Gosford Forest Park Circular Walk

Difficulty
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Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1.5-2.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
6.3 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
214 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The Gosford Forest Park Circular Walk is a great family-friendly adventure in County Armagh, Northern Ireland that will take you on a beautiful forest trail through the grounds of a former country house. While out walking this route, you will meander past charming ponds and lovely gardens, before taking in the views of the historic 19th Century Gosford Castle set in an idyllic woodland setting. This is a great walk if you are looking to disconnect and relax amongst nature.

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Route Description for Gosford Forest Park Circular Walk

The Gosford Forest Park Circular is a relatively easy adventure that can be undertaken by almost every age and skill level; however, this can make it a busy route, particularly during peak hours. Be sure to arrive early in order to beat out the crowds and secure parking. Additionally., dogs are permitted within the park, but you will need to keep them on a lead throughout your adventure.

This really is a great walking route for the entire family to take in some interesting historical sites, all while getting outdoors and enjoying the beauty of nature. Along the trail, you will lose yourself in the tranquil forest atmosphere that is teeming with plant and animal life, all while having the opportunity to check out the sights of the 19th Century Gosford Castle that was once home to the Earls of Gosford. What a great way to spend the day outdoors!

Setting out from the trailhead off Markethill Road, head to the northeast along the lane for 59 m and turn left into the cover of the forest. Here, you will pass by several small ponds on your right and keep straight along the trail for the next 1.0 km to arrive at another lane. If you want to get a good look at the historic Gosford Castle and gardens, you can take a brief detour to the right and follow the lane until the Norman Revival style building comes into view. If not, simply head straight across to the other side of the lane in order to pick up the trail.

Continue along the path as it leads you through the peaceful woodland atmosphere of the park for another 1.7 km, keeping left along the trail until you come to a junction next to a small pond. Turn right here, followed by an almost immediate left to continue southwest through the park. Shortly after crossing the Drumlack River, keep left to work your way through the southern half of the park for 0.8 km, where you will turn right in order to make your way to the northwest on the final leg of the walk. Keeping to the left, you will eventually meet up with a lane and follow it left to pass by Dean Swift’s Well, before arriving back at the trailhead where you began the Gosford Forest Park Circular Walk.

Trail Highlights

Gosford Castle

Commissioned in 1819 by The 2nd Earl of Gosford and only completed in 1859, Gosford Castle is a country house in County Armagh that was built in the Norman Revival style and was home to the Acheson family.
During the Second World War, the castle was used to house soldiers and even featured a POW camp on site before being sold to the Ministry of Agriculture shortly after the conflict. In the time since, the grounds have been established into the Gosford Forest Park and the castle itself was briefly opened as a hotel before being converted into private residences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed in Gosford Forest Park?

Dogs are permitted in Gosford Forest Park; however, they must be kept on a lead at all times.

Who owns Gosford Forest Park?

Gosford Forest Park is owned by the Forest Service of Northern Ireland.

Insider Hints for Gosford Forest Park Circular Walk

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes for this adventure.
  • Be sure to keep your dog on a lead at all times.
  • Arrive early to secure parking.

Getting to the Gosford Forest Park Circular Walk Trailhead

To reach the trailhead for the Gosford Forest Park Circular Walk from Markethill, head north on main Street/B78 for 0.6 km and turn left onto Markethill Road/A28. Follow this for 149 m to arrive at the trailhead. Parking acan also be found by turning right here to enter the forest park.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-Round

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Gosford Forest Park Circular Walk Elevation Graph

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