Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club



Image of the Castlelaw map

ESOC local event in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sat 16th Apr 2016

Info updated: 18th Feb
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Moorland, Woodland


The results are available here. Winsplits for the event are here.

LOST PROPERTY: Blue polar buff.  Please email  with details.

General Information

Roadworks: See Parking and Directions item below.

Dress: Please check the weather forecast and dress appropriately.  Much of Castlelaw is open hillside which is fairly exposed.  It can be windy even on the sunniest of spring days.  Please come prepared for any conditions. 

Terrain:  Mostly open hillside with plenty of contour detail.  Some runnable woodland.  On the area to be used by White, Yellow and Orange courses there is a path network as well as fences and walls.  

Other Users: Castlelaw hill is part of the Pentland Hills and is used fairly extensively by the general public.  In particular you may encounter hill runners, walkers, dog walkers and mountain bikers.  Please respect their right to be there at the same time as you are orienteering.

Army use of the area: Please note that much of Castlelaw is an Army training area and it is possible you could encounter army personnel whilst out on your course.  You may also find used shells and other things discarded by the Army whilst on training exercises.  Please do not touch any of this kind of thing and if you are responsible for juniors please make sure they are advised of this and told not to pick up, or move any such objects whilst they are orienteering.   The area adjoins the Castlelaw Army shooting ranges and it is possible that training could  be going on there at the same time as our event.  If this is the case, you may hear shots whilst out on your course.  If you are responsible for juniors please ensure they are aware of this and reassure them that such shots will be part of an Army training exercise.  ESOC will endeavour to find out in advance if there will be specific training going on for the timescale of our event.

Dogs: Dogs allowed provided they are under close control at all times. Note paragraph below about lambs on the area.

LAMBS:  Lambing has just started at Castlelaw.  The shepherds know we are coming, and are fine with that, with the important proviso that ALL GATES ARE KEPT CLOSED AND LATCHED.  If you open one to go through, close it behind you.  This includes the turnstile gate on the way back from the Finish.  Sheep know how to get through turnstiles if the swing gate is left unlatched.  

Course Closure Time: Please note that courses have a closure time of 4pm after which controls will start  to be brought in.  

ESOC Long O 2016: The ESOC Long O will be taking place on the Pentland Hills on the same day as this local event.  You may see competitors on the Long O when you are out on your course as there is likely to be a common finish.  


map location

Nearest town: Penicuik


STOP PRESS: Roadworks on A702 please read: A short section of the A702, between Mauricewood Road end and Rullion Green, will be closed from 7pm Friday evening (15th April) to 6am Monday m orning (18th April).  This planned road closure will NOT affect access to Castlelaw however competitors coming southbound from Edinburgh will see Diversion signs at Hillend directing A702 traffic via the A703.  Local traffic will STILL GET THROUGH TO CASTLELAW and about half a mile beyond so competitors do not need to follow the diversion.  The closed section is from South of the Flotterstone and only covers a few hundred metres of road through to Rullion Green. We will put an 'Orienteering' sign at the diversion point indicating to competitors to stay on the A702.  Anyone coming from the South will be diverted off the A702 at Eightmileburn and routed via Penicuik.  Locals will know how to re-route to Castlelaw from Penicuik but if you don't know the shortcuts, northbound traffic should follow the diversion as far as the Gowkley Moss Roundabout then turn left (towards the hills). On reaching the A702 turn left again and follow instructions below for the approach to the Castlelaw turn-off.

These roadworks are being managed by Amey.

Parking will be close to the Castlelaw Ranges. There will be a £2.00 parking fee per car (Note this is an increased amount from the fee level originally posted here). The Ministry of Defence (MOD) very recently advised that we must pay a levy of £1.80 per competitor to use the area. In the past we have paid £1.20 per car so this massive increase was a huge surprise and we tried everything possible to persuade the MOD to make the same or similar charge to before.  This was unsuccessful so we have reluctantly had to increase the parking fee to go a little way towards mitigating this huge extra cost to our Club).   We would still request that you please don't park in the small public car park for Castlelaw Hill Fort. 

Castlelaw is reached from an unclassified road which leaves the A702 approximately 2.8 miles South of the Lothianburn junction of Edinburgh City Bypass (A720) (and also from Midlothian Ski Centre at Hillend).  The unclassified road is signed with a brown sign to 'Castlelaw Hill Fort' and a military sign to 'Castlelaw Ranges'.  If heading South turn right towards Castlelaw - if you reach the Flotterstone Inn you have missed the turn to Castlelaw and need to turn round and go back up the hill towards the junction.  Note that if you are driving South there are several very bad bends in the road immediately before you reach the turn off point.  

Registration & Start Times

REGISTRATION: This will be very close to parking and also close to 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. Note that registration is for this local event only and is not for the Long O.

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 possibly 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

There will be White, Yellow and Orange courses for newcomers and improvers.  There will also be a Light Green Course for improvers who are already experienced to at least Orange level and a Green course for experienced orienteers.   

Note that the ESOC Long O will be taking place on the Pentland Hills on the same day as this local event.  You may see competitors on the Long O when you are out on your course as there is likely to be a common finish. It will not however be possible to enter Long O courses at the local event. 

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 1995 or earlier)
British Orienteering members - £3
Non-members - £5

Juniors (born 1996 or later)
British Orienteering members - £2
Non-members - £2.50

British Orienteering members - £2
Non-members - £2.50

Groups (Adults + children)
British Orienteering members - £4
Non- members - £5

SportIdent (SI) electronic timing will be used.  If you have your own SI-Card (dibber) please bring it with you. We'll have SI-Cards 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.

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.