Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Hopetoun House

Image of the Hopetoun House map

ESOC Local Event in Edinburgh and Lothians

Sat 19th Feb 2022

Info updated: 21st Feb
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Parkland


Results are here

Winspilts are here

Comments from Jim Murdoch, Planner:  A truly epically lovely day by the Forth at Hopetoun House today. From all the smiling faces from the people sunbathing in the grounds, I think I wasn’t the only person who enjoyed the good weather today. Storms? What storms! I didn’t hear any mention of the Stoat/Ermine today, but I think there was plenty of other wildlife to spot on the way round the course, not to mention the wonderful snowdrops. Hopefully the courses had a bit of everything, some fast open running through the park, a bit of crashing through wet and muddy forest for those who like that kind of thing!
A special thank you to all the helpers today, and the control collectors from yesterday and today, it really helps to make things run smoothly.

Comments from Janet Clark, Organiser:  As Jim says, everyone was happy today!  Hopetoun is such a welcoming place, the setting so spectacular and the logistics so easy; combined with the unexpected bonus of a bright sunny day between storms, this was a day to remember.   It was good to get into the Deer Park for the longer courses; and the snowdrops were, as ever, superb.  The larger-than-usual team of helpers excelled themselves with multi-tasking to cope with the additional job of gate-watching, and in summary, a great time was had by all.    Thank you everyone.

General Information

Please read all the important information below however   your attention is drawn specifically to the Safety and Biosecurity sections immediately below. The Estate Rangers have asked that this information is drawn to competitors' attention and our continued use of this area could be threatened if these points are ignored.  
UNCROSSABLE BOUNDARIES:  these will be marked in red on course maps, it is absolutely essential not to cross these.  Some are "ha-ha's" with an invisible steep drop on one side. 
DEER:  you may encounter these in the Deer Park; they will run away but please take care not to scare them.

Biosecurity:  The Rangers are very concerned about plant contamination (sticky seeds), outside the House grounds and you are asked to brush any seeds off shoes, clothes, buggy wheels and dogs before leaving the grounds.

COVID 19: You should not attend the event if you are showing any symptoms of Covid 19 even though you have pre-entered. You should also not attend if you have specifically been asked to quarantine or self-isolate.  The event will be managed to take account of all Scottish Government Guidelines.  Additionally, the event will be run in accordance with Scottish Orienteering Association (SOA) Guidelines.  Please: 
- do not arrive too early for your start block
- keep a 1m distance to others outwith your household
- use the hand sanitiser provided at the Start and Download.
These precautions are specifically required during your ‘race’ ie from the time you leave you car to go to the start to after you download (ie while you are in the “field of play”). Apart from this you should follow all Scottish Government Guidelines for the general public.

BRITISH ORIENTEERING PARTICIPANT CODE OF CONDUCT: All competitors are asked to read and abide by the British Orienteering Participant Code of Conduct in relation to Covid. Anyone making an entry on behalf of someone else should advise them of this.

Dress: Please check the weather forecast on the day and dress appropriately.  This event is in the grounds of Hopetoun House and adjoining parkland. It can be very cold and windy on this area in winter even when the weather is fine. 

Terrain:  Estate grounds, including some woodland, and adjoining parkland. SNOWDROPS: The snowdrops are really usually beautiful at Hopetoun at this time of year.    Courses will be been planned to avoid the main snowdrop areas, but please could everyone take care to avoid running over them where possible.

Other Users: Although this is a private estate the area is used by others, most notably dog walkers and families. Please respect their right to be there at the same time as you are orienteering.  

Toilets: will be available close to Download.

Course Maps: ​These will be printed on waterproof paper and control descriptions will be printed on the map. No loose control descriptions. 

Dogs:  Dogs are allowed but 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.  It is dusk followed by darkness very early at this time of year so it is even more important to start bringing in controls at 4pm.

General Safety: The area can be wet and slippery, please take care.

MEDICAL CONDITIONS: You have the option of downloading and completing this Medical Form. It could be life saving if the organisers are aware of any existing medical conditions in the event of an incident. You can put it in a sealed envelope and hand it to the Organiser on the day.  It will only be opened if required and destroyed or handed back to you after the event. 

FIRST AID: The organiser will have a first aid kit available from which you could can get basics such as plasters etc.  In view of the coronavirus situation you may prefer to bring along your own basic first aid kit and use as necessary.  If you are unsure about any medical situation you may wish to phone 111 or, in an emergency, dial 999.  If you do not have a mobile phone or if you would like support in doing this the Organiser will be happy to advise/help.


map location

Nearest town: South Queensferry


Hopetoun House is on the shore of the Firth of Forth close to the new Queensferry Crossing.  When nearing South Queensferry follow the brown signs for Hopetoun House.  Come up the drive keeping to the right on approach and park in front of Hopetoun House. There are no other events on at Hopetoun this afternoon so we can use the front parking area. Please bring £2 in cash per car, there will be a bucket for you to put the money into at the entrance.

If you live in the City it is fairly easy to get to this event by public transport or by bike.  Please use public transport, walk or use a bicycle to get to the event if you are able to do so.

By bus: Further details will be added closer to the event but check Lothian Buses for general details of local buses to South Queensferry.

By bike:  A variety of quiet cycle route maps throughout the city, and extending to South Queensferry and Dalmeny are available on the Edinburgh City Council Quiet Routes web pages.  

Registration & Start Times

No Registration or Enquiries on the day.

STARTS: From 1.00pm to 2.30pm with course closure at 4pm (It is dark early in February). 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 enter early so you can choose an early start time.)

The Start and Finish will both be within very easy walking distance of car parking.

Course Information

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

Provisional course lengths are shown below to help you decide which course to choose.  These are subject to final controlling and may change slightly by the time of the event.

White 1.0
Yellow 1.3
Orange 3.5
Green 4.8
Blue 6.4

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 now closed. Link to Racesignup for this event shows start blocks and a list of competitors in each start block (scroll down to Start List section). Please note that you can arrive at the start any time within your start block - this should help those who wish to start close to other members of their family or friends.

Entries closed at 6pm on Wednesday 16th February to allow time to ensure course maps are printed and the event computing set up.


Senior (born 2001 or earlier) BOF/SOA member  - £4 

Junior (born 2002 or later) or Student BOF/SOA members - £2

If not a current BOF or SOA member add £2 to the fees.

SportIdent (SI) electronic timing will be used.   You can hire a dibber free of charge via the entry system from ESOC but there is a £30 charge if you lose it.

If you would like to buy your own dibber (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


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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