Hillsborough Castle and Gardens is an official government site in Northern Ireland. It is also the residence of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and when the British Royal Family visit Northern Ireland, as well as the residence for other important international visitors. It is currently managed by the Historic Royal Palaces and it is open to the public on specific dates. The castle is situated in the village of Hillsborough in north west County Down. The place is more of a Georgian country house than a true castle. It was constructed in the 18th century by the Hill family who had it in their prosession until 1922 when it was then sold to British government along with its grounds. There is the opportunity to spend the day exploring 100 acres of stunning gardens or take a tour of the Georgian house built by Wills Hill. The gardens are full of ornamental lawns, waterways, serene woodlands and stunning glens that surround the castle. In the castle tour, you can explore the State rooms that the royal family use or experience the Walled Garden that has been expertly restored using traditional methods.