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Gosford Forest Park

Gosford Road, Markethill, County Armagh, BT60 1GD

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About this venue

Gosford Forest Park, formerly Gosford Demesne, was acquired by the Department of Agriculture in 1958 and comprises some 240 hectares of diverse woodland and open parkland set in gentle rolling drumlin countryside. It was designated the first conservation forest in Northern Ireland in 1986. It is open every day of the year from 10.00 a.m. until sunset.

Access Guide

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Introduction

  • Services / facilities within the grounds include a deer park, poultry heritage collection and wild breed centre, caravan and camping site, accessible toilet, standard toilets and a car park.
  • Comments View
    • Gosford Forest Park, formerly Gosford Demesne, comprises some 240 hectares of diverse woodland and open parkland set in gentle rolling drumlin countryside.
    • The park contains a large collection of traditional breeds of poultry and rare breeds of farm animals, and a herd of red deer.
    • The park consist of 4 trails:.
    • Blue: Castle Path (one mile).
    • This path takes in the Arboretum and southern end of the Walled Garden before reaching the boundary of the privately owned Gosford Castle. From here the path leads through oak and Norway spruce plantations returning to the car park by the Rare Breed and Heritage Poultry enclosures and café.
    • Red: Greer’s Trail (two-and-a-half miles).
    • Dean Swift’s Well and Chair can be viewed along the Drumlack River before reaching the Millpond. The trail enters the beech woodland on Draper’s Hill and then skirts around the boundary of Gosford Castle into coniferous forest plantations, composed mainly of Norway spruce.
    • On the return to the car park, visitors can see the grassy mound of Greer’s Fort, named after a farming family who arrived in the area during the 1600s. The deer and heritage poultry enclosures are near the trail’s end.
    • Red 1: Crunaght Trail (four miles).
    • This trail branches south from Greer’s Trail through Norway spruce and some broadleaf woodland, and crosses the southern part of Drumlack River. After the second river crossing point the trail enters the middle of the open parkland through the deer and rare breed enclosures before returning towards the car park.
    • Cycling Trail (four miles).
    • Starting and finishing in the main car park, this trail leads cyclists towards the Millponds, crossing over the Drumlack River and then passing through the Gate House archway.
    • Turning right, the trail follows the boundary of the arboretum before heading into the forest. Non bitmac forest roads and narrower tracks, characterise this woodland section. The woodland cover opens into parkland as the trail returns to the car park via the red deer and heritage poultry enclosures.
    • The trail is mostly level with some very slight inclines in places. Novice cyclists should expect to complete the trail in about an hour, not including stops along the way!.
    • Suitable for children of all ages, this leisure trail provides a safe and enjoyable cycle ride with lots to see along the way.
    • Parts of these trails are used for horse riding.
    • Ecotrail at Gosford Forest Park.
    • Ecotrails seek to promote a knowledge and understanding of, and responsibility to, the local natural and built environment by using the 'outdoor classroom' of the countryside.
    • The ecotrails available on Forest Service land comprise both environmental and wayfaring trails. Environmental trails provide an opportunity for people to learn more about the cultural history and environmental features of the local forest.
    • Wayfaring trails are an excellent introduction to the sport of orienteering. All trails have been purposely designed to allow participants with limited map-reading skills to follow maintained paths between control sites.
    • In 1958 the Forest Service acquired Gosford Demesne. Prior to this the Earls of Gosford owned the estate for centuries. They were descendants of the Acheson family who established woodland, parkland and edifices on the estate.
    • Gosford Forest Park offers visitors paths and trails to see these historical features, and the mix of conifer and broadleaf woodlands, with its diverse flora and fauna.

Location

  • The venue is situated outside the centre of the town.
  • This venue is situated in Markethill.
  • There is a bus stop within 150m (164yds) of the venue.
  • The nearest mainline station is Portadown.

