Things to see and do this summer

Explore Northern Ireland's royal residence with a visit to the transformed Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Explore Northern Ireland's royal residence with a visit to the transformed Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Updated 2 July. Following guidance from the government, outdoor spaces at Hillsborough Castle are now open Thursday-Sunday. The castle will re-open 30 July. Please read our visit information.

Open Thursday to Sunday

Located just 20 minutes from Belfast, the restored and re-imagined Hillsborough Castle and Gardens has something for everyone.

Explore 100 acres of beautiful gardens, including the newly-restored Walled Garden, the previously unseen Lost Garden, meandering waterways and picturesque glens.

You’ll find parking easy in our free car park. Our catering facilities are currently closed so bring along a picnic.

Garden highlights

The Walled Garden at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, showing the pergola in the distance surrounded by planting and bedding. An archway surrounds the frame of the image and there is a blue cloudy sky
Things to see

Enter the castle grounds through this 18th-century walled garden, which has been expertly restored using traditional methods.

Open

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

Lady Alice's Temple, looking west across the terrace and pond. 

This domed temple was given as a wedding gift to Lady Alice Hill by her brother, the 5th Marquess of Downshire in 1867. A circular seat inside the temple sits behind a screen of Ionic columns.
Things to see

Take a seat in this 19th-century temple and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding gardens.

Open

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

The Glen at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, showing a stream running through a woody green area under a blue sky
Things to see

Explore this intimate corner of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, which is full of colour and intriguing details.

Open

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

A group of visitor enjoy a wander around the Granville Garden in the grounds of Hillsborough Castle on a warm Summers Day. The open iron gates of the garden are visible in the foregrouns and a blue clouded sky above is in start contract to the bright green of Europe's largest rhododendron, also visible behind the garden.
Things to see

Take a moment in this elegant rose garden created by Lady Granville, aunt to Her Majesty The Queen.

Open

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

A large lake at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens under a cloudy sky. Foliage from the surrounding trees and planting surrounds the water
Things to see

Explore an expanse of picturesque waterways and magnificent giant sequoia trees in the Lake and Pinetum.

Open

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

A lady and four young children walk down stone steps on the South Terrace towards the Jubilee Parterre. The South Façade of the Hillsborough Castle is visible in the background and a blue sky hangs above. The sun is shining brightly and highlights the nearby box-trimmed hedges and white flowers.
Things to see

Discover a charming formal garden and find out why the castle's 19th-century summer house is so unusual.

Open

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

A pathway leading down to a gateway, surrounded by trees and leading to a fort in the background
Things to see

Uncover the origins of the Hill family in their first home in Hillsborough.

Closed

Hillsborough Castle

Free

Meet the Keeper of the Walled Garden

Adam Ferguson, our Keeper of the Walled Garden, and his team have reimagined the Walled Garden using a combination of heritage and modern techniques.

Meet Adam and his team, and hear about their future plans, in this short film.

Find out more about the Walled Garden
Hillsborough Castle from the top of Yew Tree Walk. A paved terrace surrounded by summer planting in flower beds is in the foreground.

Buy tickets online

To visit Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, please book a ticket and time slot. 

Buy tickets now

Our supporters

The new blue and black Heritage Lottery Fund logo for 2019, displayed on a white background

The restoration and re-presentation of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens was made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Mark Pigott KBE KSTJ, Garfield Weston Foundation, the Clore Duffield Foundation, the Foyle Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and other generous donors.