Hillsborough Castle and Gardens; Creating Quality Outdoor Experiences

20th December 2019


On 11th December 2019, and 13th February 2020, we hosted training seminars ‘Creating Quality Outdoor Experiences’ at the beautiful Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

These seminars were the first in a series of training events to be organised by Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland (ORNI) over the next four years, that will benefit those working in the outdoor sector. The December seminar was repeated in February due to such high demand.

The seminar was opened by ORNI Executive Director, Caro-Lynne Ferris, and featured other members of ORNI staff who presented across two sub-themes. Aideen Exley, Head of Marketing and Participation discussed the importance of knowing who your market and audience is first. This was followed by a presentation from Fiona Milne, Joint Head of Projects, who looked at how to design a quality outdoor experience and the various components that should be considered when doing so.

In the afternoon, Sandra Pryce, Head of Operations and Visitor Experience at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens (December) and Laura McCorry, Head of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens (February) offered some valuable insight on the journey of their venue in creating a quality outdoor experience. Following this, delegates were invited to walk around the gardens and hear from HCG staff about what their challenges throughout and how they have combated them and created opportunities for visitors to enjoy the gardens to the fullest.


Reflecting on the day and looking forward to future training seminars, Caro-Lynne Ferris, ORNI Executive Director commented:

This events have been an excellent way to kick start ORNI’s new 4 year training programme for the outdoor industry. 

Developing ‘quality’ outdoor recreation experiences is at the core of everything we try to do as an organisation and so we were keen to share through our own experiences and case studies from elsewhere key learnings on how to achieve this.

We hope that everyone who attended left with a better understanding of how to create a quality experience for those visiting their sites.

Visit our Training Opportunities page or email Kerry Kirkpatrick to register your interest at kerry@out-scape.com