FAQs

Additional information for your visit

Additional information for your visit

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

  • I'm a member of Historic Royal Palaces - how do I book a time slot?

    As a member, you need to pre-book a timeslot for your visit using the Member portal. This is to ensure the safety of both visitors and staff. 

    If you are unable to login with your membership number and surname, try a space after your surname. It is not case-specific. If this doesn’t help, please email our team at members@hrp.org.uk.

  • Is there car parking on-site?

    On-site car parking is available free of charge including 27 disabled parking space, free for Blue Badge holders. Please please follow the brown tourist signs on the A1 south to our sign-posted car park entrance. Visit the Getting Here page for more information.

  • Will there be toilets open?

    Toilets are available in the following locations:

    • Pineapple Yard

    All toilets have disabled access and baby changing facilities.

  • Who is entitled to the Concession rate?
    • Student: You are entitled to a concession rate ticket if you are over the age of 16 and in full time education. You are required to show a current student identification card once on site to validate the discounted price. International students are entitled to this rate if they also meet these requirements with a valid ID card.
    • 65+ years: You are entitled to a concession rate ticket if you are 65 or over. You may be required to show an identification card (with your date of birth) once on site to validate the discounted price. International visitors are entitled to this rate if they also meet these requirements of proof of age.
    • Those with a registered disability: You are entitled to the concession rate as parts of the gardens are difficult to access for those with accessibility needs.
  • Are free carers tickets available?

    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 info@hrp.org.uk to book your free carer ticket and please include your original booking reference. 

    There is currently a wait of up to seven days for your carer ticket. If you don't receive your ticket before your chosen date, you can still enter with the concession ticket holder, showing your proof of disability (such as a Blue Badge, Freedom Pass, DLA letter or PIP letter).

    The access page has further details on what to expect during your visit. 

  • Can I show my ticket on my mobile device?

    Yes, tickets purchased directly through our website can be shown on your mobile device or printed out.

  • Can I collect my online ticket on site?

    No, we will not be offering ticket collection on site at this time.

  • Are dogs allowed into the site?

    Dogs are not permitted in Hillsborough Castle and Gardens unless they are registered assistance dogs.

    All registered assistance dogs, even those in training, are welcome and can accompany their owners on castle tours. Please bring the dog's 'Assistance Dog's (UK)' identification book (or appropriate international equivalent) and ensure that dogs wear their designated jacket or lead slip.

  • Can I bring my own food or drink ?

    Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and enjoy picnics int the gardens– we simply ask that you observe social distancing, for your safety, and the safety of our other guests.

  • Are the cafes and gift shop open?

    Our café in the Lower Visitor Centre in the Western Pavilion is open, 10.00-16.00. 

    Our on site shop in the Weston Pavilion is also open, along with our online shop.

  • How long should I allow for my visit?

    You can spend as much time as you like in Hillsborough Gardens during opening hours. Most visitors spend an average of 3 hours on site.

     

  • Will I be searched as I enter the site?

    As a working Royal residence and home to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland we have a commitment to ensure our site is safe for all. As you enter the site you will pass through our security area where bags and individuals may be searched.

    Small handbags are permitted inside the castle on the condition they may be searched before entering. Rucksacks and large bags are not allowed inside the castle but can be deposited in the Stable Yard. Upon entry to the castle you can also store bags in a secure bag drop facility. 

    The following items are strictly banned from the premises: 

    • Weapons, including knives
    • Fireworks and smoke bombs
    • Pepper spray or any other articles intended to cause injury
    • Any article which is illegal to possess under UK law
  • Can I bring a buggy?

    Pushchairs are welcome in the gardens, however, we are unable to open offer buggy parks at this time.

  • Are the gardens accessible for wheelchair users?

    Due to the natural terrain of the gardens, some paths are unsuitable for wheelchair users and those with restricted mobility. For further information on accessibility at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, see our Accessibility page.

    We are unable to offer wheelchair hire at this time.

  • I am fundraising - can I get complimentary tickets?

    As Historic Royal Palaces is a charity, we receive no funding from the Government or the Crown, so we depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors. We are unable to support other fundraising activities with complimentary tickets.

  • Where can I leave my bag while visiting the castle?

    Rucksacks, large bags and buggies are not allowed inside the castle. Buggies can be left in the buggy store, whilst rucksacks and other large bags can be left in the locker room, buggy store or secure bag drop facility at the State Entrance.

    Lockers and a buggy park are available in the Stable Yard. Lockers are available on a first come first served basis and are operated via a £1.00.

  • Can I take photos in the castle?

    You are welcome to take non-commercial photographs (without the use of flash) within the castle in most cases. Some items or imagery may be prohibited from being photographed and this will be clearly signposted, or ask a member of staff if you are unsure. The use of tripods and selfie-sticks in prohibited.

    Images of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens are available for sale from our Photographic Library. Requests for commercial photography, filming or sketching should be made in advance.

  • What is the dress code?

    There is no specific dress code for visitors to Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. We do ask that you dress respectfully as families are likely to be present. If there are offensive slogans or other clothing items deemed to be inappropriate you may be approached by a member of staff.

  • What if I'm late?

    If you arrive late, please alert a member of staff who will try their best to accommodate you on an alternative time slot. This is subject to availability. 

    As per our terms of use, Historic Royal Palaces operates a no refund policy.

  • I think I left some property behind, how do I retrieve it?

    If you lose something during your visit, please contact the nearest member of staff. Alternatively, contact info@hrp.org.ukand we'll do our best to try to reunite you with your property.

  • How do I get more information on the displayed collections?

    For general information browse History and Stories and What's On. For detailed information relating to the collections on display, email curators@hrp.org.uk 

  • Will I be able to enter the gardens from the top site or only from the main entrance?

    Entrance will be via the visitor entrance off the A1, which is closest to our beautiful gardens.