NWOC Xmas Event 2023


28th Dec 2023    
11:00 - 13:30


Mussenden Temple & Downhill Demesne
10 Mussenden Road, Castlerock, BT51 4SB

Event Type

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Thursday 28th December 2023

Main parking will be in the National Trust car park for Downhill Demesne and Mussenden Temple (Lion’s Gate). Please note that there is  a charge of £7:50 for non National Trust members for the use of this car park (another reason to share transport)!




Pre-entry event. All entries via SIEntries Website.

  • Enter Online
  • Edit your Entry
  • View Entry Lists

Event Enquiries will operate from 11:00am. Having entered online you can go directly to the start for 11:30 mass start (5 minutes walk). Runners who have hired a dipper can collect them from Enquiries.

Courses Close at 1.30pm.

Entry Fees:

  • Juniors / Family Group £4
  • Seniors £7


An updated 1:5000 of Downhill Demesne will be used by all courses. This have been updated to reflect the closure of several paths (these areas are now out of bounds).

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.

Provisional Course Details:

The Long and Medium courses will both have a mass start at 11:30am, but these will not be score events! Instead the courses will be a mixture of control clusters which you can visit in any order (but you must visit all) and linking sections of traditional in-sequence linear orienteering. Everyone does all the controls and the fastest time (first back) is the winner.

The Score is a traditional format and the more physical controls and controls in the cattle grazing area have been omitted to make it suitable of all.

Course Controls Length
Long 22 6.5 km
Medium 17 4.1 km
Score 18 45 minutes


Sheep and Cattle (for dogs owners and runners):

The long course (only) will visit an enclosed area with cattle grazing. There may be sheep grazing in the main National Trust area.

Dogs must not accompany runners. Should you wish to go for a walk after your run, dogs are permitted on leads within the National Trust area.


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.  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 – this is were the cattle are, but the area is only visited by the long course.

Al’s Coffee Bar:

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


  1. There are high sea cliffs to the north of the area but these are guarded by a substantial boundary wall.
  2. The long course will pass through an area where cattle are grazing for conservation purposes. Please exercise normal caution if close to these animals.
  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.