Committed to access for all
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.
Hillsborough Castle and Gardens welcomes all visitors and aims to make everyone’s day out successful and enjoyable. We are committed to improving access and facilities for visitors with disabilities.
Those with a registered disability are entitled to a free carers ticket. These tickets can be booked through our Contact Centre in advance, and no later than a week before your planned visit, to avoid disappointment.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your free carer ticket and please include your original booking reference.
All recognised guide, assistance or service dogs — including assistance dogs in training — are welcome at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, and are permitted to accompany their owners on castle tours.
Please make sure dogs are wearing their designated jacket or lead slip and remember to bring their Assistance Dog's (UK) identification book with you.
Developed with the assistance of Autism NI, we offer a Relaxed Tour with the flexibility to respond to individual sensory or communication needs. Open to everyone, a Relaxed Tour runs at 10:00am on the second Sunday of each month. That time doesn't suit? Email email@example.com and let us help you to plan your visit with your needs in mind.
Other available resources include Pre-visit Guides in the downloads box below, quiet spaces upon request and sensory bags and games to aid in engagement with the castle environment and tour. Ask a member of staff for more information.
A step-free route and the mobility transport stops are clearly marked on the Hillsborough Castle and Gardens map.
The estate is very large and spans over 1km from the Pineapple Yard to the State Entrance. Hillsborough Fort is a further 500m from the castle.
Distance information has been included on the directional signs in the gardens to help visitors plan their journey around the site.
The guided tour of the State Rooms is all on the ground floor and is accessible to all. Find out more and book a castle tour here.
There are 27 blue badge holder parking spaces in Hillsborough Castle and Gardens car park. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and parking is free for all visitors.
For free on-site parking, please follow the brown tourist signs on the A1 south to our sign-posted car park entrance.
Please note, we are unable to offer wheelchairs to borrow for your visit at this time. There are a limited number of wheelchairs available to borrow during your visit. These are operated on a first come, first served basis.
Unfortunately, due to the conservation risk posed to flooring, mobility scooters are not permitted inside the castle.
A vehicle is available to assist you in moving from the Pineapple Yard to the State Entrance of the castle in the Stable Yard.
Spaces are limited and priority will be given to those with accessibility needs. To arrange this service please speak to a member of staff upon arrival.
Toilets in the Pineapple Yard Garden and the Stable Yard are both accessible. A Changing Places facility is available for use in the Pineapple Yard.
Due to the natural terrain of the gardens, some of the paths are unsuitable for wheelchair users and those with restricted mobility. Some of the paths have steps and steep slopes, which will become slippery in wet weather.
Step-free routes and ramps are available in both the Pineapple Yard and the Stable Yard. There is a step-free route between the Walled Garden and State Entrance that is clearly marked on-site. This route is marked in yellow in the Hillsborough Gardens map available to download below.
Castle guide books are available to borrow free of charge from the Explainers conducting castle tours.
We will be developing our capability to provide induction loops and British Sign Language (BSL) services for the future.
Castle tours are fully guided by our Explainers, who will assist in descriptions and bringing the rooms to life.
We will be developing our capability to provide tailored descriptive tours and audio guides for the future.