coates, the Oscar-nominated animation launched on Channel 4 in its inaugural year in 1982 and has been repeated every Christmas since.  The sequel, The Snowman and The Snowdog premiered on Channel 4 on Christmas Eve 2012 and was seen by more than 10 million people over the festive period.  

Snowman Enterprises Ltd is a Penguin Random House company.  It is committed to growing The Snowman™ brand, with a publishing programme overseen by Puffin and global broadcast, live events and a successful consumer products programme all managed in-house by Penguin Ventures. | FB: @officialsnowman | IG: @officialthesnowman




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