Tours leave from outside the Visitor Information Centre
About Hillsborough Village
Hillsborough is a village of Georgian townhouses, interesting shops, bars, restaurants and, more importantly, wonderful historic buildings and lush parkland. It owes much to the Marquesses of Downshire who lived in Hillsborough Castle. Standing right in the centre of the village, this was at one time the governor’s residence but is now used for state occasions and for visiting royalty and other dignitaries.
The fine 1760 Market House looks across the square to the 18th-century gates which lead to Hillsborough Fort. Dating from early Christian times, this achieved strategic importance in 1650 and was later transformed into a picturesque toy fort which the Downshire family used for entertaining. The church, rebuilt in 1760 – 1774, has been described as “the most sophisticated and uniform example of the Georgian Gothic style in Ireland.”
In the churchyard is the grave of composer and conductor, Sir Hamilton Harty, whose home on Ballynahinch Street is marked by a plaque. The tour itinerary takes in many of these important buildings giving Hillsborough its rich history along with stories passed down through the generations of local families.
- There is a one-hour limit on free parking in the village, so we recommend that you park at the Forest Park Car Park which is only a short walk to the meeting point
- We suggest you wear sensible shoes as there are uneven footpaths and slippery surfaces
- Bring a camera as there are lots of photo opportunities
- There is one moderate hill at the end of the tour which may be difficult for wheelchair users, email us with any questions
In case you wish to book a Sunday Tour or a Private Tour (2-8 people /£80) just contact us.