Gardens re-open from 18 June to visitors
Following their closure in March, the gardens of Hillsborough Castle will open once more from 18 June for visitors to explore and enjoy. Over the last few months the castle’s gardeners have been carefully tending to the 100 acres of majestic grounds in anticipation of re-opening, with a stunning horticultural display creating a visual feast for the eyes after months of lockdown. As the charity that cares for the castle – Historic Royal Palaces – faces serious financial consequences following a prolonged closure – visitors are urged to return to show their support for this important landmark. There will be new self-guided trails to follow, where visitors can choose various routes to explore. A new Garden Highlights Tour, includes horticultural and historical delights such as Lady Alice Temple or the resplendent Yew Tree Walk – stunning photo opportunities abound in the shaded groves and quiet woodlands. Visitors with a sense of adventure can roam the new Explorer’s Trail, perfect for families who want to uncover hidden places and secret corners as well as taking in the lake, which is abundant with wildlife – lucky visitors might even spot an elusive otter or two!
Trained staff will be on hand to ensure that visitor safety is of the utmost importance. New measures have been introduced to make sure that everybody can enjoy their visit safely. Visits to the gardens will be via a pre-booked timed entry ticket that must have been purchased in advance. There will be a limited capacity to ensure that visitors can maintain 2m social distancing and new tickets will be released every week on a Monday. Tickets will be non-contact print at home or mobile tickets. Once on site there will be hygiene standards fit for a king or queen with enhanced cleaning regimes and hand washing and hand sanitation facilities available.
There will also be an opportunity to visit the castle’s shop which is filled with beautiful locally sourced gifts to mark your visit or to give to someone special. Or, for those with green fingers, why not purchase something for your own garden from our seasonal plant sale? All sales will be via contactless payment methods only.
Laura McCorry, Head of Hillsborough Castle, said, “We are delighted to be opening our doors again and hope our beautiful gardens will provide a much-needed dose of beauty and tranquillity to all our visitors. We are facing a huge shortfall in our finances this year – the support of our members and visitors has simply never been more important. Our charity urgently needs support to continue important work conserving and caring for this remarkable site, and so we are thrilled to be welcoming visitors back this week.”
The gardens will be open Thursday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm (last entry 4pm) with pre-booked tickets priced at £9.90 for adults and £4.40 for children. Historic Royal Palaces members get in free. Parking is available and entry to the gardens will be from the Lower Visitor Centre situated just off the A1. For more information and to book tickets visit www.hrp.org.uk/hillsborough
Notes to editors
Hillsborough Castle and Gardens has been completely transformed by independent charity Historic Royal Palaces following a five-year £24 million investment project – supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other generous donors.
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle and Gardens under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk