NI Colour Series 1 2019 – Downhill Demesne and Forest

Saturday 2nd March 2019

Parking will be in the National Trust car park for Downhill Demesne and Mussenden Temple (Lion’s Brae). There will be a £1 charge per senior runner to cover car parking and toilets.

Registration will operate from 10:30am.

Starts from 11.30 to 13.00pm.

Courses Close at 3.00pm.

Start and Finish are both adjacent to the parking/registration.

Entry Fees:

  • Juniors £5 (NIOA members £4)
  • OAP/ Unwaged £8 (NIOA members £6)
  • Seniors £10 (NIOA members £8)
  • Family £25 (NIOA members £20)

Plus £1 per adult to cover car parking / toilets.


An updated 1:5000 of Downhill Demesne will be used by all courses. The Blue and Brown courses will also use an updated 1:5000 map of Downhill Forest (printed on the reverse of the Downhill Demesne map).

Special feature – Ha-Ha

The area features a number of ‘invisible’ livestock barriers called ‘ha-has’ (the name supposedly deriving from the exclamation genteel visitors would have made when they discovered  them). Runners on the wrong side might make a different exclamation!
It is not recommended you try to cross them in either direction. The inset graphic above shows how they are represented on the map with a wall and steep slope symbol in parallel.

Crossing Points

The area has many pedestrian gates and permanent stiles. These are highlighted with the purple crossing symbol and must be used.

Fences and walls must not be climbed.

Course Details:

Course Controls Length Climb
White 7 1.3 km 25 m
Yellow 8 1.9 km 40 m
Orange 13 2.6 km 50 m
Light Green 14 3.5 km 75 m
Short Green 10 2.9 km 80 m
Green 15 4.4 km 115 m
Blue 22 6.2 km 245 m
Brown 26 8.0 km 315 m

Road Crossing and Timeout

Both Blue and Brown courses will cross the busy A2 road twice. There will be a control either side of the crossing point and a punched ‘timeout’ of 2 minutes. This means that after punching the first box the race clock stops for up to 2 minutes allowing you to walk carefully across the road when safe to do so. Punching the second box after crossing restarts the clock and the course continues as normal.

Sheep (for dogs owners and runners):

The area is grazed by sheep which are currently lambing. Please take great care near the pregnant ewes and lambs and avoid running through groups of sheep.

Dogs must not accompany runners. Should you wish to go for a walk after your run, dogs are permitted on leads, but again please take great care near sheep.


There are good toilet facilities associated with the National Trust car park.

Terrain Notes:

The Downhill Demesne map is made up of three distinct areas. Firstly a headland area of fast open parkland surrounding the castle with magnificent sea views. The shorter colours are contained in this area and should pose no major challenge to runners new to the Colour Series but familiar with urban / park orienteering. In the middle of the map a small wooded glen runs via an artificial lake to the sea. Finally the east section of the map is a second exposed headland but with much rougher vegetation and some contour detail.

The Blue and Brown courses will also visit Downhill Forest. This is a small complex mixed wooded area of undulating terrain centred around a steep-sided open plateau. It should make a nice contrast to the faster Downhill Demesne.

Al’s Coffee Bar:

There is a permanent ‘coffee shack’ in the National Trust car park which serves hot drinks and snacks.


  1. Blue and Brown courses cross the fast and busy A2 road twice. There will be controls either side of the road and a 2 minute timeout on each crossing will operate to allow competitors to walk across safely.
  2. There are high sea cliffs to the north of the area. The area used by white, yellow and orange courses is bounded by a high stone wall. However, the headland visited by the Green, Blue and Brown has no bounding wall and care should be taken, particular if the weather on the day is windy or misty.
  3. The area features a number of steep narrow paths with stone steps. Take care particularly in wet conditions.
  4. Parents should be aware that the car park opens directly onto the busy A2 road.


Organiser: Ruth Blair
Planner: Anthony McGonigle
Controller: Charlie Reid

Date(s) - 2nd Mar 2019
10:30 - 12:00

Downhill Forest

Event Type

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