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.
It is 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.
In 2022, 3 permanent orienteering courses were developed within the forest.
After your walk, enjoy some well-earned refreshment in one of Royal Hillsborough's excellent restaurants, cafes or pubs.
Key facts about Hillsborough Forest
with the first and second phase of the redevelopment of Hillsborough Forest complete, visitors can now enjoy upgraded pathways throughout, stunning lakeside viewpoints with seating, additional picnic benches, extra car-parking facilities, a state-of-the-art woodland-themed outdoor children's play area and a digital sculpture trail
the forest will continue to be enhanced along with Hillsborough Fort and The Square in the centre of the village as part of our Destination Royal Hillsborough project within the Belfast Region City Deal
At Hillsborough Forest there are:
viewing areas beside the lake
a children's play park
toilet facilities within the play park. There are also public toilets at the bottom of Main Street in the village
a coffee dock
a digital sculpture trail
3 permanent orienteering tracks
The opening times for the children’s play park are:
(Apr-Sept) Mon from 10.30am to 9pm and Tue to Sun from 9am to 9pm (Oct-Mar) Mon from 10.30am to 5pm and Tue to Sun from 9am to 5pm
Biodiversity in the park
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.