Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Royal High School and Davidson’s Mains Park

Image of the Davidson’s Mains Park & Royal High School map

ESOC local event in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sat 19th Nov 2016

Info updated: 18th Feb
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Parkland, Woodland


The results are here.

Winsplits are here.

This area has many paths for the white and yellow courses, but how could I create a difficult enough challenge to test the more experienced orienteers? Ask them to run without a map! This strategy is called Norwegian, in which competitors get to look at a small fragment of map every one, two, or three controls and must use memory to navigate to the next control, or controls. The course crossed and recrossed the park without warning. I think nobody fell into the trap of going up the wrong side of the fence between 18 and 19.
I had a mild panic at the sight of three lorries and a team of workmen digging holes in the course, but there was nothing to be done to change the situation. Fortunately nobody fell into those holes either.
The easier courses led through a variety of park and woodland. Even some local residents discovered paths they had never used before.
Martin Caldwell

Organiser's Comments:
"This annual November event always has its own highlights and today's were the beautifully planned Map Memory course, the sole use of the warm and welcoming room at The Hub, the icy sunshine, the Junior Training beforehand, and the large attendance of orienteers of all ages and levels of experience.    We are grateful to Dominic at the Hub for use of the room, to Jonathan Wallace, the Active Schools Co-ordinator at the RHS for his encouragement, and to the Friends of Davidsons Mains Park, who send the undernoted welcoming message:
"If you are interested in the park, its flora and fauna, the activities and welfare of the park, why not join us and have a say in what happens? 
We have been active for 7 years and work with the City of Edinburgh Council and other community groups.  Our website is currently under construction , but you can contact us on  for more information." 

Janet Clark

General Information

A very good area for newcomers to orienteering and for training.

Dress: Please check the weather forecast on the day and dress appropriately.  This event is in school grounds and adjoining park and woodland. Even though the area is on the edge of the city the weather can be cold, windy and wet (or maybe even snowy!) in November.

Terrain:  School grounds with adjoining park and woodland.

Other Users: Davidson's Mains Park is well used by the general public, including dog walkers, runners and bikers.  The school grounds and pitches may also be used by people taking part in other sports during the event. Please respect their right to be there at the same time as you are orienteering.  

Dogs:  Dogs are allowed in the Davidson's Mains Park part of the mapped area but are not allowed anywhere in the grounds or buildings within the Royal High School.  Note that the Registration, Start, Finish and some of the controls on all courses will be within these school grounds.   

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 otherwise head torches would be needed!!


map location

Nearest town: City of Edinburgh


Parking is at the Royal High School. It is possible to get to this event by public transport.  Lothian Buses service 41 stops nearby.  Check Lothian Buses website for more information.

Registration & Start Times

REGISTRATION: This will be close to both the start, finish and parking and will be within the grounds of the Royal High School. 

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.

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 will both be close to Registration. 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.   This is especially important in November when it gets dark so early.

Course Information

As usual for ESOC local events there will be White, Yellow and Orange courses for beginners and improvers.  In addition, for experienced orienteers we have an ingenious Norwegian Map Memory course, which is a good way of making an easy area a lot more challenging.  

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 1995 or earlier)
British Orienteering members - £3
Non-members - £5

Juniors (born 1996 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-Card (dibber) please bring it with you. We'll have SI-Cards 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.

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.

Privacy: when entering our events your name may appear in the results section of this website or in newspaper reports.
Read our privacy policy to see how we look after your personal data.