Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Bonaly Park

Image of the Bonaly Park map

ESOC local event in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sat 19th Oct 2019

Info updated: 19th Oct
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Moorland, Woodland


The results are here. Winsplits are here.   The 'surprise' course generated a few small surprises with some people punching the wrong control, which added a penalty to their time. Interestingly, the mistakes were scattered over a number of controls. One control that caught out more than one person was the small crag (9) facing north and looking over the reservoir. Very easy there to get to the wrong crag (as three people did).

ORGANISER's COMMENTS: Janet Clark writes - There were several surprises today!  The first was that, despite dire weather forecasts and torrential rain all night, it was actually quite a nice day and we didn't get wet at all (except underfoot).   Being able to pitch the tent over a ready-made solid flat table was a welcome surprise.  The "Surprise" Green Course was very popular; with no control codes on the map it depended on accurate navigation to avoid penalties; and despite a few wobbles almost everyone managed to get it right.  Next surprise was the number of people who came back and did a second course; great that they enjoyed it so much.  Seeing the Alpacac Walk go past wasn't really a surprise, as they often do, but this was lovely just the same.  
So, all in all a very successful afternoon. 
Please come to another event soon.   Each is surprisingly different but all are fun. 
Janet Clark     Organiser     0131 225 7771     

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 Autumn day. 

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. 

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 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.

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: Edinburgh


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, destinations and times. 

Please 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:  Adjacent to the uppper car park and 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 just before 3pm for experienced orienteers.

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.

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:  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 Information

As usual at ESOC local events there will be White, Yellow and Orange courses as well as a Green course with a ‘small difference’ specially planned 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

ENTRY FEES are shown below.  Note that entry fees are lower for those who are members of orienteering clubs.  If you would like to join ESOC you can find out how to do so on our MEMBERSHIP PAGE.

Note that a Junior is a competitor who was born in 1999 or later and an Adult (Senior) is a competitor who was born in 1998 or earlier.


Adults £7
Unaccompanied Junior/Student £4
Additional Adult £1
Additional Junior (under 21) 50p
Adults £4
Unaccompanied Junior/Student £2
Additional Adult £1
Additional Junior (under 21) 50p
Additional Maps £2 each
Hire of SI-Card Free but £30 charge if lost

SportIdent (SI) electronic timing will be used.   If you would like to buy your own dibber (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: You are only covered by our public liability insurance if you have joined an orienteering club, or are competing in one of your first 3 events. If you would like to join ESOC you can find out how to do this here.  

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.

Privacy: when entering our events your name may appear in the results section of this website or in newspaper reports.
Read our privacy policy to see how we look after your personal data.