Blackford Hill and The Hermitage

Managed by the City of Edinburgh Council, this area offers a 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.  More information can be found  here www.edinburgh.gov.uk/edinburghoutdoors/directory-record/9/blackford-hill-and-pond

The map has now been extended to the south to include part of the old golf course. 

Parking: Start and Finish are adjacent to the Hermitage Visitor centre accessed from Braid Road  Grid Ref:  NT251703. What3words: tonic.wires.grab

Terrain

Varied terrain with good path network, contour, vegetation and rock detail.  Some steep slopes.

Courses - see Control description free download for details

Course

No of Controls

Length

 (km)

Climb

 (m)

Course description

Safety issues

1

6

1.0

10

A simple course for beginners and families with young children.

The Braid Burn runs through the area.  It can become very dangerous when in spate and should only be crossed at the bridges.

Avoid the steep slopes above the burn on both sides.

Courses are planned to avoid dangerous crags, but take great care at all times.

The area is very popular with dog walkers so you can expect to meet some of these.

 

2

12

2.0

80

Almost twice as long as course 1 with some steep paths that can be muddy. Not all controls are on paths

3

15

3.9

175

This course needs more careful navigation and map reading, as the straight line between controls may not always be the quickest route.

 

4

15

4.3

255

This course has been planned to present a demanding physical and navigational challenge for more experienced orienteers.

 

5

Scatter (all controls)

Make up your own course!

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Further Information
Region: Scotland
Nearest Town: Edinburgh
Postcode: EH10 6JF
Carpark: EH10 6JF
Forest & more rural
Suitable for beginners
Suitable for intermediate orienteerers
Suitable for advanced orienteerers
Available Maps
All Controls DescriptionFREE
All Controls MapFREE
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Hermitage of Braids , Credit: Crawford Lindsay
Rock Feature , Credit: Crawford Lindsay
Top of Blackford Hill , Credit: Crawford Lindsay
Blackford Hill View from the West , Credit: Crawford Lindsay
Blackford Hill View NE , Credit: Crawford Lindsay
Maps Available From

Maps packs (paper or digital) can be obtained by emailing ESOC. Donations will be welcome via online banking (details on request)

They are also available from Cammo Estate or The Hermitage of Braid Visitor Centres. Tel: 0131 529 2401 or email: naturalheritageservice@edinburgh.gov.uk to check opening hours.

VOC Details

The following VOCs (using the POC posts) are available as Maprun courses on a mobile phone (see table in main information panel for course details).  Full instructions for accessing/using the MAPrun software can be found here www.scottish-orienteering.org/get-involved/pocs/

There is a 2 step process

1. On MaprunF or Maprun6 click on Select Event then navigate to UK->Scotland->Edinburgh->Blackford Hill and then select the Course you want (See table below). Click on Go to Start to see map on your phone

2. Download map as a PDF from the Scottish Orienteering website, link for each course in the table below. Print this off to carry with you.

Course

Maprun course names

Download map link

1

Blackford Hill POC Course 1

blackford-permanent-course-1

2

Blackford Hill POC Course 2

blackford-permanent-course-2

3

Blackford Hill POC Course 3

blackford-permanent-course-3

4

Blackford Hill POC Course 4

blackford-permanent-course-4

5

Blackford Hill POC Scatter  

blackford-permanent-scatter-course

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