Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Blackford Hill and The Hermitage

map location


Nearest town: Edinburgh

Terrain description

Managed by the City of Edinburgh Council, this area offers surprising variety very close to the city centre. Blackford Hill itself has open grassland on the top, with steep craggy slopes to the north, west and south, mostly gorse-covered but with some ways through. The Royal Observatory is situated on the hill and there are panoramic views in all directions. The Hermitage of Braid, by contrast, is a wooded river valley, damp in places. The whole area is a Local Nature Reserve and has a good network of paths.
The map has now been extended to the south to include part of the old golf course.

This map is generally used for local events (e.g. Saturday events or Fight With The Night).

There is a Permanent Orienteering Course here.

Virtual Orienteering Courses (VOCs), using the Permanent Orienteering Course (POC) posts, are available as MapRun courses on a smartphone. Full details of the courses available (difficulty, length, and safety advice) and how to access them can be found on the Blackford Hill and the Hermitage page of British Orienteering’s “Go Orienteering” web portal.

Full instructions for accessing and using the MapRun software are included on the Smartphone Orienteering & Permanent Courses page of the Scottish Orienteering website.


Image Gallery

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Blackford Hill from the west, Crawford Lindsay

Blackford Hill from the west

The north side of the hill - view NE, Crawford Lindsay

The north side of the hill - view NE

The top of Blackford Hill, Crawford Lindsay

The top of Blackford Hill

Hermitage of Braid, Crawford Lindsay

Hermitage of Braid

Rock feature on the path up from the Visitor Centre, Crawford Lindsay

Rock feature on the path up from the Visitor Centre