Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Bonaly Park

Image of the Bonaly Park map

ESOC local event in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sat 16th Jun 2018

Info updated: 17th Jun
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Moorland, Woodland


Results are here

Winsplits are here

ORGANISER’S COMMENTS: Bonaly always works for us, even in the most unpromising of conditions.  Today we had Junior Training first, followed by a wide variety of people not put off by the forecast or the reality of intermittent heavy rain.  It was good to see a number of "First-timers" from the local area and some hill-runners for the innovative Long Light Green course.  The "Alpaca Walk" coming up through the route to the Start/Finish gave us all a bit of excitement. Registration was a bit difficult in the rain, but ESOC teamwork made it all happen.
Thanks to everyone who came and everyone who worked hard.
Janet Clark  Organiser   0131 225 7771     

PLANNER’S COMMENTS: I had a lot of fun planning this event, doing my Wednesday run with a couple of my friends and discussing the map and then going out with Craig to discuss the control sites and courses.
The Orange was probably the most difficult and least successful course as to get the required distance there was a lot of climb but I was told by Craig that the western part of the map was too tricky for an Orange so I couldn't use this slightly flatter area.
I was pleased at the uptake of the Long Light Green and Green courses which made it worth the effort of putting out the distant controls.
Thanks to Jonathon Marks and Mark Johnston for pointing out the error on the Long Light Green, and to Jonathon for rectifying it before anyone else was affected.  A big thanks to Janet once again for her excellent organisation, and to all the ESOC helpers who helped make the event a success even in all the rain.
Helena Nolan

General Information

Something for everyone whether an experienced orienteer who is a member of an orienteering club or someone who is orienteering for the first time. 

Dress: Please check the weather forecast and dress appropriately.  Bonaly Park is on the northern edge of the Pentland Hills and the open, exposed areas can still be cool and windy even on the sunniest of summer days.  You could also bring sun cream 'just in case'. It is possible we may use the extended Bonaly map (see below) which also covers the open moorland of the northern Pentland Hills which are very exposed.  

Terrain:  Mostly open hillside but with some areas of runnable woodland. There are steep slopes, crags, streams, intricate contour detail in some parts and a good network of paths. The extended map referred to below (in Courses section) is mainly exposed hillside and moorland and includes some steep slopes.  

Competitors will enjoy excellent views across the city and courses have been designed to maximise enjoyment.  

Other Users: Bonaly is well used by the general public, including dog walkers, runners, walkers, mountain bikers, families out for a picnic and even campers.  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 4pm after which controls will start  to be brought in. This is especially important for those less experienced competitors taking on the Long Light Green course.

Crossing Points: There are a number of fences on these maps with plenty of crossing points which are either stiles or gates. Nearer the date of the event, details of how these affect courses will be posted here.  Gates must always be closed after going through.

Medical Conditions: If you, or anyone in your group (including juniors), have a medical condition that first aiders or health professionals should know about in the event of accident or illness during the course of the event please print off the Medical Form, fully complete it and bring it along to the event.   You should complete a separate copy for each individual who has a medical condition.  Please leave the completed Medical Form at Event Registration.  It will be put in a sealed envelope and only be opened in an emergency.  It will be destroyed immediately after the event.   If you prefer, you can bring your completed form in a sealed envelope with your name (or the relevant person's name) on the front and hand it in when you arrive.  


map location

Nearest town: Edinburgh


Bonaly upper car park, beyond the Bonaly Scout Centre. The event will be signed from Bonaly Road in Colinton.  Note that Lothian Buses service 10 comes close to the Event.  Some service 10 buses terminate at Bonaly shops and it is only a few minutes walk from this terminus to the event.  Other service 10 buses terminate at Torphin and you would need to get off one of these buses at the stop closest to the junction of Woodhall Road and Bonaly Road.  Please check in advance to make sure you are familiar with the bus services and times. 

