Hillsborough Castle and Gardens
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Hillsborough Castle is one of the most beautiful, and interesting historic properties in N. Ireland.
Hillsborough Castle is one of the most beautiful, and interesting historic properties in Northern Ireland. Hillsborough is the official residence of the Royal Family when they are in Northern Ireland, and has also been used as the residence for the Secretary of State since the 1970s. The House is a large two-storey late Georgian mansion, and the State Rooms on the ground floor are open to the public. The House looks out over the beautiful gardens, formal and informal, which are filled with exotic plants, mature specimens and modern commemorative trees.
The Castle is a ‘working’ building, serving as the venue for official royal and state functions. It is set in 96 acres of ornamental grounds, much of which was developed from the 1760s onwards. The grounds offer significant contrasts of woodland, waterways, and formal and informal gardens with trimmed lawns and meadows as well as specimen trees and rare plants. A tour of the House will take you through all the State Rooms (the State Entrance, Candlestick Hall, the Red Dining Room, the State Dining Room, the Throne Room, the State Drawing Room, and Lady Grey’s Sitting Room).
Entry to the Castle also includes unguided access to the grounds (although guided tours can also be booked). There are a number of things to look out for, including a statue of Ossian just outside the main entrance, the Lady Alice Temple, the Quaker Burial ground, and an Ice House.
The House is open for guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays until 29 September 2013. Tours run from 10.30am on Saturday and 12.00 noon on Sunday, with the last tour at 4.00pm each day. Group tours of the House and gardens can be arranged during the week, throughout the year, subject to the diary. Guided garden tours must be pre-booked and run at 11.30am and 2.00pm on Saturday and 2.00pm on Sunday.
See Information tab for 2013 Public Opening charges.