The regal backdrop to a thousand stories that shaped the political and social environment of Northern Ireland, Hillsborough Castle and Gardens is much more than an ornate architectural marvel.
It is a site of stunning significance that is now setting the scene for everything from family weddings to grand boardroom meetings and large-scale commercial events.
Here, in association with Discover NI, we explore what is the most sought after invite around….
When Historic Royal Palaces invested £24m in Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, the independent charity reimagined and reawakened a true Northern Ireland gem.
Stately rooms and captivating indoor and outdoor spaces not only provided a setting in which to tell a 300 year-old story of dignitaries, royals and political giants that have brought peace to Northern Ireland at this property, but it opened up a unique environment for the people of Northern Ireland in which they too can host their very own momentous occasion.
Elegant yet relaxed, graceful and intimate, Hillsborough Castle and Gardens has a room or space to accommodate everything from 120 guests at an evening drinks reception to an intimate 18-person meeting or a large-scale black tie event for 350. It can also set the stage for that quintessential fairy-tale wedding.
What every space at this stunning property has in common is a touch of history accented by stunning architecture, ornate furnishings and awe-inspiring features all of which are peppered with an ambience that will create a truly memorable experience.
The Throne Room, adorned with golden-framed portraits, softened by flowing drapes, is the perfect location for a formal function while the State Drawing Room, with its antique furniture, marble fireplace and large sash windows, is a favourite for drinks receptions.
Meanwhile the castle’s splendid Red Room offers guests a rich and luxurious retreat for a dinner or a drinks reception with French doors offering direct access to the beautiful stone terrace and lawns.
Hillsborough Castle and Gardens also hosts a number of daytime meetings for both local and international businesses, with its State Rooms and Privy Council Chamber able to accommodate between 18 and 120 guests for conferences and presentations, while clients looking for a larger daytime event can make full use of the castle’s majestic grounds by incorporating the beautiful formal gardens and terraces.
The immaculate gardens can also accommodate marquees for up to 350 people, which are ideal for conferences and award ceremonies and enable guests to enjoy complimentary access to the 100 acres of stunning gardens, woodland and glens.
Or how about an out-of-hours private evening tour of the castle? Bookable up to 8 weeks in advance, this exclusive one-and-a-half-hour tour led by the castle’s expert explainers will take you through tales of celebration, entertainment and negotiation and bring the history of the castle to life, with an optional drinks and canape reception to complete the experience.
As an independent charity, Historic Royal Palaces is dedicated to ensuring the future of important historic buildings like Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, and funds raised from all commercial activities are reinvested in conservation, public access and educational activities to ensure the castle continues to be well-maintained and open for all to enjoy.
For more information on Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, a truly unique venue located just 20 minutes from Belfast, call 028 9268 1342 or visit hrp.org.uk/hillsborough-castle/hire-a-venue