posted on November 11th, 2022

Christmas Magic returns to Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

A dusting of seasonal magic will land throughout Hillsborough Castle and Gardens as the Christmas at Hillsborough Light Trail makes its return this December.

Over a million lights and seasonal sounds will once again fill the air at the historical venue, where glittering tunnels of light, dancing lakeside reflections and trees drenched in jewel-like colours will come to life amongst a trail of larger-than-life illuminations where mistletoe memories will be made.

This year, the stunning Neon Strings installation has been renamed by Beechlawn School in Hillsborough as Royal Aurora, a nod to the school’s home of Royal Hillsborough and the mesmerising Northern Lights mostly enjoyed in the wintertime.

Further highlights for 2022 include Butterfly Effect, by Masamichi Shimada, courtesy of Light Art Collection. Masamichi is an artist from Japan, who through this artwork, portrays how something as delicate as a butterfly can hold a huge amount of power.

The artist wishes to make visitors smile through the creativity of his work and aims to emphasise that the small act of one person can make a huge difference to seemingly big

problems. The beautiful butterflies will be easily found along the trail as they can be spotted illuminating the pond in a blue glow.

Another must-see installation this year will be the extraordinary Meadow of Light, which will immerse visitors in a festive field covered in shimmering layers of swaying fibre optic lights. This installation is created by Lightworks, an Edinburgh based award-winning company who specialise in immersive lighting design and showpieces.

Almost half of Hillsborough Castle’s 100 acres of gardens will be transformed into a winter wonderland, where visitors can contemplate a choreographed colour-changing avenue of trees, get a glittering welcome in the Walled Garden, a dazzling Yew Tree Walk and even get a glimpse into Father Christmas’ workshop.

Local food and drinks vendors will be dotted throughout the grounds, serving an array of hot food, spiced winter warmers, toasted marshmallows and hot chocolates* to keep visitors fueled throughout the trail.

Hailed as must-visit when the trail first arrived in Northern Ireland last year, this winter wonderland is sure to fill the whole family with festive feels from 01 December 2022 – 01 January 2023.

Free parking is available on site at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens new Visitor Centre, with the trail opening from dusk at 4:30pm, and last entry at 8pm**. Tickets range from £22 (non-member) and £20.50 (member) for adults, with family tickets available.

To book and for more information visit and, and follow @mychristmastrails on Facebook and Instagram.