One of the district's famous showpiece villages is Hillsborough Village, the gemstone of Lisburn & Castlereagh. A glorious example of Georgian architecture, the village is an explosion of colour during the spring and summer months, regularly featuring in ‘Ulster in Bloom’ and ‘Britain in Bloom’ Awards.
Amongst the village’s many architectural delights is Hillsborough Castle, a magnificent two-storey mansion house dating from 1797, incorporating an earlier house from 1760. It was the former home of the Hill family - the Marquises of Downshire, from whom Hillsborough village takes its name.
Opposite the Courthouse, just off the Main Street, is the 17th Century Hillsborough Fort, which provides a fabulous centrepiece for the Forest, where one can take a leisurely stroll around its lake-shore, admire its varied flora and fauna and relax in its tranquil surroundings.
Yet in centuries past this building had a more martial role due to the fact that it commanded the strategic Kilwarlin Pass and was made a Royal Fortress during the reign of Charles II, with Sir Arthur Hill appointed hereditary constable in command of a garrison of twenty warders. A visit to Hillsborough Village is a must when exploring the Lisburn & Castlereagh area.