Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Blackford Hill

Image of the Blackford Hill and The Hermitage map

ESOC local event in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sat 18th Jul 2015

Info updated: 18th Feb
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Parkland, Woodland




Hearing about the floods and gales afflicting the Open golf not very far away, it was  lovely surprise to find ourselves on Blackford HIll in a sheltered corner on a sunny afternoon.   I think today's attendance was a record in age range; from the month-old baby Bleakley  to veteran members of ESOC well over eighty.     Further proof, if any is needed, that orienteering is the ultimate "sport for all".   We welcomed many first-timers, dipping their toes into uncharted waters, and many old hands who found a good challenge on the map of Blackford hill with paths removed.

Thank you one and all for coming, and I'm sure everyone will join me in giving special thanks to Team Nolan who planned the courses and put out the controls, and the other members of ESOC who did all the other necessary jobs to stage an event like this.

If you enjoyed today's event, keep an eye on the news and the websites in the first week of August when the World Orienteering Championships comes to Scotland, based at Inverness.   You'll be inspired to keep coming to events!

Janet Clark    Organiser    0131 225 7771    

General Information

Dress: Please check the weather forecast and dress appropriately.  Even though this area close to the centre of the city of Edinburgh, parts of it are exposed and can be windy - even in Summer. Bring sun cream if it's hot!

Terrain:  Mixture of open hillside and wooded area, steep in parts; good track network

Other Users: Blackford Hill is very accessible and accordingly is very well used by the general public including other runners and dog walkers.  Please respect their right to be there at the same time as you are orienteering.

Dogs: Dogs are not allowed on the courses. This is despite the fact that Blackford Hill is popular with dog walkers.

Course Closure Time: Please note that courses have a closure time after which controls will start  to be brought in.  Competitors are responsible for checking the course closure time.


map location

Nearest town: City of Edinburgh


Head for the car park for the Royal Observatory.  You should be able to get close to the event by bus.  Check Lothian Buses website for more information.

Registration & Start Times

REGISTRATION: This will be from 1.30pm to 3pm very close to the car parking.  It is not necessary - or possible – to pre-enter for this event.  Everyone is very welcome, just to turn up.Please ry to come and start early if you think you might take a long time over your course.

START AND FINISH will be very close to the car parking. Start times will be from 1.30pm to 3pm.

COURSE CLOSURE TIME: This will be posted at Registration and will be 4pm.  Controls will start to be brought in from this time.  Please make sure you check the course closure time before you start, especially if you start towards the end of the Start period or if you think you could take a long time on your course. 

Course Information

There will be White, Yellow and Orange courses as usual.  The course for more experienced orienteers will use a map with the path network removed, presenting a different challenge to those who know the hill well.  Despite this being a city centre area it is suitable for orienteering at all skill levels and there will be a challenges available for everyone whatever their experience.

Explanation of colour courses

  • White are very easy with all controls on paths. They are mainly used by 6-10 year olds and family groups.
  • Yellow use simple linear features like paths, walls and streams. They are mainly used by under 12’s and family groups.
  • Orange progress to basic use of the compass and route choice. They are ideal for novice adults or experienced youngsters.
  • Light Green are ideal for improvers as the navigational difficulty begins to increase and uses simple contours and point features.
  • Green are used mostly by experienced under 18’s and adults wanting a short but challenging course with a very hard navigational difficulty.
  • Blue are a longer, more physically demanding course in comparison to the green. The distances are more varied between controls and the course attracts experienced orienteers.
  • Brown & Black are very physically demanding and have a very hard navigational difficulty. They are for experienced orienteers only.
  • Score means visiting as many controls as possible in any order in a specific time, like 45mins.

Entry Details

Seniors (born 1994 or earlier)
British Orienteering members - £3
Non-members - £5

Juniors (born 1995 or later)
British Orienteering members - £2
Non-members - £2.50

British Orienteering members - £2
Non-members - £2.50

Groups (Adults + children)
British Orienteering members - £4
Non- members - £5

SportIdent (SI) electronic timing will be used.  If you have your own SI please bring it with you. We'll have SIs for hire free of charge but there is a £30 charge if lost.

Contacts / Officials

Phone Janet on 0131 225 7771

Safety and Risk

A comprehensive risk assessment will have been carried out by the organiser, but participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event.

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