Hillsborough Castle and Gardens
Activity code: HCAG
- Discover the official residence of the royal family in Northern Ireland
- See opulent rooms which have played an important part in history
- Explore the 100 acres of formal grounds and gardens of Hillsborough Castle
- Visit the 18th century Walled Garden, Lady Alice’s Temple and Granville Garden
The official Northern Ireland residence of His Majesty The King, Hillsborough Castle is a charming late Georgian house set in 100 acres of magnificent gardens. Built in the 1770s, the castle has witnessed important moments in history and played a pivotal role in the Northern Ireland peace process.
Follow in the footsteps of royals and politicians as you explore the State Rooms. Discover the opulent Red Room to see 40 miniature portraits of English sovereigns. See the grand Throne Room — built in 1797, it’s where Queen Elizabeth II received guests for her coronation ball in 1953. Step into the State Drawing Room to see where Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985. Admire the spiral stone staircase in the Stair Hall and the spectacular paintings of George III and Queen Charlotte in the State Dining Room, overlooking the Granville Gardens.
Discover woodlands, waterways, glens and meadows as you explore Hillsborough Castle’s spectacular gardens. Bursting with colour since the 1760s, enter through the Walled Garden and see where fruits and vegetables were historically grown. Walk past 100-year-old Espalier fruit trees, Irish apple trees, blue nepetas and many rare plants.
Take a moment to relax by Lady Alice’s Temple and pond. A wedding gift from her brother, the small temple offers three unique vistas of the gardens. Smell the beautiful roses in Granville Garden and admire the magnolias, camelias and rhododendrons in the castle’s Victorian garden, The Glen.
- The Castle is easily accessible by wheelchair users; many garden paths are also wheelchair accessible.