Gosford Estate
Saturday 29th May 2021

Gosford Estate  Saturday 29th May 2021

Gosford House, East Lothian. Photo Credit: Jim Barton - geograph.org.uk/p/5229711

Many thanks to all competitors and helpers, and particularly to Duncan Edmondson for planning courses within an area which is picturesque but has many constraints, such as private gardens and ha-has, whilst also avoiding the worst of the nettles.

Thanks also to Ross Lyall who held a successful coaching session for newer and younger juniors.


  • Provisional results are now published.
  • Winsplits gives a different view on the times for each leg
  • Routegadget is where you can see the other courses, look at where other people went and tell us where you went

Pre-event information

Gosford is a privately-owned estate stretching between the East Lothian villages of Longniddry and Aberlady.  The area contains 18th-Century Gosford House and its park in the centre, sections of farmland, and surrounding deciduous woodland. Although the event will stay away from the House itself, the parkland contains many interesting features such as ornamental ponds, ha-has, a mausoleum, a grotto, and an ex-POW camp.

Type of event:
Local event in the East of Scotland Orienteering Association (ESOA) series

Type of terrain:

This photograph was taken in the summertime — there’s no bracken at the moment!

This event will use the eastern half of our map, which boasts only a few contour features, but has a complex network of paths and ditches in the northern part, and more traditional mixed woodland elsewhere.

Other Users:
There are several private dwellings on the Estate.
Please observe all out-of-bounds areas strictly, throughout the day.

Dogs must be on leads and are not welcome in the wooded area to the south of Hungary House due to ground nesting birds.
Be aware that the usual East Lothian wildlife (deer and hares) are common.
See also the note about blue-green “algae”, which can be toxic to dogs.

The toilets at the Gosford Farm Bothy may be open.
The nearest other toilets will be in pubs in Aberlady or Longniddry or at Longniddry Bents No. 3 carpark.


Nearest town: Aberlady
Grid Reference: NT 453 782
Postcode: EH32 0PX
We are parking near the location below, with entry through the nearby gate from the A198, 1km south of the closed main gate at North Lodge.

Parking within the estate along the road to Assembly is free. If that fills up then late-comers may need to park across the A198 in one of the Bents carparks (£2 charge) and walk back to the state entrance.

It is also possible to get to the event by bus (Edinburgh-North Berwick service from East Coast Buses; use the “Pleasance” stop in Aberlady, then close your eyes when walking from the Bothy to assembly!) or by train to Longniddry (enter by the West Lodge gate for a pleasant 3km walk through the woods in the southern part of the Estate).

Registration & Start Times


Registration is online only by 23 May here.

Start and Finish:

The start and finish will be close to registration.
Start times will be from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

Courses Close:

The courses will close at 4:00pm, so if you have not completed your course by then, you should stop and return to assembly.  You must report to the Download point, whether you complete the course or not, so that we know you are not lost or injured in the woods!

Course Information

Control Descriptions:

Control descriptions are on the maps but there will be no loose copies available. You can download them here. Note that the Yellow map did not have room for the text version. It might help to know that the circle stands for a sculpture/urn.


A sample of the Gosford Estate map

Scale as below with 2.5m contours.

A few notes on the mapping:

  • Access to The North East corner. You may have read that the Estate has blocked access to/from Aberlady this way. One of these routes will be opened for us. The other routes shouldn’t be needed for the courses, although other cross-country routes might save you some time.
  • Ditches: although they are all technically crossable as mapped, you probably won’t want to choose routes that cross the ditches shown as continuous lines, as they are quite wide, with steep sides, and may be a bit deep after rain. The ones shown as broken lines are in general fairly easily crossed.  In any case, courses are planned so that you shouldn’t need to cross many, or perhaps any, of them except via bridges.
  • Hungary House. This is a private residence to the east of the map. The area immediately surrounding this house has been marked as Out of Bounds. The course that needs to go past this house indicates a way around this area.
  •  Vegetation:
    • The rhododendrons have grown a little since some areas were first mapped.
    • Not every holly bush is on the map!


SportIdent (SI) electronic timing will be used – we will have SIs for hire free of charge but there is a £30 charge if lost.

Courses are TBC.  Course lengths (all with negligible climb) are as follows…

Course Length Difficulty Map Scale
White 1.3km Very easy 1:5000
Yellow 2.5km Easy 1:5000
Orange 3.5km Medium 1:5000
Light Green 4.7km Medium to Hard 1:7500

More details about the colour coding is available on the Scottish Orienteering website.

Entry Charges

Members* Non members**
Seniors £4 £6
Juniors £1.50 £2.50
Parent and Child
(one parent with one child)
£2.50 £3.50
Larger Family Groups
(one or more children accompanied by one or more adults)
£3 £5
Pair of Seniors £5 £7
Pair of Juniors
(no accompanying adults)
£2 £3
*Members of any orienteering club.
**Note that although non-members are now permitted to take part, Covid regulations still limit the support we can give beginners.

Safety and Risk

A comprehensive risk assessment has been carried out by the organiser, but participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event.

All courses run very close to water features of various kinds (ponds, ditches): it is impossible to avoid these and still have sensible courses, so please be aware of this when deciding whether to accompany juniors or not.  Other potential hazards (which the courses aim to mitigate where possible, especially for the juniors) include:

  • A number of high sunken walls (“ha-has”), are up to two metres high from one side, and are almost invisible from the other.  Some of these have water at the foot.  They are all marked as below:

    Gosford Estate ha-has

  • Piles of logs – please remind young folk not to climb on them.
  • Blue-green algae may be present in the ponds, which can be toxic.
  • All courses make some use of estate tracks. It is a working estate so occasionally there are vehicles, but sight-lines are good, and it is possible even juniors might encounter a car or van.
  • Stone monuments – please remind juniors not to push or lean on them.
  • There are a few geese living on the ponds – please remind youngsters not to approach them.
  • There are wooden bridges which may be wet if it rains.
  • There are some abandoned farm buildings just outside the event area.
  • There are a couple of electric fences in the area (but you would have to go out of your way to touch them).
  • Full leg cover is advised on the longer courses as the recent rain means that the nettles are bad in a few places.

A couple of standard advisories:

  • As there are deer and other wildlife in the area, please wash your hands before eating, and check for ticks after running.
  • There may be dog-walkers whose dogs are not as well-controlled as they should be, and junior runners should be advised accordingly.

Medical Conditions

If you, or anyone in your group (including juniors), have a medical condition that first-aiders or health professionals should know about in the event of accident or illness during the course of the event please print off the Medical Form, complete it fully and bring it along to the event.   You should complete a separate copy for each individual who has a medical condition.  Please leave the completed Medical Form at Event Registration.  If it is not in a labelled sealed envelope, it will be put in one and will be opened only in an emergency.  It will be shredded immediately after the event if you do not claim it back.


When entering our events your name may appear in the results section of this website or in newspaper reports.


Many thanks to Wemyss and March Estates for granting us the opportunity to map and run in this area.

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2 thoughts on “Gosford Estate
Saturday 29th May 2021

  1. Jayne MacGregor

    Just noticed the note about dogs and ground nesting birds. Do the courses (particularly Orange), go through these no go areas, as I was planning to run with my dog.

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