Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Bonaly Park

Image of the Bonaly Park map

ESOC Local Event in Edinburgh and Lothians

Sat 21st Oct 2023

Info updated: 21st Oct
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Moorland, Woodland


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General Information

Planners Comments

I hope everyone enjoyed the courses. They were planned to make use of the new area, which I hope you agree is nice place to run around, although it is quite a difficult shape for orienteering courses and very hilly! I had considered sending the blue course up white hill for a bit more length but am not sure anyone would have thanked me for the extra climb. I really appreciated all the help and efficient ESOC system which made planning a fairly painless process!

Organisers Comments

Superb co-operative effort from an even bigger team than usual, enhanced by the Chinese students from Moray House, and greatly helped by the lovely weather; thank you everyone!

Janet Clark

PRE-EVENT INFORMATION: The event will be based  at the Hoyland House Hall part of the Tiphereth Centre,  37-39 Torphin Road, Edinburgh EH13 0PG (not the usual Bonaly Park car park). What3Words ///boom.fills.models

The event will be going ahead this afternoon as weather forecasts show wind and rain abating this morning, but please come prepared for very wet conditions - cagoules very strongly advised. Take care on the roads and be advised there is a stretch of roadworks planned with 3-way temporary traffic lights on Woodhall Road so maybe allow extra time

Updated course information added 16th October.

Tips for Newcomers:

Terrain:   Newly extended map, 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, especially in the woods. There are some excellent views across the city from several parts of Bonaly. 


  • Please check the weather forecast on the day and dress appropriately. Bonaly Park is on the northern edge of the Pentland Hills and parts of the area can be very exposed, especially in windy and wet conditionsd.
  • Course Closure Time: Please note that courses have a closing time of 4.00pm after which controls will start to be brought in. All competitors should be back at Download by 4pm

Map: The map will be printed on waterproof paper, the control descriptions will be printed on the map (no loose control descriptions) and the map scale will likely be 1:7500.

Other Users:  Bonaly Park is very well used by the general public, including dog walkers, runners and 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 very close control at all times..

Covid: Please don’t come to the event if you have Covid or symptoms of Covid or are unwell. Please respect other people’s space. 

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, bring it to the event in a sealed envelope with your name on the front and leave at Registration.   You are welcome to collect it after your run but if you don't, it will be destroyed immediately 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 Registration/Download. 

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


map location

Nearest town: Edinburgh


The meeting point will be at the Hoyland House Hall (part of the Tiphereth Centre),  37-39 Torphin Road, Edinburgh EH13 0PG

By vehicle: Parking will be at the dedicated Hoyland House Hall car park located on Torphin Road 50m after crossing the City Bypass (look out for marshals). Overflow parking further along Torphin Road. Do not park in the adjacent bus turning circle and be considerate to residents.

By bus: Lothian bus number 16 has its terminus at the bus circle next to the parking. Lothian bus no 10 has stops within walking distance.

Registration & Start Times

REGISTRATION: Registration, Download and toilets will be in Hoyland House Hall. 

Follow the signs from the car park and look out for the ESOC banner; Registration will be open from approximately 1pm to 2.15pm for very limited Entry on the Day (EOD) but only if maps are still available.  See also section on Entry Details below – payment for EOD will be in cash, bank transfer or card reader.  Please 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.

START/FINISH: The Start will be signed from Registration,  approximately 300m (5-10 minute walk) away and the Finish will be close by. Start times from 1.00pm to 2.30pm (in 15 minute start blocks selected when entering) 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 try to start early.

Course Information

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

Course Details: Course lengths and climb estimates below are  provisional. Note that the courses are shorter than usual as the area is quite hilly! The Green course crosses one very quiet local road, please be careful.


  • The Blue and Orange course maps will be printed double-sided ie control descriptions will advise to turn map over part way through
  • The yellow course visits the same control twice. It should be punched both times.

  • The ‘charcoal burning ground’ control description symbol is being used for platforms. These are disused golf tees. A grpahic of control descriptions is available here

  • Competitors must not cross the marked Out Of Bounds (especially pertinant on the Bluew and Orange courses)

Course Length  Climb
Blue 5.0km 205m
Green 3.2km 150m
Orange 2.5km 115m
Yellow 1.8km 100m
White 1.0km 50m

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 and pre payment via Racesignup are advised for this event.  Entries open 10am Monday 9th October and will close at 9am on the day of the event. However to be guaranteed a course map for your chosen course you MUST pre-enter by 2pm on Tuesday 17th October.

Late pre-entries - Entries will remain open until 9am on the morning of the event but entries will only be accepted by Racesignup if there are course maps remaining. The Courses section on the RaceSignUp page will indicate the number of maps remaining after 2pm on Tuesday 17th. You could enter a different course if your first choice is full. 

Entry on the day (EOD): If you wish to come to the event without pre-entering please read the Registration Section above for details of what to do.

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: Individual entry fees are:

Seniors - £4 for orienteering club members, £6 for non members

Juniors - £2 for orienteering club members, £4 for none members

As well as individuals 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 of the various group entry fees are on the RaceSignUp web pages (link above).

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. 

Contacts / Officials

EMAIL for any advance enquiries.

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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