Hillsborough Forest Orienteering Courses are officially open!

July 27, 2022

Three new permanent orienteering courses have officially opened in Hillsborough Forest Park, Royal Hillsborough.

The courses were created by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (LCCC) in partnership with Lagan Valley Orienteers to re-establish the area as a prime location for outdoor adventure. The yellow, orange and green courses are now fully operational and free!

  • The yellow at 2.4 km follows the path and is ideal for people with no experience of orienteering. It is also suitable for strollers.
  • Orange at 3.2 km is perfect for juniors with some experience or for novice adults.
  • The green at 4.0 km is for experienced orienteers, including those who have passed the orange course.

Permanent orientation courses allow individuals and groups to find, navigate and follow courses at their own pace. You just need a map to get started!

LCCC Development Committee Chairman Ald Allan Ewart MBE said: “Royal Hillsborough is a unique tourist destination and these new orienteering routes will add to the already significant appeal of this charming village.

“There is a wonderful history of orienteering in the council area dating back to the 1970s and these new courses will provide the perfect opportunity for families and individuals to get active while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. . I would like to thank Lagan Valley Orienteers for their support and commitment to developing these Orienteering courses and encouraging everyone to come and try them!”

Jane Wilson, a seasoned Lagan Valley Orienteers veteran whose father was one of the first to map Hillsborough Forest, said:

“Hillsborough Forest holds a very special place in my heart as it is basically where I started walking, running and orienteering. The story goes that my father mapped the forest early 70’s with me on my back in a papoose I spent a lot of wonderful orienteering years here as a teenager and as my mum was also a local manager we were able to showcase the race guidance to some pupils as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme in the 1980s.

“To be able to continue this great tradition of orienteering, nearly 50 years later, is a testament to the strength and commitment of our enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers within Lagan Valley Orienteers and the continued positive partnerships forged with Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.”

For more information on the Lagan Valley Orienteers, visit www.lvo.org.uk or find them on Facebook: @LaganValleyOrienteers and Instagram: @NIOrienteer. Maps can be downloaded here.

Dino J. Dotson