Places to See | Co. Down, Northern Ireland
The historic centre of Hillsborough Village in County Down is noted for its stunning architecture and olde-worlde charm. At the top of the Georgian Main Street sits Hillsborough Castle, the official residence of the Royal Family when they are in Northern Ireland.
The village was originally a compact settlement hosting a regular market. More recently land to the north of the village has been developed as housing and Hillsborough has become part of the commuter belt of Belfast.
It was named after Sir Arthur Hill, who built Hillsborough Fort in 1650 to command the road from Dublin to Carrickfergus. The Hill family became the Earls of Hillsborough, then Marquises of Downshire.
A prominent feature of the east and south approaches to Hillsborough is a 5-mile wall which encloses the “Park Dam”, an artificial lake, and the forest surrounding it.
There are many interesting walks and local pubs offering delicacies to enjoy; and is home to a public forest park and lake that form the picturesque setting for the original fort residence of Lord Hillsborough. Hillsborough hosts an International Oyster Festival each year, generally September. This attracts thousands of visitors from as far away as Japan, Russia, the United States and Argentina) The festivities include boat racing, parachuting, garden fêtes, oyster eating and Guinness drinking – all in the name of fun, revelry and charity.
Address: Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland