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New for 2022

HILLSBOROUGH CASTLE AND GARDENS

Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens
Hillsborough
Co. Down
BT26 6HR

Follow the brown tourist signs on the A1 south to sign-posted car park entrance.

98 acres

Tel
0333 320 6000

Visit website

Opening Hours

10am–6pm (4pm winter), Wed–Sun, 2 Jan–31 Dec. Please see website for more opening dates and times.

Admission

Please see website for admission prices.

RHS members

Free access (Member 1 only) applies when open. Please bring an alternative form of ID to show alongside your membership card at admissions.

Facilities

  • Assistance dogs only
  • Accessible facilities
  • Accessible garden
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children's activities
  • Free carer entry
  • Gift shop
  • Group rates
  • Parking
  • Picnic area
  • Plant sales
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets

Features

  • Autumn colour
  • Herbaceous border
  • Pond or lake
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Wildlife planting and features
  • Winter garden

About the garden

Owned by
Claire Woods

New for 2022: At Hillsborough Castle and Gardens there are 40.4ha (100 acres) of glorious grounds to explore, bursting with colour and variety all year around. Developed from the 1760s onwards, the estate includes ornamental grounds and formal gardens, peaceful woodland, meandering waterways and picturesque glens, as well as an idyllic lake and the newly-restored historic Walled Garden.

Added in 1867, Lady Alice’s Temple acts as a key focal point in the gardens and offers a quiet place to contemplate and seek inspiration from the surrounding views. The beautiful Granville Garden was created in the 1940s and 1950s by Lady Rose Bowes-Lyon, wife of the Earl of Granville, the second Governor of Northern Ireland. Moss Walk, framed under a canopy of 180-year-old lime trees, has recently had new paths incorporated to follow the original historic layout from the 1770s.

The Walled Garden is part ornamental, part kitchen garden and part orchard, underplanted with wildflower meadow and complete with a dipping pond at its centre. Of particular interest are the espalier fruit trees, some of which were planted more than 100 years ago and include varieties such as the ‘Pitmaston Duchess’ and ‘Dr Jules Guyot’.

From swathes of woodland bulbs and the bright show of the daffodil collection in spring, the billowing herbaceous borders and scented roses in full summer, to the stunning colours of the acers in autumn and the majestic silhouettes of the ancient oaks in winter, it is truly a garden for all seasons.

Plants of special interest

  • Agapanthus
  • Alliums
  • Bluebells
  • Camellias
  • Clematis
  • Conifers
  • Cornus (for winter stems or spring bracts)
  • Cut flowers
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Ferns
  • Fruit blossom
  • Fruit bushes/trees
  • Grasses
  • Hellebores
  • Herbs
  • Laburnum
  • Lavender
  • Magnolias
  • Maple
  • Orchids
  • Primulas
  • Rhododendrons/azaleas
  • Snowdrops
  • Spring bulbs
  • Sweet peas
  • Vegetables
  • Wildflowers
  • Wisteria

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.