Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Royal High School & Davidson’s Mains Park

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

Sat 10th Dec 2022

Info updated: 13th Dec
Type of event: Local
Type of terrain: Parkland, Woodland


Results are here

Winsplits are here

ORGANISER'S and PLANNER'S comments now added....

General Information


ORGANISER, Alistair Black writes:  After some early jitters about the quantity of snow falling, today returned into a lovely winter wonderland for orienteering, with it staying clear for most of the competitors. There was a good turnout, and everyone had fun out on the courses.
Thanks to all of the volunteers for helping everything to run smoothly and making it so easy to organise!

PLANNER, Jim Murdoch writes: First of all, a big thank you for the putter outers and collectors of the controls, it really helps ease the burden and stress on the day.
In lovely snowy conditions I was very pleased to see that there were no missed controls on the white and yellow courses, hopefully giving them confidence to progress to harder courses. In such a small area there were a few wrong controls punched on the orange and light green courses, better luck next time! The only really controversial point was the big long fence separating the school from the park which caused a few detours, although one enterprising youngster managed to find a route under the fence. Not an option for most of us!
Congratulations to Donald on the Light Green, Hamish on the Orange, Rosie on the Yellow and Alistair on the white.



Location: The competition area is on the West side of the city of Edinburgh. 

Dress: Please check the weather forecast on the day and dress appropriately.  This event is in the city but the weather could still be very cold, windy and wet.  We recommend full leg cover for all competitors. 

Terrain:   City park, which includes some woodland, crags and a path network, plus adjoining high school grounds.

Course Maps: The map will be printed on waterproof paper, the control descriptions will be printed on the map (no loose control descriptions) and the map scale will likely be 1:5000.

Other Users:   Davidson's Mains Park is very 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 only allowed in the Davidson's Mains Park part of the mapped area, dogs are not allowed anywhere in the grounds or buildings within the Royal High School.  Note that some parking and some controls on ALL COURSES EXCEPT WHITE have controls within the school grounds where dogs are NOT allowed

Facilities: There are no facilities. NO TOILETS - Please 'go before you go' to the event. 'Informal toileting' is discouraged as there is little cover and this is a busy area.  There are numerous options for calling in at a supermarket or shopping centre on your way to the event. 

Course Closure Time: Note that the timings for this event, including course closure time, are earlier than usual. All courses have a closure time of 3pm after which controls will start to be brought in. All competitors should be back at Download by 3pm. At this time of year this is especially important as we don't want to be bringing controls in during darkness.

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, make use of the hand sanitiser wherever it is made available, remain as quiet as possible at and around the start area, the start line and the download area;   

Please read and respect the British Orienteering Participant Code of Conduct.

Medical Conditions: You have the option of downloading, completing and handing this Medical Form to the Organiser (via Registration) so that existing medical conditions are known about in the event of an incident. 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 and administer as necessary.  A very basic first aid kit will be available at Registration/Download. Please ask there for anything you may need, the Organiser will be happy to help.


map location

Nearest town: City of Edinburgh


Head for Davidson's Mains Park which is just off East Barnton Avenue, Edinburgh (very close to the Royal High School).  Please try to use public transport or use a bike if you possibly can. 

By Bus: Check Lothian Buses website to plan your journey. Lothian Buses Service 41 stops nearby.   Note that other out of town buses which travel along Queensferry Road also stop close to the Royal High School. 

By Bike:  A variety of quiet cycle route maps throughout the city are available on the Edinburgh City Council Quiet Routes web pages. It should be possible to find a place to lock your bike close by while you run.

By Car: We do not have permission to park in the S hook car park but limited parking may be available in the car park beside/behind the sports hub along the main drive to the School.  If this is full please park considerately in nearby streets. Please be aware that even in the school car park you are in a very public place so if changing in your car please be sensitive to this.    

Registration & Start Times

REGISTRATION: This will be on the North side of Davidson's Mains Park close to the corner of East Barton Avenue and will be open from around 11.45pm until 1.15pm. Download will adjoin Registration and the Start and Finish will 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 at ESOC local events there will be White, Yellow and Orange courses for beginners and improvers. There will also be a Light Green course suitable for more experienced orienteers. Note that dogs are NOT allowed on Yellow, Orange or Light Green courses.

Very provisional course distances, which are subject to final controlling, are shown below:
 - Light green - 3.5km
 - Orange - 2.9km
 - Yellow - 1.3km
 - White - 1km

The area is mostly pretty flat so there won't be much climb on any course.

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 will open 10am Monday 28th November and will finally close at 9am (note the earlier time) on Saturday 10th December - the day of the event.  To be guaranteed a map of your chosen course you MUST however pre-enter by 6pm on Tuesday 6th December.  

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 at the RaceSignUp webpage link above but a flavour of the entry fee scales is given 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 2001 or earlier and a Junior is someone born 2002 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

EMAIL for early general enquiries

Planner: James Murdoch (ESOC)

Controller: Crawford Lindsay (ESOC)

Organiser: Alastair Black (ESOC)

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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