Hillsborough Castle and Gardens
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Main Street, Hillsborough, County Down,
T: 0333 320 6000
Hillsborough Castle is one of the most beautiful, and interesting historic properties in N. Ireland.
On a 45-minute tour of the elegant Georgian castle, in the charming village of Hillsborough, County Down, you follow in the footsteps of world leaders, through plush and lovingly restored State Rooms including the Throne Room, State Drawing Room, Lady Grey’s Study, State Dining Room, Red Room and Stair Hall.
There are many layers of stories here, and your guide will share hundreds of years’ worth of tales, about celebrations, entertainment, diplomacy and negotiations. Standing in these rooms, where pivotal decisions have been made, you get a true sense of Hillsborough Castle’s importance.
History aside, this is a working royal residence which has hosted members of the Royal Family as a ceremonial and personal base since 1922. It’s an intimate glimpse behind the scenes of a real royal household.
There’s the magnificent Throne Room where, in 1953, the Queen received guests at a ball to celebrate her coronation, and it's still used for ceremonies today. The sumptuous Red Room, with paintings by famous artists lining the red silk-covered walls, is where the Queen met Irish President Mary McAleese in 2005 – the first time the two heads of state had met on the island of Ireland.
Outside, you’ll find stunning gardens dating back to the 1760s. There are ornate formal gardens, tranquil woodland, and beautiful meadows. The Walled Garden features crop rotations, an apple orchard and seasonal produce which often finds its way onto the menu at the delicious Hillsborough Castle Café.
Here, in the ever-changing and ever-evolving gardens, you get a real sense of new life and new chapters for this important castle.
Hillsborough’s story, and its history, continues to be written.
**** Opening Times 20/21*****
Hillsborough Castle and Gardens is open Thursday -Sunday, including bank holidays, except 24-26 December.
Summer - Castle and Gardens 1st April - 27th September, Thursday - Sunday 10:00-17:00 (Last admission: 16:00)
Winter - Gardens only 28th September - 31st March, Thursday - Sunday (Last admission: 15:00)
Stable Yard Shop & Tea Room - temporarily closed until further notice. Hillsborough Cafe is open.
*****Castle and Garden Tickets******
To enable us to meet social distancing guidelines, we have had to reduce the number of visitors on site at any one time. Please pre-book your ticket and an arrival time slot online before you visit.
Castle and Garden tickets £13.70 per person (members free)
Gardens only tickets £9.90 per person. (members free)
Hillsborough Castle Village entrance: The entrance to the castle grounds via Hillsborough village is closed to everybody. All other access is via the Weston Pavilion (entrance just off the A1. Please check our Getting here page on our website for more information).