Barns Ness
Saturday 20 January 2024

Barns Ness  Saturday 20 January 2024

Barns Ness Lighthouse - MrPanyGoff via Flickr

Planner’s Report

Despite the best efforts of the forecasters, the weather at Barns Ness was dry, surprisingly warm (well at least for winter in Scotland) and significantly less windy than predicted. It was great to see over 120 people taking part across the four courses. Congratulations to everyone that took part.

A massive thank you to Ian for helping to set out the controls, to Trina and Neil for making sure that the start and finish areas were all ready and routes marked from the registration area to the start and back from finish to download. Trina, Neil and Godfrey looked after the start and got everyone away. Thanks to Robin, Matt, Sheila and Michael for making sure that registration and download worked well out of the back of their cars; although the wind was not too bad during most of the day, it picked up later in the afternoon so it was a good call not to put the tent up (otherwise we may have had to look for it near Oslo!).

We heard great reports on the event, at the finish, at download and online; it sounds as if the courses were sufficiently challenging and varied! I appreciate that running past the start and/or finish, as was the case on the LG and O courses, is not ideal, however I was keen to have the start not too far from registration and still wanted to use the area to the west of the start so there weren’t other options.

Likewise a big thank you to Ian, Neil, Ryan and Steph for their help at the end, this really helped and meant that we were able to bring in the controls before it got too dark!


  • Simple results are here.
  • Routegadget allows you to plot your route, either by hand or by downloading a gpx file from a watch or phone and to look where you and others went.
  • Winsplits Online gives another way of comparing your times for each leg.
  • British Orienteering collect results from all events and publish ranking scores for larger events.

Advance information:

Barns Ness is a great area for orienteering, consisting of a fairly narrow strip of coastal land about 2000m long and no wider than 400m in any place; typically it’s around 200m wide. The immediate coastline in the north is mainly stony beach and rocky foreshore, with intricate sandy dunes on the east facing side. A flat coastal plain extends south. The obvious man-made features include disused limekiln buildings, the Lighthouse (completed in 1901 by cousins of Robert Louis Stevenson) and an old quarry. The western edge of the area is bordered by a steep slope, rising about 15-20m above the coastal plain.

This is a local event in the East of Scotland Orienteering Association (ESOA) series

Barns Ness lighthouse
Barns Ness Lighthouse – copyright Sarah Charlesworth


  • Path network on open land next to the dunes.
  • Runnability is generally good.
  • Because the courses are path-based, there is no need to wear full cover.
  • Please use marked crossing points to cross fences and stick to the paths.
  • Please observe any out of bounds areas.

Other Users

The area is very well used by the general public including dog walkers and families. Please respect their right to be there at the same time as you are orienteering.


The area is well used by dog walkers so dogs are welcome to come with orienteers. The ranger service would like dogs to be kept on leads because of the ground-nesting birds


Toilets are available at the White Sands car park, beside the entrance .




Nearest Town: Dunbar
Grid Ref: NT710773
Nearest Postcode: EH42 1QP


The Whitesands Bay car park is accessed by a minor road which leaves A1087 at NT669770. The A1087 runs from Dunbar town south through Broxburn past the cement works to the A1. Drive past the campsite on the left and on down to the barrier at Whitesands Bay. Turn left here and continue to the end of the track and park on the grassy areas. There is a East Lothian Council £2.50 charge for parking.

Public Transport

Dunbar is easily reached by public transport (buses and trains) but there is none available to the event area which is approximately 2km SE of the town centre – there is footpath the whole way, either along the coast or by the road.

Registration & Start Times


The link below is for advance entries. On the day Registration (and dibber collection) will be at the Whitesands car park – look out for the ELO flag and tent!

If would like advice before going out or if you think you will take over an hour please arrive and start early.

Start and Finish:

Start times will be from 1:30pm to 3:00pm. We are not allocating start times.

The Start and Finish locations are less than 200m from registration.

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. 

If would like advice before going out or if you think you will take over an hour please arrive and start early.

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 dunes.

Course Information


The map is printed at 1:7500 with 2.5m contours.


SportIdent (SI) electronic timing will be used – we will have SIs for hire free of charge but there is a £30 charge if lost. Units, apart from start and finish, will be set for contactless punching.


There will be White, Yellow, Orange and Light Green courses.

CourseLength / Ascent Description
White1.6 km / For competitive 9-10 year olds and 11-12 year old beginners. Follows paths with a control at each choice point.
Yellow3.0 km / For competitive 11-12 year olds and 13-14 year old beginners. Follows line features with controls after choice points.
Orange3.0 km / 10 mFor competitive 13-14 year olds and beginner adults. Controls near paths or line features.
Light Green5.0 km / 10 mSuitable for experienced orienteers. A more challenging course with navigation away from paths.

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


Trina Rogerson

Entry Charges

Entry is cheaper if you are a current 2024 member of a club affiliated to Scottish or British Orienteering.

Please ensure that your membership has been renewed for 2024.

British/Scottish Orienteering member* (Pre-entry)Non‑member
& late entry
Pair of Seniors£5£7
Pair of Juniors (no accompanying adults)£2£3
Junior and Parent£2.50£3.50
Family Groups (one or more children accompanied by one or more adults – we would generally encourage families to split up into pairs!)£6£8
*Members of any orienteering club will receive a discount for advance entry only (usually by the Monday before the event so we can order maps).

Safety and Risk

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

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 will appear in the results section of this website and may appear in newspaper reports.
We may also take photographs at the event for publicity purposes – please let us know if you do not want us to use your photograph in this way.
Read our privacy policy.

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