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Hillsborough Forest

22 Large Park, Royal Hillsborough, County Down, BT26 6AL
Family ona bench looking over the lake at Hillsborough Forest

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About

Hillsborough Forest is set in the picturesque Georgian village of Royal Hillsborough and sits just a few minutes walk from Hillsborough Castle, adjacent to Hillsborough Fort. A popular choice among bird-watchers, dog walkers, photographers and nature-lovers, the forest covers an area of almost 200 acres and has way-marked routes providing a variety of different walks to suit everyone.

With the redevelopment of Hillsborough Forest underway and the first phase complete, visitors can now enjoy upgraded pathways throughout, stunning lakeside viewpoints with seating, additional picnic benches, extra car-parking facilities, and a state-of-the-art woodland-themed outdoor children's play area.  

The whole of the lake area is a forest wildlife sanctuary and is home to a wide variety of birds and animals. Look out for the many species of resident and over-wintering waterfowl, especially swans and several varieties of duck. Two red graded forest trails allow the casual walker access around the lake and to the back of the forest past the Fox Fort rath. 

After your walk, enjoy some well-earned refreshment in one of Royal Hillsborough's excellent restaurants, cafes or pubs. The Vintage Tea Rooms are ideal for a coffee and a natter, The Hillside is perfect for a pint by the fire, and Hara is sure to impress with a delicious lunch or dinner of locally sourced produce. 

For more information on the future development of Hillsborough Forest, visit the Royal Hillsborough Tourism Masterplan page. 

Facilities

Provider Preferences

  • Dogs Welcome Inside

Map & Directions

Opening Times

* Children's Play Park Opening Times (Oct - Mar)
Mondays 10:30 - 17:00
Tuesday - Sunday: 09:00 - 17:00

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