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 2020

Info updated: 24th May
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Parkland, Woodland

General Information

Note that this event is not yet confirmed. As most orienteers will be aware, back in mid March British Orienteering requested all clubs to suspend events for at least 12 weeks.  ESOC has acted in accordance with these requirements and has cancelled all events to mid June 2020. Later events, such as this is, remain under review. An update will be posted here mid June.

Dress: Please check the weather forecast on the day and dress appropriately.  This event is in the city but it can still be cool and windy on the top of the hill even on the sunniest of summer days.  NOTE: Some courses for the more experienced orienteers can involve going off-track, and there are likely to be plenty of nettles and other vegetation nasties like brambles.   We therefore suggest competitors on any course beyond the white and yellow courses wear full leg cover - even if the sun is shining.

Terrain:  Mixture of open hillside and wooded area, steep in parts; good track network, crags, streams and a river. Great views of Edinburgh and the coast from the top of Blackford Hill.

Other Users: Blackford Hill and The Hermitage is very well used by the general public, including dog walkers, runners, families out for a picnic and even bikers.  Please respect their right to be there at the same time as you are orienteering. 

Dogs: Dogs are allowed but should be kept under close control at all times.

Course Closure Time: Please note that courses have a closure time of 4.00pm after which controls will start  to be brought in.  

MEDICAL CONDITIONS: You have the option of downloading and completing this Medical Form. It could be life saving if the organisers are aware of any existing medical conditions in the event of an incident. You can leave it at registration/enquires in a sealed envelope that will only be opened if required and destroyed after the event.


map location

Nearest town: City of Edinburgh


Initial plans are to base this event at the Observatory however you should check here nearer the date of the event as this may change. The Observatory car park is at the top of Observatory Road, Edinburgh.  It is possible to get close to Blackford Hill by public transport. Check Lothian Buses website for more information.

Registration & Start Times

TBC but Registration, Start and Finish will all be within very easy reach of parking.

This will be an afternoon event with Registration/Starts likely to be from 1.30pm to 3pm.

Course Information

As usual for ESOC local events there will be White, Yellow and Orange courses.  There will either be a Green course or another orienteering challenge suitable for experienced orienteers. 

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

TBC but this local event is entry on the day only. 

Contacts / Officials

Early enquiries can be made by email to:  

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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