If the car park is very busy you may have to park in Torduff Road which is just to the right after you cross the bridge over the Edinburgh City Bypass.  It is only a few minutes walk to the event from this car park. Though a dead end, the road is narrow and there are likely to be cars on it. Please take care and ensure children are kept safe at all times.

Registration & Start Times

REGISTRATION: In the upper car park close to both the start and finish.

Registration will be from 1.30pm to 2.30pm for newcomers to orienteering and will run from 1.30pm to 3pm for experienced orienteers.

It is not necessary - or possible – to pre-enter for this event.  Everyone is very welcome, just to turn up.  Whether you are a newcomer or have been to a lot of events, please try to come and start early if you think you might take a long time over your course.

Registration Form - We know how time consuming, and occasionally frustrating, it can be for our competitors to have to complete the Registration Form outside in the cold and wet of a Scottish Saturday afternoon so we have produced an ESOC REGISTRATION FORM for you to complete online, print off and bring with you to the event. This will save a lot of time and typescript makes the forms so much easier to read!!  

Thank you in advance for helping us by typing your details on to the form and bringing it with you.

If you would like a little more advance information about the registration process at a local event why not read our QUICK GUIDE TO REGISTRATION?

CURRENT MEMBERS OF AN ORIENTEERING CLUB: Current members of an orienteering club who will be orienteering on their own and have their own SI registered in their own name can to come to Registration and go through the speedy entry system.  If in any doubt whether this applies to you then it is best to complete the attached application form and bring it with you. 

DATA PROTECTION: Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club (ESOC) processes personal data and recognises the club’s responsibilities under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Completion of the Registration/Entry Form for this event confirms your agreement to have your entry details stored on a computer system and for your name and age class to appear in the results on the ESOC website and the British Orienteering website. More information about ESOC's Data Privacy Policy

START AND FINISH: These will both be close to Registration. Start times will be from 1.30pm to 3pm.

COURSE CLOSURE TIME: 4pm.  Controls will start to be brought in from this time.  Please make sure you arrive in plenty of time to register, get to the start and complete your course before controls begin to be brought in. This is especially important for less experienced orienteers taking on the Green or Long Light Green courses.

Course Information

There will be White (1.2k), Yellow (1.7k) and Orange (2.2k) courses for beginners and improvers and a Green course, 3.8k, 225m climb with full level 5 technical challenge, for experienced orienteers. 

We will also offer a Long Light Green course of around 8k with 275m climb.  This course has slightly easier navigation than the full technical Green course but is longer and extends on to the open moorland area south of the main Bonaly mapped area (shown on attached thumbnail map picture).  This Long Light Green is especially suitable for those who want a longer run with a bit of technical challenge but not too much! 

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 1997 or earlier)
British/Scottish Orienteering members - £4
Non-members - £6

Juniors (born 1998 or later)
British/Scottish Orienteering members - £2
Non-members - £3

British/Scottish Orienteering members - £2
Non-members - £3

Family Groups (Adults + children)
British/Scottish Orienteering members - £4
Non- members - £6

Note: A family group for the above entry fee purposes comprises up to a maximum of 2 adults and up to 3 children. 

Extra adults are £1 each and extra juniors are 50 pence each.

SportIdent (SI) electronic timing will be used.  If you have your own SI (dibber) please bring it with you. We'll have SIs for hire free of charge but there is a £30 charge if lost. If you would like to buy your own SI-Card then a variety are available directly from SportIdent UK.   The choice may be confusing and it may help you to know that the SI-Cards which ESOC hires out are very similar to the most basic model shown on the linked page - the SI-Card 8.

PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE INFORMATION: Please note that participants who are not members of an orienteering club automatically have Public Liability insurance cover provided by British Orienteering/Scottish Orienteering only for their first three "taster" sessions (i.e. events). Thereafter, if they wish to continue with this cover, they should become a member of an orienteering club, such as ESOC, which, depending on the membership option chosen, includes membership of British Orienteering and/or Scottish Orienteering.  Details of how to join ESOC are here or pick up an application form at this event. There are many benefits of being a member of an orienteeering club and one of these is lower entry fees at most events.

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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