Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Holyrood Park


ESOC local event in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sat 21st Oct 2017

Info updated: 23rd Oct
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Parkland, Moorland


Here are the results

This is the winsplits for the courses

It was such a lovely surprise that today turned out dry and almost sunny instead of the threatened storm.  Everyone was able to enjoy the considerable challenges presented by Whinny Hill and its eponymous gorse bushes without the additional problems of driving rain.   The optional Mass Start on Green was a new idea taken up by the bravest, with the additional interest of a "spectator leg" through the car park.   Today was notable for the number of enquiries about what we were doing from passing runners  and walkers; all good publicity for the club and for this great sport.  We are so lucky in Edinburgh to have Holyrood Park on our doorstep; and grateful to the Edinburgh University Orienteering Club for letting us use their map; to the Planner Andrew Lindsay for his ingenious courses, and to the strong team of ESOC members who made the event happen.
Janet Clark     Organiser     0131 225 7771      
Lost property:  A rather nice Sekonda watch with a broken strap was found near the Start.  Contact me as above if .you lost this today. 

General Information

UPDATE ADDED FRIDAY 20TH OCTOBER: Registration will be in the car park at Dunsapie Loch.  From there it is 400m easy walk to the Start and 300m downhill from the Finish. 
The optional  Mass Start on Green at 2.30pm (see below) is highly recommended for anyone who was planning to run Green anyway.  The course has been ingeniously gaffled by the Planner Andrew Lindsay, and will be an exciting head-to-head race. All Green maps will be rolled up and only available at the Start, to avoid any sneaky previews. 

For more background information keep reading ......

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 allowed and 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.  

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 and bring it along to the event.   You should complete a separate copy for each individual who has a medical condition.  Please leave the completed Medical Form at Event Registration.  It will be put in a sealed envelope and only be opened in an emergency.  It will be destroyed immediately after the event.   If you prefer, you can bring your completed form in a sealed envelope with your name (or the relevant person's name) on the front and hand it in when you arrive.  


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 in the Dunsapie Loch car park and within easy walking distance of 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 3pm for 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 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.

If you would like to simply print off a pdf version of blank Registration Form complete in ink and bring with you then you are welcome to do so.

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 are both within easy walking distance of Registration (see UPDATE above). 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.  Although lighting up time is not until around 5.55pm on the day of the event, if the weather is poor and/or the cloud level is low, visibility can be difficult much earlier. 

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. 

OPTIONAL MASS START FOR GREEN COURSE COMPETITORS: There will be a mass start at 2.30pm for competitors on the Green course who relish the prospect of head to head orienteering.  Those who take up this option will be invited to line up then punch the start box in very quick succession at 2.30pm. See UPDATE above for a few more details.

NOTE: The map for Holyrood Park belongs to Edinburgh University and is therefore not displayed.  

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 1996 or earlier)
British Orienteering members - £4
Non-members - £6

Juniors (born 1997 or later)
British Orienteering members - £2
Non-members - £3

British Orienteering members - £2
Non-members - £3

Family Groups (Adults + children)
British Orienteering members - £4
Non- members - £6

Note: A family group for the above entry fee purposes comprises up to a maximum of 2 adults and up to 3 children. 

Extra adults are £1 each and extra juniors are 50 pence each. 

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

PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE INFORMATION: Please note that participants who are not members of an orienteering club automatically have Public Liability insurance cover provided by British Orienteering's insurance policy only for their first three "taster" sessions (i.e. events). Thereafter, if they wish to continue with this cover, they should become a member of an orienteering club, such as ESOC, which includes membership of British Orienteering and Scottish Orienteering. Details of how to join ESOC are here or pick up an application form at this event. There are many benefits of being a member of an orienteeering club and one of these is lower entry fees at most events.

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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