The Course

The course is 5000m (5k) long. This has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. The course is at Ardgillan Castle and Demesne, Balbriggan. The course is run on a mixture of trail paths and grass. Some sections of the course may accumulate mud, leaves and puddles after rain. Dependent on availability, marshals will be at key sections of the course, or signs will be in place.

Please remember that the parkrun uses shared paths. For the continued success of the event, please give way to other park users. This won't hurt your time, it won't stop you from getting a PB and it will make sure everyone continues to enjoy the event.

Please, wherever possible walk, jog, cycle or use public transport when attending the event. If you do have to drive, please consider car-sharing to reduce our impact on both the environment and other park users. Please also watch out for other park users when arriving and leaving. Parking may be limited so try to arrive early.

Course Safety

Ardgillan parkrun is a fun, free event organised by volunteers for the benefit of everyone. We wish to make the event as safe as possible, so participants, spectators and helpers are asked to take care about the following:

  • Please be considerate to the park and other park users at all times.
  • Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied (within arm's reach) throughout the run by a parent, guardian or appropriate adult of the parent's choice.
  • Please arrive by foot, by pedal-power or by public transport if you can - your efforts help to reduce our impact on the park and the planet.
  • Please consider volunteering to help occasionally - this event survives only because of your generosity - please visit the volunteer page for more information.
  • Take care near roads and car parks - some vehicles drive very quickly. Please congregate away from the cars and be careful in particular if you have children. If you’re driving to the run, please drive carefully even if you’re late!
  • Take care on uneven surfaces – whether on grass or on tarmac. Watch out for cyclists, other participants, pedestrians, children, dogs, wildlife, park animals, vehicles, park maintenance work, falling branches, bollards, posts and other obstacles around the course.
  • Please ensure that you are fit enough to walk, jog, run 5k (3.1 miles) with us.
  • If you see someone with a serious problem, please stop to help them out and get help as soon as possible.
  • If you’re watching, keep clear of participants on the course, and look after any children and dogs you may have with you.
  • It is not permitted to run with a pushchair and a dog at the same time.
  • Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks. Consider protecting yourself by wearing repellent when at parkrun events in grassy or wooded areas. See for further details.
  • You are welcome to take part with one dog by your side, within reach at all times, on a short, handheld, non-extendable lead. Please also see this Support Site entry for further details about parkrunning with dogs.
  • parkrunners pushing buggies are welcome, but please take care of others around you and do your best to start at an appropriate place in the field for your pace.

We hope these tips help to ensure that Ardgillan parkrun is fun and safe for everyone.

Age Grading

All parkrun events use Age Grading to help parkrunners compare results.

Age Grading takes your time and uses the world record time for your sex and age group to produce a score (a percentage). This score allows you to compare your personal performance against other people's performances even though they might be a different age and a different sex to you - the higher the score the better the performance. The scores can also be compared across different race distances - to allow you to, for example, compare a 5km time against a marathon.

For more information, please see our Support page.

Course Map

Course Description

The course starts at the back of the castle, does 2 laps of the bottom part of the park and finishes at the front of the castle. Starting on the path beside the terrace at the back of the castle head past the rose garden and take a right turn downhill through the trees past the holistic centre. Follow the path down to the cross roads just before it goes back into the trees, turn right here to start the lap. The lap is anticlockwise going down towards the sea, turning left at the bottom of the hill, following the path through the trees parallel to the road/rail line and left at the end back to the cross roads. After completing the lap twice runner take a right turn up the path to the front of the castle,finishing at the gate.


  • Public Toilets beside the Castle
  • Tea Rooms
  • Free public car park as well as a disabled car park at the lower level of the demesne
  • Play ground

Getting There

Location of start

The run starts at the back of the castle.

Getting there by public transport

Bus: Bus No. 33 from Eden Quay in Dublin travels via Rush and Skerries and passes under the “Lady’s Stairs", two miles north of Skerries. “The Lady’s Stairs” is a pedestrian footbridge over the road and railway line, which provides access to the Ardgillan.
Bus No. 33 from Balbriggan travels the Skerries Road and passes under the “Lady’s Stairs”, about two miles south of Balbriggan. “The Lady’s Stairs” is a pedestrian footbridge over the road and railway line, which provides access to the Ardgillan.
Please see the Dublin Bus website for the Balbriggan 33 Bus Timetable.

Train: Please see the Irish Rail website for the Balbriggan Train Timetable.

Getting there on foot

The 33 bus from either Skerries or Balbriggan leaves you at the “Lady’s Stairs” this is a pedestrian footbridge over the road and provides access to Ardgillan. You then follow the path up towards Ardgillan Castle. Directions to the starting point will be signposted from there.

Getting there by road

Sat. Nav. Co-ordinates
N 53° 35’ 11” W 6° 09’ 36”

The route to Ardgillan Demesne is signposted from the M1.
Travelling north from Dublin exit at Junction 5.
Travelling south exit at Junction 6 (well sign-posted).

Directions from M1 Swords to Ardgillan Castle
Directions from Drogheda to Ardgillan Castle

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the Castle Tea Rooms - please come and join us!