Parking

  • The venue does have its own car park.
  • Venue Car Park View
    • Parking is not free for all users.
    • Parking is not free for Blue Badge holders.
    • £5 parking charge.
    • The car park type is open air/surface.
    • Parking spaces for Blue Badge holders do need to be booked in advance.
    • The route from the car park to the entrance is accessible to a wheelchair user with assistance.
    • Assistance may be required because there is/are uneven surfaces.
    • The car park surface is tarmac.
    • There is not a road to cross between the car park and the entrance.
    • The car park does not have a height restriction barrier.
  • Drop off Point View
    • There is not a designated drop off point.

Outside Access (Car Park Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located to the front of the park.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main doors open (no doors).
  • The door opening is 125cm (4ft 1in) wide.

Level Change (Car Park Entrance)

  • There is a ramp or slope to access this service.
  • The ramp or slope is located ahead as you enter.
  • The ramp or slope is easy.
  • The ramp or slope is permanent.

Outside Access (Poultry Heritage Collection Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located within the park.
  • There is level access into the venue.
  • The main doors open away from you (push).
  • The doors are single width.
  • The doors are permanently held open.
  • The door opening is 100cm (3ft 3in) wide.

Inside Access (PARK)

  • There is not level access to the service.
  • Motorised scooters are allowed in public parts of the venue.

Level Change (Park)

  • There are several uneven paths around the park, some steep.
  • The surfaces of the park is loose chippings grass and tarmac.

Inside Access (Caravan and Camping Site)

  • There is level access to the service.
  • Motorised scooters are allowed in public parts of the venue.

Accessible Toilet (Park)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • Location and Access View
    • The toilet is not for the sole use of disabled people.
    • There is pictorial signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is approximately 35m (38yd 10in) from the car park entrance.
    • This accessible toilet is located within a toilet block to the left of the car park entrance.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a unisex toilet.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door is locked by a sliding bolt.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 79cm (2ft 7in).
    • The door is heavy.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 150cm x 380cm (4ft 11in x 12ft 6in).
    • There is sufficient turning space in the cubicle for a wheelchair user.
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the left.
    • The lateral transfer space is 90cm (2ft 11in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush on the transfer side.
    • The tap type is push.
    • There is a mixer tap.
    • There is not an emergency alarm.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is a/are female sanitary disposal units.
    • There is not a/are not coat hook(s).
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall mounted grab rails are available for the toilet.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on the right.
    • There is not a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • There is not a mirror.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 45cm (1ft 6in).
    • There is a hand dryer.
    • The hand dryer cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The hand dryer is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The height of the hand dryer is 115cm (3ft 9in).
    • There is not a towel dispenser.
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The height of the toilet roll holder is 110cm (3ft 7in).
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
    • The height of the wash basin is 76cm (2ft 6in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is fair.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is poor.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are medium.

Accessible Toilet (Camp Site)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • Location and Access View
    • The toilet is not for the sole use of disabled people.
    • There is pictorial signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is located within a toilet block.
    • There is level access to this accessible toilet.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a unisex toilet.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door is locked by a twist lock.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 80cm (2ft 7in).
    • The door is heavy.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 130cm x 395cm (4ft 3in x 12ft 12in).
    • There is not sufficient turning space in the cubicle for a wheelchair user.
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the right.
    • The lateral transfer space is 85cm (2ft 9in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush, however it is not on the transfer side.
    • The tap type is lever.
    • There is not a mixer tap.
    • There is not an emergency alarm.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is a/are female sanitary disposal units.
    • There is not a/are not coat hook(s).
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall mounted grab rails are available for the toilet.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on the left.
    • There is not a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • There is not a mirror.
    • There is a hand dryer.
    • The hand dryer cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The hand dryer is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The height of the hand dryer is 114cm (3ft 9in).
    • There is not a towel dispenser.
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The height of the toilet roll holder is 115cm (3ft 9in).
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
    • The height of the wash basin is 77cm (2ft 6in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is fair.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is poor.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are medium.

Standard Toilet(s)

Level Change (Standard Toilets)

  • There is an easy ramp in front of the male and female standard toilets.

Additional Info

  • Staff do not receive disability awareness / equality training.