Historic houses and castles

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Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

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Contact details


Main Street, Hillsborough, County Down,
Mr John Chittick
T: (028) 9268 1300
E: Hillsboroughcastle@hrp.org.uk

Hillsborough Castle is one of the most beautiful, and interesting historic properties in N. Ireland.

The late Georgian mansion was built in the 1770s by Wills Hill, first Marquis of Downshire and was later remodelled in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, it is a working royal palace functioning as the official residence of the Royal Family when they are in Northern Ireland, and it has been the home of the Secretary of State since the 1970s. A tour of the house will guide you through the elegant State Rooms, still in use today, including the majestic Throne Room and graceful Drawing Room.

The Gardens

Wander through 98 acres of beautiful gardens developed from the 1760s onwards, offering a contrast of ornamental grounds, peaceful woodland, meandering waterways, and trimmed lawns. Look out for the statue of Ossian outside the main entrance, the Lady Alice Temple, the Quaker Burial ground and the Ice House.

Guided House tours
(duration: approx. 1 hour)
5 April – 28 September: Every weekend
Saturday: 11.00, 12.30, 14.00, 15.30
Sunday: 12.30, 14.00, 15.30
1- 31 August, closed on Bank Holidays
Monday - Friday: 12.30, 14.00

5 April – 28 September: closed on Bank Holidays
Daily: 10.30 – 17.00
Garden tours (approx. 1hr 30min) must be booked at least 48 hours in advance. Minimum tour 20 people.
House tour (includes garden) Adults £7.00, OAP & Under 16s £4.50, Families £18.00
Garden tour Adults £7.00, OAP & Under 16s £4.50 Families £18.00
Combined House and Garden tour Adult £12.00, OAP & Under 16s £8.00, Families £25.00
Unguided access to Gardens only Adults £3.50, Families £10.00
Gardens season pass Adults £15.00, Families £30.00
Children under five are free
Groups of 15 or more full priced adults will receive a 10% discount on ticket prices

Please note tours must be booked in advance

To buy tickets visit the Hillsborough Castle Booking Office, The Square, Hillsborough, BT26 6AG, call 028 926 81300 or email Hillsboroughcastle@hrp.org.uk

Please be aware that there is no parking onsite.

Visitors are asked to note that due to the natural terrain of the gardens the majority of paths are unsuitable for wheelchair users and those with restricted mobility.

Unfortunately we are only able to allow guide dogs and other assistance dogs into the grounds.

From 1st April 2014, Historic Royal Palaces takes over responsibility for the management of Hillsborough Castle. Historic Royal Palaces aim is to develop and re-present the site to help everyone explore the important historical role it has played, and to make the castle and its
gardens widely accessible for future generations to share and enjoy.