Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Hopetoun House

Image of the Hopetoun House map

Sat 04th Feb 2023

Info updated: 05th Feb
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Parkland, Woodland


Results are here.

Winsplits are here.

POST EVENT COMMENTS - Organiser's comments added Sunday 5th February. Click 'read more....' to find them.

General Information


Janet Clark, ORGANISER, writes:  Everyone seems to know that orienteering at Hopetoun in February is a lovely experience not to be missed!  This year nearly 250 people enjoyed the location, the views, the snowdrops, the company, the wildlife, and of course the orienteering, which is not too difficult in the open parkland.    It wasn't too cold and the rain held off till the very end.   
We are so grateful to the Hopetoun House Estate and the family for allowing us to come here in the winter season when the House and.Grounds are closed to the public, and giving us such  a warm and helpful welcome on the day.    

It takes a big team to run this event.  Planner and Entries Administrator  first of all, then Gate-keepers, Start officials, Registration team, Computer /Download/Results team, Control-collectors; all  working with precision and concentration for long periods, and mostly having a run as well,  And this time, as an experiment, there was a live Information Point where you could join ESOC on the spot - and several took advantage of this.  Thank you one and all.

If you'd like to visit Hopetoun House again, they are running "Snowdrop Sunday" on 12th February; bookable on their website, and the House and Grounds re-open to the public on Good Friday, 7th April.  (There is a Permanent Orienteering Course in the grounds too - open only when the House is open to the public though).



Please read all the important information below however  your attention is specifically drawn to the Safety and Biosecurity sections immediately below - 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.

VISITING HOPETOUN HOUSE: If you would like to visit Hopetoun House (separately from this orienteering event) the opening hours are Thursdays to Mondays from Good Friday until the last Sunday of September. 

DRESS FOR THE EVENT: Please check the weather forecast on the day and dress appropriately for both the weather and running.  This event is on the shores of the Firth of Forth. It can be very cold and windy on this area in winter even when the weather is fine.  It can also be muddy if the weather has been wet.

TERRAIN:  Estate grounds, including some woodland, and adjoining parkland. It's fairly early February but look out for SNOWDROPS which are usually beautiful at Hopetoun.    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: Toilets will be available. They are 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 3pm 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 this time.

GENERAL SAFETY: The area can be very wet and slippery, please take care.

COVID: Please don’t come to the event if you have Covid or symptoms of Covid.  Please also try to respect other people's personal space at all times and make use of the hand sanitiser wherever it is made available.   Please read and respect the British Orienteering Participant Code of Conduct.

PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS: If you are injured or ill during the course of the event it is very useful for those helping you to have some details of any pre-existing conditions you have. If this applies to you please download, complete and hand in this Medical Form to the Organiser (via Registration).  Please put in a sealed envelope with your name on it. It will only be opened if required and will be destroyed unread if you don't collect before the end of the event. 

FIRST AID: We encourage you to bring your own first aid kit for minor scrapes and cuts and administer as necessary.  There will however be a basic first aid kit at Registration/Download.  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 to the House and park as directed.  Please bring £2 in cash per car, there will be a bucket for you to put the money into at the entrance so please be ready for this before arriving at the gate.

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: 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

REGISTRATION: Very close to parking, follow signs.  It will be open from around 11.45pm until 1.15pm. Download will be very close Registration and the Start and Finish will also be close by.

START TIMES: Starts will run from 12 noon to 1.30pm. Please choose an early start time if you think you might take a long time out on your course. You must be back at Download by 3pm as it will be getting dark early at this time of year.

Course Information

As usual for ESOC local events there will be White, Yellow and Orange courses for beginners and improvers and Green and Blue courses for experienced orienteers. 
Additionally, there will be a Red course which is orange standard but a bit longer and is great for those who want a longer run with easy navigation.


White    1.5km
Yellow   2.3km
Orange   2.7km
Red      5.7km
Green    4.0km
Blue     6.1km

Note that the above are straight red line distances so the running distance could be a bit longer. This is especially the case for the longer courses where there is more route choice and potentially more obstacles to be avoided.

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 via Racesignup is required for this event.  Entries open Monday 23rd January at 10am and will finally close at 9am on Saturday 4th February - the day of the event.  To be guaranteed a map of your chosen course you MUST however pre-enter by 2pm on Tuesday 31st January.

Late pre-entries - As mentioned above, entries will remain open until 9am on the morning of the event BUT entries will only be accepted by Racesignup if there are course maps remaining.   RaceSignUp will not accept your entry once the maps for your chosen course have sold out. You could maybe try entering a different course if your first choice is full.

Entry on the Day (EOD) at the event will be possible only if there are course maps available. If you have to resort to coming to the event without pre-entering please read bring the correct money or be prepared to pay by card.

You can view an entry list for all competitors and their chosen start blocks on RaceSignUp (scroll down to Start List section). Please note that you can arrive at the start any time within your block.

Entry Fees: As well as individuals the entry system also allows pairs, groups or families who wish to go round a course together to enter using a sliding scale of fees.  Full details will be on the RaceSignUp webpage but a flavour of the entry fee scales will soon be added below for advance guidance. 

Category No of Persons Per Entry Orienteering Club Members Non Members
1. 1 Adult (Senior) £4 £6
2. 1 Junior £2 £4
3. 2 Adults (Seniors) £5 £7
4. 2 Juniors £2.50 £4.50
5. 1 Adult + 1 Junior £4.50 £6.50
6. 1 Adult + 2 Juniors £5 £7
7. 2 Adults + 1 Junior £5.50 £7.50
8. 2 Adults + 2 Juniors £6 £8
9. 2 Adults + 3 Juniors £6.50 £8.50

Note that a Senior is someone born 2002 or earlier and a Junior is someone born 2003 or later.  Currently matriculated students will normally be eligible to enter as Juniors and pay junior fees - check out RaceSignUp as before.

SportIdent (SI) electronic timing will be used.  

We have SIs for hire free of charge via the pre-entry system 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

Enquiries: EMAIL

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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