Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Bonaly Park

Image of the Bonaly Park map

Sat 21st May 2022

Info updated: 11th Jul
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Moorland, Woodland


Results are here

Winsplits are here

Routegadget is here

General Information


Planner’s comments from Alastair Hindle:  There are a lot of new pandemic paths at Bonaly and planning the white and yellow courses was a real challenge. I’m sorry the orange course wasn’t a bit better - controls 5 and 10 were added right at the end to make up distance and the course would have been better without them. The other courses all had winning times roughly as intended. Thanks to everyone who helped to collect controls and to the very efficient ESOC team which meant I didn’t need to think about anything other than the courses.



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. 

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 Spring day.   There are some excellent views across the city from several parts of Bonaly.    

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 very 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 less experienced competitors.  Please come early if you think you might take a long time on your course.

General Safety: The area is rough under foot and has many crags and streams,  it can also be muddy and slippery in places if there has been a lot of rain immediately before the event. Please take care, especially if you aren't used to running on this type of terrain. 

COVID: The legal restrictions related to Covid have been removed however much of the Government guidance remains the same and the precautions we have been taking at orienteering events for some time now will continue for the time being. 

Please don’t come to the event if you have Covid or symptoms of Covid.

Please also try to:

1. Respect other people's personal space at all times; 

2. Make use of the hand sanitiser wherever it is made available; 

3. Remain as quiet as possible at and around the start area, the start line and the download area;   

Please read and respect the British Orienteering Participant Code of Conduct.

MEDICAL CONDITIONS (not Covid): 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 put it in a sealed envelope and hand it to the Organiser on the day.  It will only be opened if required and destroyed or handed back to you after the event. 

FIRST AID: We encourage you to bring your own first aid kit and administer as necessary.  A basic first aid kit will be available at Download. Please ask there for anything you may need.  For further specific advice please call 111 or for a life threatening emergency dial 999.  The Organiser will be happy to advise and support you as required, including use of a mobile phone if you do not have one with you.  

The main hospital for A&E services in Edinburgh is:

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
51 Little France Crescent
Old Dalkeith Road
EH16 4SA
Telephone: 0131 536 1000

Depending on where you live you may prefer to attend A & E or the minor injury unit local to your home. Note that current advice is to ring 111 before attending A&E if the situation is not life threatening.


map location

Nearest town: Edinburgh


The event will be based near the entrance to Pentland Hills Regional Park just beyond the Bonaly Scout Camp and will be signed from Bonaly Road in Colinton on the south side of Edinburgh.  Note that the pin on the map is at the parking area, the grid reference is for general guidance and that the postcode given is for houses nearby and should not be taken as especially accurate.

By Public Transport: It is pretty easy to come to this event by bus. 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, destinations and times. 

By Bike:  If you live in the city or close to the city, or close by, you'll find it pretty easy to come to the event by bike.  A variety of quiet cycle route maps throughout the city are available on the Edinburgh City Council Quiet Routes web pages. It should be possible to bike to the entrance to the Pentland Hills Regional Park near the registration and start/finish and lock your bike to a fence up there.

By Car: Please use the public car parking in Torduff Road (not the small car park beyond the Scout Camp) which is just to the right after you cross the bridge over the Edinburgh City Bypass. Note however that this is public car parking and may be busy on a Saturday afternoon.  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. Alternative parking would be in nearby streets.  If doing this please be considerate to residents.

Registration & Start Times

REGISTRATION will be open for very limited Entry on the Day (EOD) but only if maps are still available.  This will be open from 1.00pm -2.15pm - see also section on Entry Details below – payment will be in cash only.  Please try to have the correct money if at all possible.

WHITE and YELLOW COURSE MAPS: Please collect these from Registration before going to the Start.  Course maps for other courses are collected after punching the start.

STARTS: From 1.00pm to 2.30pm with course closure at 4pm. You should be back at Download by 4pm as controls will start to be brought in by 4pm so if you think you'll take a long time to complete your course please enter early so you can choose an early start time.

The Start and Finish will both be within very easy walking distance of the entrance to the Pentland Hills Regional Park, Bonaly (beyond the Scout Camp).

Course Information

As usual for ESOC local events there will be White, Yellow and Orange courses for beginners and improvers and a Green and a Blue course for experienced orienteers. 

Final course details given below:

White 1.2k, 60m climb, 14 controls
Yellow 1.6k, 105m climb, 13 controls
Orange 2.5k, 145m climb, 15 controls
Green 3.7k, 150m climb, 16 controls
Blue 5.7k, 235m climb, 20 controls

Notes for the Green and Blue course competitors: Firstly, the course maps are double-sided so have to be turned over midway through the course. 
Secondly, public usage of the area through the pandemic has resulted in extra paths, many of which are not mapped. 


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

Pre-Entry via Racesignup is required for this event. Entries open on Monday 9th May and will close at 10am on 21st May.  To be guaranteed a course map of your chosen course you MUST however pre-enter by 6pm on Tuesday 17th May

Late pre-entries - As mentioned above, entries will remain open until 10am on the morning of the event but entries will only be accepted by Racesignup if there are course maps remaining.   RaceSignUp will not accept your entry once the maps for your chosen course have sold out however it's still worth trying to enter, you could still be lucky. You could maybe even try entering a different course if your first choice is full.

You can view an entry list for all competitors and their chosen start blocks on RaceSignUp (scroll down to Start List section). Please note that you can arrive at the start any time within your block.

ENTRY FEES: As well as indiividuals the entry system also allows pairs, groups or families who wish to go round a course together to enter using a sliding scale of fees.  Full details at the RaceSignUp webpage link above but a flavour of the entry fee scales is given below for advance guidance.

Category No of Persons per Entry Orienteering Club Members None Members
1. 1 Adult (Senior) £4 £6
2. 1 Junior £2 £4
3. 2 Adults (Seniors) £5 £7
4. 2 Juniors £2.50 £4.50
5. 1 Adult + 1 Junior £4.50 £6.50
6. 1 Adult + 2 Juniors £5 £7
7. 2 Adults + 1 Junior £5.50 £7.50
8. 2 Adults + 2 Juniors £6 £8
9. 2 Adults + 3 Juniors £6.50 £8.50

Note that a Senior is someone born 2001 or earlier and a Junior is someone born 2002 or later.  Matriculated students will normally be eligible to enter as Juniors and pay junior fees - check out RaceSignUp as before.

SportIdent (SI) electronic timing will be used.  If you have your own SI (dibber) please bring it with you.

We have SIs for hire free of charge via the pre-entry system 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


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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