Orienteering Today

In England at the moment, because of the pandemic, none of the events that provide the backbone of the sport can take place.

And indeed, although there is a lot of preparation and thought for a “restart” we don’t know when, where or the details of how that can happen. We all have less opportunity to go and enjoy orienteering, or indeed introduce it to friends to try for the first time. There is no meeting up at a pub to go for a run and then chat through the experience over refreshments.

There are however two ways to get the benefits of our outdoors, fun, mental plus physical, naturally physically distanced, sporting exercise. Assuming you can manage the necessary travel.

Firstly there are three street orienteering maps, five mountain bike courses, and four experimental park courses, set up in the smartphone MapRun software. The summary is your phone beeps when you reach each control point and your time/score is logged with that of other people who have done the course at a different time.

See this earlier post about orienteering courses for individual training.

Neighbouring clubs have also setup MapRun courses: check the websites of Mole Valley, Southdowns, Saxons and Thames Valley for example.

And secondly we have setup several permanent orienteering courses (as have our neighbouring clubs.) They are there now, available every day.

City Race

Statement from the Club.

The 2020 London City Race is cancelled.

Given the current situation in England with Covid-19, and the impact of ongoing restrictions when applied to an urban environment, we have reluctantly concluded we are sorry we must cancel the London City Race weekend for this year. 

We are making provisional arrangements for a ‘forest’ event to be held on Holmwood Common, near Dorking on Sunday 13th September as a substitute, should regulations allow. Some of the courses are planned!

Please watch for updates on this website as the date approaches.


Preparations are already underway for a relaunch of the London City Weekend in 2021.

Provisional details:

Friday 3rd September – a prologue race, as yet undecided.

Saturday 4th September

Classic distance urban event in Westminster and the City of London, with Start and Finish close to the Aldwych.

This will make the most of the complex alleys and courts of the Temple.

 Sunday 5th September

A middle distance race in the new development at King’s Cross. This is also fairly described as “complex”. Organised by our friends at London Orienteering Klubb.

SLOW planning competition winners

This competition required entrants to plan Orange and Blue courses on Charlie Turners’s fine map of Holmwood Common, which featured much ‘green stripe’ to add to the challenge! We had 10 entries, although none in the Junior category, which were judged anonymously by Alan Leakey and Matthias Mahr.

After much deliberation we decided to award joint 1st place to Jim Mallinson and Steve Clelland, with 3rd place going to Barbara Griessner.

Both winners produced excellent Blue courses taking full advantage of the nicest bits of Holmwood, while at the same time offering much variation and as a bonus, a really good long route choice. As expected, providing Orange courses at the appropriate technical difficulty proved much harder for everyone! Congratulations to our winners, who will receive prizes of SLOW kit, and thank you to all the entrants for giving it a go.



Both Jim and Steve produced excellent blue courses with good variety and a good route choice leg. We felt that Steve’s blue course was marginally the better one, particularly around the start and finish areas but also because it took in more of the area and had a nicer ‘shape’. On the other hand, Steve’s orange course was a little too hard in the second half especially in an area as detailed as Holmwood, while Jim’s course was of more appropriate difficulty. Hence, we felt the fairest thing to do was to award joint 1st place.

JIM MALLINSON – here is Jim’s Orange course and his Blue course

Orange. A good course, with many controls just off paths to increase the challenge, although #9 was bordering on the too hard. In common with most entries it lacked any significant route choice legs, which is something that the Orange course should aim to introduce. However, the route from the last control to the Finish is too complex at this level; it would be better with a last control on the path to the north of the Finish.

Blue. A varied course which good use of the limited ‘white’ terrain in the forest. A big range in leg lengths and types which therefore require a variety of skills from the competitor. A really long good route choice leg. However, the route from the last control to the Finish doesn’t meet BOF guidelines and opens up the probability of competitors approaching the last control from several directions and mixing with people heading to the Start; it would be better with a last control on the path to the north of the Finish. Also, the ‘shape’ of the course is a little squished due to the course sticking to a relatively small (but very runnable) part of the forest.

STEVE CLELLAND – here is Steve’s Orange course and his Blue course

Orange. A nicely shaped course, although #4 represents a dogleg. Many controls just off of paths to increase the challenge, but the second half of the course (from #6) is probably too hard for an Orange course on an area as complex as Holmwood. While Steve managed to introduce some route choice, as is requested for Orange, the leg from 6 to 7 requires very fine navigation, and the approach to #10 requires a bearing with no catching feature behind.

Blue. A really good and varied course which makes the most of the limited ‘white’ terrain in the forest and requires a variety of skills from the competitor. #2 is a good, really long leg that adds to that variety. We really couldn’t find anything to improve on this course.

Permanent MBO SCORE Courses

Available Mountain Bike Courses

We have four courses currently.

  1. Mogador: The start is just north of the village of Mogador, at the south end of Banstead Heath and covers the area west of here across to Headley.
  2. Hurtmore: This course covers the area from Hurtmore to Tilford taking in Crooksbury Common and Puttenham Common.
  3. Knowl Hill: The course is centred around Knowl Hill and covers the area from Warren Row and Bowsey Hill to the north down to Waltham St Lawrence to the south.
  4. Holmbury St Mary: The event from 2017 based at Holmbury St. Mary and covering the heart of the Surrey Hills around Winterfold, Hurtwood and Pitch Hill.

