This gorgeous castle and gardens in Co. Down sounds like the perfect day out 3 years ago

This gorgeous castle and gardens in Co. Down sounds like the perfect day out

There are so many gorgeous places to see on this little green island of ours.

And summertime is the perfect time, really, to head off on day-trips with the family to discover some of Ireland's hidden treasures.


One of these being the absolutely stunning Hillsborough Castle in Co. Down, which recently underwent a £24 million refurbishment, and only reopened to the public earlier this year.

Built in the mid-18th century by Wills Hill, the second Earl of Hillsborough, the Castle is surrounded by 100 acres stunning gardens and grounds, and will no doubt impress both you and your littles, especially when you check out their list of top summer activities of all the things you can see and do at the castle this summer season:

It’s set to be a spectacular summer at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, County Down, with a series of exciting events and activities that will keep all the family entertained throughout July and August. From hunting for mini-beasts in the stunning 100-acre gardens to family tours of the majestic State Rooms, there’s something for everyone!


Make a day of it and discover the top ten activities to do at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens this summer:

1. Join one of the new interactive Family Tours of the sumptuous State Rooms and discover the weird and wonderful things some of our guests have left behind

2. Pick up some ‘bugnoculars’, a magnifying glass and an identification kit from the Garden Explorer’s cart and go hunting for mini beasties in the gorgeous gardens, with over 100 acres to explore!

3. Take a gruesome look at history as you meet the Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians with the amazing Horrible Histories: Live On Stage performed in the gardens (10 – 14 August 2019).


4. Travel to the past and meet the 3rd Marquess of Downshire as he entertains you with tales of Ireland’s mythological heroes in the Castle’s four-acre walled garden.

5. Let your creative senses run wild and pick up a gardener’s notebook in the Summer House to record what you see and smell during your visit. Can you spot the swans, kingfishers and other wildlife near the beautiful lake?

6. Immerse yourself in Hillsborough Castle’s history with fascinating object handling sessions. From Georgian shoes to Victorian spinning tops, what curious items will you discover in the Castle’s handling collection?

7. Capture a photo from Lady Alice’s Temple and enjoy the stunning views of the gardens and if you’re lucky spot otters in the pond below!


8. Head to the ice house and discover how the Hill family managed to trap winter in a cave all year round! From Saturday 24 August – Monday 26 August cool off and have a go at making your very own Georgian ice cream!

9. Get crafty and take a bit of Hillsborough Castle home with drop-in summer make and take sessions, including kite making on selected dates.

10. And don’t forget to refuel in the Hillsborough Castle Café or Stable Yard Tearoom for a yummy seasonal menu with produce from the castle’s very own Walled Garden and tasty cakes for those with a sweet tooth – exploring is hungry work!