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Castlerock to Downhill Forest

This short linear cycle route connecting the village and the forest is predominantly along traffic-free sections of NCN Route 93. Cyclists can enjoy stunning coastal scenery and magnificent views towards Donegal, as well as viewing two of the tallest Sitka Spruce trees in Ireland, known by some locals as "Laurel & Hardy".

Benone Strand, Castlerock Beach, Downhill Beach, Portstewart Strand Beach and East Strand, Portrush and West Strand Beach, Portrush are all nearby attractions.



Nearest Town


Route Type




Grid Ref (Start)



2.0 miles

OS Map

Sheet 4 Discoverer Series

Route Shape


On/Off Road

Off Public road

Grid Ref (End)



Bitmac surfaced roads and cycle paths. Dust paths within forest. One steep descent within forest.

route description

The starting point for this short linear cycle route is the promenade in Castlerock, close to the seafront and adjacent to the toilet block. Cyclists follow the main road through the village, taking extra care crossing the railway line. Shortly after crossing the railway line, cyclists pick up the traffic free cycle path which leads to the forest. At the Sea Road/Mussenden Road junction, cyclists turn right and follow the cycle path towards Downhill Estate, home to the famous Mussenden Temple. Take care crossing Freehall Road, and again when crossing Mussenden Road to access the forest. Just inside the forest entrance gate care must be taken descending the first hill. Follow the waymarkers through the forest, passing two of the tallest Sitka Spruce trees in Ireland. The traffic free section of this route ends where the forest paths joins Burrenmore Road. Cyclists then return to Castlerock via the same route (or leave the forest and continue along NCN Route 93 towards Gortmore View Point).

getting to the start

NCN Route 93 passes along the North Coast, connecting Portrush, Portstewart, Coleraine, Castlerock and Limavady. The promenade in Castlerock is easily accessed off Route 93. Castlerock is served by the Belfast/L'Derry railway line and also Ulsterbus services. By car follow the A2 to Castlerock.


Care should be taken from the Promenade, crossing the railway line in Castlerock, and cycling on the roads through the village. Additionally the cycle path crosses a couple of roads before reaching Downhill Forest. May encounter Forest Service vehicles within the forest.


Refreshments and toilets available in Castlerock. Car parking available at promenade at starting point.

information for People with a Disability

Mainly on asphalt surfaced cycle paths. Dust paths within forest. Steep hill within forest.

available publications

"Cycling in the Borough of Coleraine" leaflet. This route is also part of the Ballyshannon to Ballycastle route.

Coleraine TIC Tel: 028 7034 4723

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Did this with the kids on a rather wet August day! They loved it. Great views and great forest.

Phil Hanns
Funders Outdoor Recreation NI Leave No Trace NIEA DoE HPA
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