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Halloween at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 October 2023

Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 October 2023

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens is gearing up for a spooktacular Halloween this October, with a thrilling after-hours family trail inspired by the Grimm Fairy Tales, as well as its popular annual Scarecrow Parade.

Each evening from Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 October visitors are invited to step out onto the Halloween trail, where they will encounter chilling characters haunting the 100 acre gardens. Families will have the opportunity to explore the grounds of Hillsborough Castle after dark, where the spirits of characters from the familiar Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales will be brought to life throughout the gardens by local children’s theatre company Cahoots.

As they set out on the trail, visitors will encounter creepy characters throughout the gardens, inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tales. From wicked witches to cheeky elves, performances along the trail will enthral and delight children of all ages. Visitors will also be treated to a live musical performance by the Musicians of Bremen on the South Lawn, playing a concert of jazzy hits in their new scarecrow forms.

During the day, from 30 September – 12 November visitors to the Walled Garden will find the autumnal produce guarded by a jolly Scarecrow Parade inspired by characters from literature. These friendly garden hosts have been specially created by children from local schools and community groups, including Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson by Beechlawn School in Hillsborough, and Mary Poppins by The High School Ballynahinch. Families are invited to spot them all during their journey around the gardens.

Throughout October, autumnal family activities will be taking place each weekend, with plenty for little ones to see and do during their visit. Young visitors are invited to make a crafty scarecrow hat to join in with the parade in the Walled Garden, learn about hibernating hedgehogs, or step out on an autumn storytelling walk through the grounds, all included in general admission.

Stuart Campbell, Public Engagement Manager at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, said, “We can’t wait to welcome families to explore the gardens after hours this Halloween, where they will encounter spooky scenes from the beloved Grimm fairytales.”

“Whether visiting during the day for our Scarecrow Parade, castle tours and exhibition, or returning after dark to tiptoe around the Halloween trail, we look forward to seeing lots of families at the castle during the half term break.”

Tickets are on sale now, advance booking is required for the evening Halloween trail.

Notes to editors

Halloween at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens runs each evening from 26 – 29 October, and must be pre-booked in advance. Separate ticket required.

The Scarecrow Parade will be on display in the Walled Garden from 30 September – 12 November, and is included in standard admission to the gardens.

Wonder Weekends at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens include:

  • Sunday 8 October, Hibernating Hedgehogs
  • Saturday 14 October, Autumn Storytelling Walks
  • Saturday 21 October, Make & Take: Scarecrow Hats

Pre-booking is not required for these activities, which are included in standard admission to the gardens.

Halloween at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens tickets:

  • Ticket prices: Adult £15.00, Child £9.80, Concession £12.00, Under 5s Free
  • Member discount price: Member Adult £12.00, Member Child £7.80

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens tickets

  • Castle and Gardens: Adult £20.20, Child (5-15) £10.10, Concession £16.10, Carers free
  • Gardens only: Adult £10.00, Child (5-15) £5.00, Concession £8.00, Carers free
  • HRP Members: free

For further information or images, please contact Jessica England in the HRP Press Office via [email protected] / 020 3166 6166

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
Cahoots is at the forefront of Northern Irish theatre and is the leading professional theatre company producing work for children.

Since beginning operations in November 2001, Cahoots has produced original, boldly innovative work for children, some staged in conventional theatre venues and some in purpose-designed sites or specific locations, including schools and healthcare settings.

Cahoots’ work, acclaimed in Ireland, the UK, Asia and America, tours to ever-growing audiences at home and across the world using a distinctive style of theatrical magic, combining physical theatre, contemporary circus, original music, digital technology and the age-old popularity of magic and illusion.

Through their theatrical magic, Cahoots inspires a sense of wonder, unlocks imaginations and nurtures a love of the arts in children.

For more information visit or follow Cahoots NI on social media : Facebook (@CahootsNI), Instagram (@cahoots_ni) and X/Twitter (@CahootsNI)