54.596423 -5.929466

Description

From grand family home to charming royal residence, Hillsborough Castle has welcomed the world and witnessed pivotal chapters in politics.

This splendid late Georgian house, surrounded by 100 acres of glorious gardens, was built in the 1770s by Wills Hill, later 1st Marquess of Downshire. Generations of the Hill family lived here – giving the town its name – until the early 20th century when Hillsborough Castle began to develop the political and royal associations for which it's famous today.

The castle is the official Northern Ireland residence of HM The Queen. In the 1940s, the then Princess Elizabeth enjoyed family holidays here with her sister Princess Margaret, and she continues to visit and attend official engagements here today.

The Castle is set in 100 acres of breath-taking gardens and offers significant contrasts of woodland, waterways, gardens with trimmed lawns and meadows as well as specimen trees and rare plants.

Tickets & Prices

 

 
  • Hillsborough Castle & Gardens
  • Hillsborough
  • Down
  • BT26 6HR
Embrace a Giant Spirit

Top Reasons To Visit

  • Beautiful 18th century mansion house
  • Official residence of the Royal Family when in NI
  • 100 acres of ornamental grounds
  • Granville Garden has the largest rhododendron in Europe
  • Group tours available throughout the year
  • Investment

    Historic Royal Palaces are investing over £16m 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. A newly interpreted 18th Century Walled Garden will open in Spring 2019, along with new visitor facilities including a coach and car park, retail shop, café and Clore Learning Centre.

  • Castle Tours

    A tour of the Castle will take you through the State Rooms. The State Entrance promises a grand entrance, where all visiting dignitaries are formally welcomed to the Castle. Next door is the Anteroom which today is where members of the royal family and visiting dignitaries sign the visitors’ book.

    The Red Room is an intimate and opulent space often used as a small dining room, it looks out onto the Granville garden and what is arguably the largest rhododendron in Europe. The elegant State Dining Room continues to be the main dining room at the Castle since it was first built in 1788 and has been the scene of many feasts and banquets.

    You’ll also visit the glamorous Throne Room, the ceremonial heart of the Castle, as well as the relaxing State Drawing Room and Lady Grey’s Study, used by the royal family for private entertaining.

  • Gardens

    Hillsborough Castle’s glorious gardens are a joy to explore. From ornamental grounds to peaceful woodland, meandering waterways and picturesque glens, there are over 100 spectacular acres to discover.

    Don’t miss the tranquil Lady Alice’s Temple, where several Secretaries of State found welcome respite from the pressures of politics; here you’ll enjoy stunning views of the surrounding gardens.

    Other highlights include Europe’s largest rhododendron, Yew Tree Walk, Moss Walk, Ice House, Pinetum, a Quaker Burial Ground and the beautiful Granville Garden created by HM The Queen’s aunt Lady Granville in the 1940s and 50s. The formal gardens include the Jubilee Parterre which was re-designed to celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

    These special gardens are a delight to the senses throughout the seasons and offer countless places to unwind, contemplate, socialise and seek inspiration.

    Entry to the Castle includes unguided access to the grounds.

  • Tour times

    • From July – September 2018, tours will run daily from 10am – 4pm
    • From October 2018 – March 2019, tours will run Wednesday – Sundays from 10am – 3pm

    Castle tours include self-guided access to the gardens.

     

    Gardens unguided access

     

    • The gardens will be open daily in July – September 2018 between 9.30am – 5pm
    • The gardens will be open daily in October 2018 – March 2019 between 9.30am – 4pm.

     

    Last admission is an hour before closing.

You might also like

  • Titanic Belfast
    Titanic Belfast
    Attractions

    Titanic Belfast

    2.72 KM

    Titanic Belfast is the world's largest Titanic visitor experience and a must-see on any visit to Belfast and…

    Find Out More
  • Linen Quarter
    Linen Quarter
    See & Do

    Linen Quarter

    0.22 KM

    The historic Linen Quarter is rapidly becoming one of the most vibrant, must visit areas of the city,…

    Find Out More
  • Bangor Castle Walled Garden
    Bangor Castle Walled Garden
    Attractions

    Bangor Castle Walled Garden

    27.17 KM

    Bangor Castle Victorian Walled Garden, located in the tranquil grounds of Castle Park, is popular with visitors of…

    Find Out More
  • Ballymenoch Park
    Ballymenoch Park
    Attractions

    Ballymenoch Park

    13.02 KM

    A beautiful park perfect for families, located only a short distance from Holywood.

    Find Out More
  • Downpatrick Racecourse
    Downpatrick Racecourse
    See & Do

    Downpatrick Racecourse

    38.37 KM

    Enjoy the ‘Sport of Kings’ in the heart of the Mourne Region!

    Find Out More
  • Seapark Recreation Ground
    Seapark Recreation Ground
    Attractions

    Seapark Recreation Ground

    12.76 KM

    Seapark Recreation Ground is a seafront facility perfect for all the family and home to an annual fireworks…

    Find Out More
  • North Down Museum
    North Down Museum
    Attractions

    North Down Museum

    29.62 KM

    The museum is located in the picturesque grounds of Castle Park in the centre of Bangor. This free…

    Find Out More
  • Drumglass Park
    Drumglass Park
    Attractions

    Drumglass Park

    3.74 KM

    Drumglass Park is located between the Lisburn and Malone Roads in south Belfast. It is popular with families…

    Find Out More
Ask Us
Ask Us

We're here to help, so if you can't find the info you're after, or you just want to ask a really odd question, then we're here for you.

Ask A Question
Start
Choose a date
End
Choose a date
Back To Top
In order to display distances relevant to you, we'd like to be able to use your GPS location. Privacy Policy
In order to display distances relevant to your current position, we'd need to be able to use your GPS location. To find out more about how we use your location, please read our Privacy Policy
You have previously denied access to your GPS location. In order to allow access to your location, you need to update your site settings through your browser settings to allow this site access to your location.

To find out more about how we use your location, please read our Privacy Policy
Your settings have been updated. They will take effect next time you refresh the page.
By default, all distances on the site are calculated from Belfast City Centre. You can choose a different starting point here, or specify your own.

If you select a location more than 15km from the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, your location will be set to Belfast City Centre.

Open 'Ask a Question' window Close 'Ask a Question' window

Ask a Question

X

Hide this tool

Open 'Sign up for Newsletter' window Close 'Sign up for Newsletter' window

Visit Belfast Newsletter

X

Sign up to the Visit Belfast newsletter and receive inspiring ideas, events and offers which showcase the best of Belfast and Northern Ireland.

Sign-Up

Hide this tool