Official tourism website for Northern Ireland
En

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens - Guided Tour of Gardens

Main Street, Royal Hillsborough, County Down, BT26 6AG
  • Image is of the back of the castle and its lawns with wooden bench in view

Book Tickets Online

About

To understand Northern Ireland, Hillsborough Castle is a good place to start. This is the Queen’s official Northern Ireland residence, and the site of some of the region’s biggest discussions and decisions; past, present and future. At Hillsborough, you are experiencing history in the making.

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 still used for ceremonies today. And the sumptuous Red Room, with paintings by famous artists lining the red silk-covered walls. This 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. It’s in summer that the walled garden really comes into its own, the herbaceous borders in full bloom and the scent of irises in the air. There’s the photogenic Moss Walk, which is framed by a canopy of lime trees, and the Yew Tree Walk, named after the Irish Yew trees that bedeck the path. 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.

Book Tickets

Image is of the Lady Alice Temple with surrounding foliage

Add Hillsborough Castle and Gardens - Guided Tour of Gardens to your Itinerary

Close window

Call direct on:

Tel+44 (0) 333 320 6000

Check availability for Hillsborough Castle and Gardens - Guided Tour of Gardens (opens in a new window)

Map & Directions

What's Nearby

  1. Hillsborough Castle is one of the most beautiful, and interesting historic properties in…

    0.11 miles away
  2. The Courthouse was originally a Georgian market house built before 1765. It was used as a…

    0.4 miles away
  3. Take a step back in history and view this 17th century artillery fort, set in beautiful…

    0.54 miles away
  4. Hillsborough Forest is set in the picturesque Georgian village of Royal Hillsborough and…

    0.55 miles away
  5. A unique array of historic aircraft and exhibits celebrating Northern Ireland’s aviation…

    1.83 miles away
  6. From school groups, to community associations and corporate guests, the Coca-Cola…

    3.37 miles away
  7. The Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum is an award-winning museum located in Market…

    3.81 miles away
  8. Castle Gardens is the most historically significant open space in Lisburn and was once…

    3.9 miles away
  9. R-Space Gallery is a visual arts and crafts space, presenting and commissioning a…

    3.95 miles away
  10. Dromore Mound or Dromore Motte and Bailey as it is commonly known is the best preserved…

    4.07 miles away
  11. The Harry Ferguson Memorial Garden is set opposite the Ferguson Homestead and exhibits a…

    4.2 miles away
  12. Hilden Brewery is Ireland's Oldest Independent Brewery. We have been running for over 40…

    4.73 miles away
  13. Laganvale Farm caters for all weather offering a super indoor soft play centre which can…

    5.85 miles away
  14. An attractive rolling parkland some 130 acres to the south of Belfast. The display of…

    6.77 miles away
  15. Slievenacloy is a vast wildlife paradise of grassland, meadows, rush and heath. It is…

    7.4 miles away
  16. Kinedale Donkeys
    7.6 miles away

Virtual Tour

Map & Directions

Back to Top

Tourism Northern Ireland

Don't Miss