FIRST LOOK: Christmas At Hillsborough Castle sparkles with more than a million lights

THERE are more than a million reasons to visit Christmas At Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

That’s how many sparkling lights have been installed and are now switched on to turn the venue into a dazzling winter wonderland – as our new photos show.

BOOK TICKETS: It runs now on selected nights to January 2, 2022. Tickets are on sale now. For prices, dates, timings, event information and more visit Parking is free of charge.

Highlights include a huge Christmas Cathedral of lights – an Instagram selfie showstopper – a Laser Garden, a Snowdrop Walk and Christmas Chandeliers, suspended from wooden beams supported in tree tops which line a spectacular woodland pathway.

The trail is designed for visitors of all ages to enjoy - an unmissable outdoor experience to celebrate the festive season.

Twinkling lights, colourful trees and amazing illuminated installations are sure to delight visitors young and old.

Discover sparkling tunnels of light, walk under giant baubles and beneath trees drenched in jewel-like colour.

There is also the chance to pause and admire the mesmerising flickering flames in a real fire garden, called River Of Fire.

The mile-long trail, a one to two hours leisurely walk, is set to a soundscape of wonderful Christmas tunes as you discover the mistletoe bench and even spot Father Christmas.

Independent street food vendors bring a delicious twist to tasty treats on offer, for an additional fee, including festive hot drinks like a spiced winter warmer or hot chocolate, complete with some delicious toasted marshmallows, perfect for sharing with someone special.

It has been brought to Northern Ireland for the first time by Sony Music in partnership with Historic Royal Palaces.

Created by Culture Creative, the company has 14 after-dark trails UK wide and also launched new sites in the USA this year.

Their spaces include the magical Christmas illuminations at London’s Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and at Edinburgh’s Botanics.

Claire Woods, Gardens Manager at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens said: “We’re really excited about creating a magic new experience in our much-loved gardens this Christmas season.

"We hope that visitors young and old alike will enjoy getting in the festive spirit with our sparkling displays, and make memories that will last a lifetime.”

Christmas Cathedral. Photo by Brian Morrison
Trees drenched in jewel-like colour.
Laser garden at Christmas at Hillsborough Castle & Gardens. Photo by Brian Morrison
River of Fire. Photo Brian Morrison
Christmas Chandeliers
Snowdrops by Culture Creative