The aim is to practice route choice and navigation, finding the shortest route for however many checkpoints you visit but ignoring timing and penalties.

Please manage these courses as you would any other ride for individual exercise / training. Make your own assessment of risks, and consider how to mitigate including arranging any personal insurance.

These courses should only be ridden while adhering to government guidelines.

You will need two files: the map and the control descriptions.
To get the map and control descriptions please email


Download MapRunF v4.8.8 or higher and sign up. Press “Select Event” and navigate to the folder UK/South London/MTBO then select your chosen course which will download to the phone. You will need a 4 digit code to open the course. You will find the code in the control description file.

Once you’re ready, select “Go to start” and start riding. When you get to the first control the App will beep and the recording will start. You can start at the Start/Finish point or at any control – which will then be considered as the Start/Finish (with no score).

To finish you must go back to where you started to end the recording. The Start/Finish will become a normal control which you visit as you go round the course and it will be assigned a points value automatically.

You are likely to need to slow down or stop at a control point and make sure that the App beeps. The GPS signal may vary slightly or be affected by tree cover so in some cases you may need to move around the location where the control is located.

Tips for running the App

When you first set up the app and it requests permission to use the phones location services make sure the permission is “All of the time”. This is likely to be the setting in the majority of cases without any need to do anything. A couple of people have found it set to “When using the App” which results in the phone taking a long time to detect checkpoints and showing straight lines on the GPS track.

It’s recommended that you select and download events on a reliable network such as a home wi-fi rather than relying on a mobile signal.

See Permanent Orienteering Course page for further information.


Thanks to the efforts of club member Peter Foulkes, we now have three Street-O training events available that you can run in your own time. These are the races previously held in Battersea, Wimbledon and Norbiton / Kingston. We are also carefully managing testing of the app in Richmond Park and on Wimbledon Common. Members interested in being involved please get in touch.

Here’s how it works (more details are on our Permanent Orienteering Course page)

1.Select your event, and send an email.

2.Print the map.

3.Download the App from the Google / Apple store.

4.Run the event and see your result appear automatically when you finish

We hope you enjoy it!

Important notes:

Since this is an individual training run at a time selected by yourself it does not constitute an organised event and is not covered by the BOF Insurance Policy.

COVID_19. Please only do these training runs if you can do so while adhering to the current government guidelines.

Night Series Results 2019-2020

Final results of the night series are published below. Due to the curtailment of the series, overall results are based on the best 2 scores. Congratulations to our series winners:

  • Short – Sarah Darley (female and overall champion) and Phil Conway.
  • Long – Aimee Darley. There was a 3 way tie for the men between Adam Conway, Ed Catmur & Matthew Vokes.

We will sort you out with well deserved prizes at some point.

The series couldn’t happen without the hard work and dedication of our Organiser/Planners, huge thanks to Sue, Pete, Don, Dave and Duncan.

It’s never too early to start thinking of the next series, it would be great to have some fresh faces – do get in touch () if you’re interested in getting involved.


With recent developments relating to the mitigation of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and guidance from the UK Government and British Orienteering we are suspending all our orienteering activities.

The events planned for Tuesday March 24th (Richmond Park) and Tuesday 14th April (Kings Cross) are cancelled.

Other events remain in the calendar for now but will only take place if the guidance changes.

As you will probably know in the last two days next weekend’s British Long and Relay Championships, the JK festival scheduled for Easter and the summer multi-day event Croeso have all been cancelled.

CANCELLED – Kings Cross Street-O, Tuesday 14 April

The next Street Orienteering Race would have been held in a new area around Kings Cross in Central London on Tuesday 14 April. This part of London has seen a huge amount of development in the last 10 years so it would have been an exciting race! We are sorry we cannot invite you to join us for an evening of checkpoint hunting and socialising. The meeting point would have been The Somers Town Coffee House, which  is a few minutes’ walk from Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras stations. 
LocationKings Cross
AddressThe Somers Town Coffee House, 60 Chalton Street, London NW1 1HS
Latitude/longitude51.5299, -0.1301
OS grid referenceTQ298829
MapsGoogle Maps, OpenStreetMap
Entry is £3 for SLOW and LOK members, students and juniors and £4 for others. This includes a hire chip card to record your time, or if you have your own you get a £1 discount. As it will be dark, you should wear hi-visibility clothing and you might want to bring a headlamp to make map-reading easier.
RegistrationBetween 1800 and 1930
Start TimesBetween 1800 and 1930
Like all our Street-Os, this a public race – all are welcome. Please RSVP to the event via Facebook to let us know you are coming – you can also see who else is coming here and post queries. 
This event is on FacebookThis event is on Facebook. Say you are coming here!
This event is on AttackpointThis event is on Attackpoint. Say you are coming here!
All competitors take part at their own risk, and because of our insurance any under-16s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If you have any questions, do ask them on Facebook or email the organisers Tessa Bertran and Todd Fallesen on

Orienteering in London and Surrey. British Orienteering's Club of the Year 2013. Community Amateur Sports Club accredited.