Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Bonaly Park

Image of the Bonaly Park map

ESOC local event in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sat 17th Jun 2017

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


The results are here

Winsplits are here

Organiser's comments
This was Bonaly at its best.  Warm and sunny with just enough breeze to keep away the midges.   Top quality courses (even if it was a bit hard going over the moorland on the longer ones).  A huge variety of competitors, young and old, experienced and first-timers.  Junior training beforehand, with a chance to practise new skills on a course afterwards.  Lots of interest from other people, wondering what all the fun was about.   Best of all,  great team spirit from ESOC members new and old,  young and old, who all pulled together to make this event happen.   Special mention to Malcolm, all by himself down at Torduiff Road, saving the upper car park from getting totally overwhelmed.   Thank you very much indeed to everyone who played a part in today's event.
Janet Clark     Organiser.   


Planners commentsBonaly is one of my favourite areas to run from in the Pentlands but unfortunately it does come with hills and rough open so even the white and yellow courses had a bit of climb and despite careful planning I couldn’t avoid quite considerable climb on the orange and green courses; and then it was very hot today…!  As a fairly novice planner I really enjoyed my visits to the area and eventually built up an understanding of Condes, which I enjoyed using; but I found using the two files for different scales difficult as the maps were different and the paper map I used to plan on was different again. Many thanks to Judy for doing all my map corrections, including the addition of several paths which opened up the area to the West for the yellow and orange courses. My apologies for any confusion on the orange course around control 11 where the crossing point close by may have suggested that this should be used on the next leg.

Notes to self for next time just because you plan the course doesn’t mean that you can run the course without paying any attention to the map, and take an antihistamine before spending 7 hours surrounded by grass and pollen when you suffer from hayfever!  

Many thanks to Margaret for all her help and guidance with planning, to daughter Katie for coping with all my computer crashes and for helping me put out the controls and to everyone else who helped put out and take in the controls  - you are all brilliant!


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'. The extended Bonaly map (see below) 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 and a network of paths. The extended map referred to below (in Courses section) is mainly exposed hillside and moorland and includes some steep slopes.

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. 

Crossing Points: There are a number of fences on these maps with plenty of crossing points which are either stiles or gates. The Yellow, Orange and Green courses all involve crossing fences.  There are 2 compulsory crossing points on the orange course.   There is a high deer fence on the Green course which must only be crossed at one of the crossing points. Gates must always be closed after going through.


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 can 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: This will be in the car park and will be 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 and print off and bring with you to the event. This will save a lot of time and the forms easier to read!!  Apologies to those experienced Saturday attendees who feel they don't need the sample at the top of the page but it will be very helpful to our newcomers and properly completed, legible registration forms are a huge help to those manning our computers during and after the event.

Thank you in advance for helping us by completing 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?

NOTE: Current members of an orienteering club who have their own registered SI-Card can continue to come to Registration and go through the speedy entry system.  If in any doubt whether this applies to you then you could read the quick guide as above for more information about the registration process.

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.

Course Information

White andYellow courses for beginners and improvers.  The White and Yellow courses will both be on the standard Bonaly Park map at scale 1:5000 (as in thumbnail above). 

Orange course for adult beginners and junior improvers.

Green course for experienced orienteers.  

The Orange and Green courses will use an extended map which includes the usual Bonaly Park map as above and extends southwards on to the Pentland Hills. For this event the extended map is simply called 'Bonaly' and is at scale 1:7500.   

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 1996 or earlier)
British Orienteering members - £4
Non-members - £6

Juniors (born 1997 or later)
British Orienteering members - £2
Non-members - £3

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

Family Groups (Adults + children)
British 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.

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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