The historic village of HILLSBOROUGH, just a mile off the main A1 road and twelve miles southwest of Belfast, merits a quick detour. Its main street has a chintzy, Middle English ambience, reinforced by a sprinkling of tearooms and antique shops. You get the best of Hillsborough by following a route that starts from the war memorial (where regular Ulsterbus services from Newry and Belfast stop) and heads up the magnificent approach to the eighteenth-century Gothic parish church. Bear right here for the main entrance to Hillsborough’s elegant but ruined fort, constructed by Colonel Arthur Hill (after whom the village is named) in 1650 and remodelled in the eighteenth century as a venue for family feasts and entertainment. Beyond this, a deciduous forest opens up, curving around a lake stocked with brown and rainbow trout. Footpaths meander through the trees in all directions – a circuit of the lake takes around an hour.

 

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Ireland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

6 of the best road trips in Ireland

6 of the best road trips in Ireland

The Republic of Ireland’s phenomenally popular Wild Atlantic Way takes in a dizzying 2500km coastal route from Cork to Donegal, but not all of us have three w…

02 Jan 2018 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
20 picturesque Christmas destinations

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

Dreaming of a trip this Christmas? We're here to help. From glittering cities to a few snowy escapes, here are 20 classic destinations for a festive break. …

12 Dec 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right