Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Holyrood Park


Local event in the East of Scotland Orienteering Association (ESOA) Autumn series

Sat 10th Oct 2015

Info updated: 06th Jan
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Moorland


Holyrood Park is a great place for orienteering; but it is far from easy, either for the Planner or the runners.  Many of us run up there regularly, but still can't locate the exact small crag or vegetation boundary.  The revised map of Whinny Hill, which was used today, is a masterpiece of accurate mapping but it is still all too easy to take the wrong path or search around the wrong thicket.   Congratulations to everyone who tackled a course today and achieved success.  Orienteering is often  a lot easier than this; although the Colour-coded courses always conform to the same set of guidelines, the actual terrain can make some places feel a lot harder.

If this was your first event, please come again.  If you're a veteran of Holyrood Park, I hope you found some new challenges.  Grateful thanks to the Planner Jim Morrison and mentor Margaret Dalgleish, who produced a first-class event.   Thank you too to the team of ESOC members who  put in long cold hours on the computer, the start, and the registration table.

Our last Saturday event of the year is at Davidsons Mains Park and the Royal High School on 14th December.  Let's do it all again then - and it will feel easier, I promise!

Janet Clark  Organiser    0131 225 7771    

Results and splits are here. Winsplits are here

General Information

Dress: Please check the weather forecast and dress appropriately.  Even though this area is very close to the centre of the city of Edinburgh, it is very exposed.  If the weather is poor it is essential to make sure you are dressed appropriately.

Terrain:  Open hillside within Holyrood Park, with plenty of rock (including crags) and contour detail, some well-mapped gorse and a good path network; very steep in places.    

Other Users: Holyrood Park is very accessible and accordingly is very well used by the general public including tourists, other runners and dog walkers.  Please respect their right to be there at the same time as you are orienteering.

Dogs: Dogs are not allowed on the courses but are welcome in the car park. 

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


map location

Nearest town: City of Edinburgh


Head for the small car park next to Dunsapie Loch.  There is no suitable postcode for the car park but the postcode for Holyrood Palace is EH8 8DX.  Please note however that the event is not close to the car park at Holyrood Palace, you need to follow the one way road starting from the East end of the park to get to Dunsapie Loch car park.

You will be able to get close to Holyrood Palace by bus - check Lothian Buses website for details of buses which stop close to the Palace.  You could also catch a bus to the Royal Commonwealth Pool and walk up to Dunsapie from a different direction.  NOTE that it will be a fairly long walk to the event from either Holyrood Palace or the Pool but very doable for keen walkers. 

Registration & Start Times

REGISTRATION: This will be from 1.30pm to 2.30pm for newcomers to orienteering (note this change of time for newcomers) and will run from 1.30pm to 3pm for experienced orienteers.  Registration will be very close to the car parking.  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.

START AND FINISH:  These will be very close to the car parking. Start times will be from 1.30pm to 3pm.

COURSE CLOSURE TIME IS 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. It is getting dark earlier in October and if the weather is poor the light fades earlier.  If you know you might take a long time on your course please try to come in time to start early.

Course Information

There will be White, Yellow and Orange courses and also a Green course which is for experienced orienteers.  Despite this being a city centre area Holyrood Park presents a good challenge for orienteers at all skill levels. 

NOTE: The map for Holyrood Park belongs to Edinburgh University and is therefore not displayed.  Courses on Saturday 10th October will be on the Whinny Hill/Meadowfield Park sections of Holyrood Park which are closest to Dunsapie Loch car park.

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 1994 or earlier)
British Orienteering members - £3
Non-members - £5

Juniors (born 1995 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 please bring it with you. We'll have SIs for hire free of charge but there is a £30 charge if lost.

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.

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