Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


ESOC Long-O, Castlelaw

Image of the Castlelaw map

Sat 16th Apr 2016

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


The results are here. The local event results are also included. The points for the missing controls have been manually added.

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

Controller's Comments

I would like to thank the Planner, Organisers and the many volunteers that helped to bring a fantastic day of orienteering. We are very grateful for all the positive feedback we got from you.
We did encounter problems on the day with some controls going missing, which affected every course.   In the published results we've given the benefit of the doubt to everyone who completed their course except for the missing controls.  But it is not possible to give a result to anyone who didn't punch the Finish control, which unfortunately included almost everyone except those on the Score Course.   
 A problem with the map scales, which should have been picked up, resulted in the actual course lengths being much longer than the stated distances.  We do apologise most sincerely for this. 
Also, maps were printed at 1:40,000 not the 1:25,000 marked on the map, and the print quality of the maps was not as good as we would have liked.  All these factors combined to make everyone's run much longer and seem much harder than intended. 
Thanks again to everyone who contributed to the great spirit of this ambitious event, despite the problems.   
Jim Martin (ESOC)   Controller

General Information

STOP PRESS 1 - FINAL DETAILS are now available.  These contain some of the information on this web item and also some new information - Please read the Final Details. Please also note that we have reopened online entries for late entries. This will be available for a couple of days only - see Entry Details below for more information about which courses are available for late pre-entry.

STOP PRESS 2 - ROADWORKS on the 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.

The above roadworks are being managed by Amey.

This Long O is an opportunity to enjoy some longer orienteering courses on the Pentland Hills. The start and finish for this event will be in the general area of Castlelaw (see thumbnail map) but the event will cover a very much wider area of the Pentland Hills. Please note that the Castlelaw map thumbnail is at a scale of 1:10 and the map to be used for the Long O is 1:25.

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, exposed hillside.  There are some patches of runnable woodland on the map and there are paths and tracks on some parts of the competition area.  

Other Users: The Pentland Hills are 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 parts of the area: Please note that some parts of the Pentlands, including much of Castlelaw Hill and surrounding area, are used by the Army for training and it is possible you could encounter army personnel whilst out on your course.  You may also find used shells and other debris discarded by the Army whilst on training exercises.  Please do not touch or pick up any discarded Army debris while orienteering.   Castlelaw Army shooting ranges are on the map, close to the start and finish and it is possible that training could  be going on there at the same time as our event.   

Dogs: Dogs allowed provided they are under close control at all times.

Course Closure Time: Please note that all courses have a closure time of 4pm.  At this time volunteers will begin to take in controls. All competitors are asked to return to the finish by the course closure time.  For a Long O this is an important safety measure. 


map location

Nearest town: Penicuik


Parking will be close to the Castlelaw Ranges. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) very recently advised that we must pay a levy of £1.80 per competitor to use the area.  We originally intended to charge for parking to mitigate this huge fee however we now are able to include the parking charge within the existing online entry fee.     We ask that you only park in the designated area for orienteers.

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: Confirmed as10am to 11.30am with the first start at 10,30am.  

START TIMES: 10.30am to 12noon.  

Note there will be a local event on the Castlelaw area on the afternoon of the same day as this Long O.  The registration and start times will however be different and it will NOT be possible to register/enter the local event during registration times for the Long O and vice versa.  Although competitors on both events could be out on parts of the same area at the same times the events are entirely separate for entry and all other purposes.

Course Information

There will be Long, Medium and Short line courses plus a 3 hour score course.  

Long Course - approximately 20k

Medium Course - approximately 15k (maximum)

Short Course - approximately 10k (maximum)

3 Hour (180 minute) Score  (3 hours to visit as many controls on the map as you can - in any order). Note, there are no Score maps available for late entries and EOD. Please read information on Entry Details below for more information. 

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

Advance entry is via Fabian4 for the ESOC Long O.  Entries officially closed  at Midnight on Monday 11th April, however we've reopened them this morning (Tuesday 12th) for late entries and they will remain open for a couple of days (until some time on Thursday 14th April).  Apologies for not being specific about time on Thursday however this extra couple of evenings (Tuesday & Wednesday) will give those of you who might have had to rely on entering on the day (EOD) to put in your entry.  

We have plenty of maps available for the Short, Medium and Long Courses for late entry and EOD but there are no more Score maps available.

You can get in touch via   or phone 0131 225 7771 if you need help to decide which course on which to make a late entry.

Contacts / Officials

Planner - Euan McKenzie (ESOC)

Controller - Jim Martin (ESOC)

Organiser: Anne Thom (ESOC), organiser on the day. Advance queries to  

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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