Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Hillsborough Castle has been a grand family home and is now the official home of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and a royal residence

Approx. 2 Hours
Mobile & printed vouchers accepted
Free Cancellation
Fully refundable when canceled up to 24 hours prior to departure.


  • Explore the 100 acres of formal grounds and gardens of Hillsborough Castle, the official residence of the royal family in Northern Ireland
  • Discover the Walled Garden that dates back to the 18th century and is four acres producing vegetables, fruit and flowers for the house
  • Wander at leisure through the historic gardens that include ornate formal areas as well as woodland and meadows.


  • Entry to Hillsborough Castle Gardens
  • Entry to Hillsborough Castle (if purchased)


  • Gratuities
  • Food and drink unless specified


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Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Approx. 2 Hours

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The Castle

Hillsborough Castle has been a grand family home and is now the official home of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and a royal residence. Members of the Royal Family stay at Hillsborough when visiting Northern Ireland.

The link with the British royal family began in 1933 with the visit of Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone and granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

In March 1946, Princess Elizabeth made her first solo visit to Northern Ireland to launch Harland & Wolff's new ship HMS Eagle, staying at Hillsborough Castle with her aunt, Lady Rose Bowes-Lyon.

Since the 1970s, the castle has acted as a political retreat and hosted a number of important negotiations as part of the Peace Process. In 1985 the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed in the State Drawing Room at Hillsborough Castle by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald.

Many formal and informal talks at Hillsborough in 1998 led eventually to the Good Friday Agreement that established the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The Gardens

Hillsborough Castle's glorious gardens are bursting with colour and are a joy to explore. Discover ornamental grounds, peaceful woodland, meandering waterways and picturesque glens at Northern Ireland's royal residence.

The historic gardens, which were developed from the 1760s onwards, offer intriguing contrasts between ornate formal gardens, woodland and meadows. Keep an eye out for specimen trees and rare plants as you explore the grounds.

Hillsborough Castle
Open Wednesday to Sunday
1st May to 2nd October only
10.00am to 6pm (last entry to the castle is 4pm)

Hillsborough Gardens only
1st May to 2nd October
Open Tuesday to Sunday
10am to 6pm (last entry 5pm)

3rd to 31st October
Open Tuesday to Sunday
10am to 5pm (last entry 4pm)

Exception: Sunday 24th July the gardens will open later at 1.30pm.

Location: Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. The Square, Hillsborough BT26 6GT

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