Skip navigation.

    Organising Clubs: Team Nopesport & Lock Eck Orienteers

    Planner/Organiser: Stewart Caithness & Brooner Brown

    Dates: 23 & 24 August (despite what the fixtures list said!)

    Event Centre: Oban Caravan Park, Gallanach, near Oban

    After a years sabbatical, The Purple Thistle weekend returns to the calendar for 2008 and true PT style we are taking you to another top class area of Scotland. This time we are heading to the west coast where we have teamed up with our good friends, Lock Eck Orienteers, as we provide another weekend of Barebones orienteering. For those of you who do not know of the barebones concept, it is all about taking the fuss out of event organisation as much as possible while still providing an event of the highest quality, with a great atmosphere and enjoyment for all - including the organisers! So what’s left for you is all that matters for quality orienteering (maps, courses, controls and electronic punching) and a bunch of likeminded people out to enjoy a weekend away from it all in a beautiful part of the country.

    This year the concept is no different but we’ve tried to spice things up with both the venues and the whole weekend package.

    General Information

    The whole event will be based in and around the west coast town of Oban. Known as the gateway to the isles and home to the largest port on the West coast, Oban serves the inner Hebridean islands and the western isles. It is also a busy tourist town in the summer months with lots of things to see and do, including McCaig’s Folly, a lookalike of Rome’s Colosseum.

    Getting Here (Location Map)

    By car: Oban is easily reached from Central Scotland by taking the A82 which skirts the west side of Loch Lomond. Then either via Tyndrum or follow the A83 over the 'Rest and be Thankful' through Inveraray. Both journeys take between 2 and 3 hours

    By Air: Glasgow City Airport is the nearest large airport to Oban and is approximately 90 miles away. Most major & minor Airlines fly to Glasgow with many cheap flights offered by Easyjet, BMI, BMIbaby & FlyBe.

    Glasgow Prestwick Airport is a further away which is serviced by Ryanair amongst others. There are good links from the airports to the train and bus terminals in the city from which you can get connections to Oban. Both Airports also have good flight options to and from Scandinavia, Europe & USA.

    PT Bus Service: Subject to demand, we plan to provide bus from Glasgow to the event on Friday evening which will return on Sunday evening. If you are interested in this please register your interest when entering (it’ll be an option in the extras). There will be a small cost for this.

    By Train: By rail, the journey takes you along the world-famous West Highland Line. ScotRail runs twice daily trains from Glasgow Queen Street Station to Oban. For times and prices visit the Trainline site or Scotrail. To plan your timetable go to Timetables Online.

    By Bus: Citylink runs the service between Glasgow & Oban leaving from Buchanan Street Station. The service currently runs 3 times a day, the frequency then increases during the summer period. Visit their website for the most up-to-date timetables.

    Event Centre & Event Accommodation:

    The event centre for this year will be Oban Caravan Park located on the West coast of Scotland just 10minutes drive south of Oban. The campsite overlooks the Day 1 area and within walking distance of the Ferry across to it.


    Camping Location

    Official accommodation offered will be camping with a special offer of £6.50 per person per night (usually £7.50) for the event. This includes free use of all the facilities on site and is only available through the event. Book this with your entry at

    In true PT style we are offering you a bargin weekend package! For just £28 (seniors) and £22 (juniors) you get entries to all 3 races, 2 nights camping and ferry ticket (if booked before 30/07/08)

    If you do not wish to camp, the park offers a range of accommodation of options; caravans, chalets and also cottages with a full range of facilities including 3 shower blocks, shop, games room and laundry machines. More details of these options as well as prices at or email or call 01631 562 425


    As per usual, we'll organise some sort of Saturday Night Social to ensure everyone gets the chance to catch up with their friends and fellow competitors, more details will appear in future.

    The Races:

    Day 1: Kerrera Island

    This Island which overlooks Oban has been mapped especially for the PT and makes its Orienteering debut. If you can stop your head being turned by the stunning views on show, you will enjoy it’s open moorland running with interesting contour detail supported by patches of intricate rock features making for a testing physical and technical challenge that you have come to expect from the event’s areas.

  • Starts: 10:30 - 13:30
  • Day 2: Creag Mhic Chailein

    Previously used for The British Championships in 1996 and more recently SOL4, Creag Mhic is highly regarded by all who have previously ran there. A mainly natural woodland forest, interspersed with open areas, with a few marsh areas and all covered by an abundance of contour detail created by the undulating terrain, benefits by being relatively unspoilt by man-made features crossing it.

  • Starts: 11:00 - 13:30
  • Sprint Race: Oban

    The Saturday evening sprint race round Oban will offer a short, but hilly race with some wonderful views across the town, prior to the event social. One course, as technical as possible, will be on offer to competitors.

  • Starts: 18:30 - 19:30

  • Courses:

    As usual we will be providing 5 courses each day, with one sure to suit any ability. The following is a guide to help you choose:

    • Mighty Thistle ~ 12km – TD5 - Technically & Physically demanding
    • Big Thistle ~ 10km – TD5 – Same technical level but shorter.
    • Medium Thistle ~ 6km – TD5 - As Technical the as the mighty but without the distance
    • Small Thistle ~ 4km - TD4 – Slightly easier & shorter, suitable for progressing intermediates
    • Baby Thistle ~ 2.5km – TD2/3 - Suitable for beginners

    Saturday Evening Sprint Race: Oban Town Centre

    • Thistle Tickler ~ 2.5km – TD5 - Suitable for beginners, young children may need accompanied due to busy roads.


    Entries will be available online only via and will open from mid May.

    Entry fees per day:

    • Seniors - £6
    • Students/Juniors - £4

    Note: All competitors on day 1 must book a ferry ticket in order to get to the event. See below for prices

    • Sprint Race: £2  
    • Day 1 Ferry ticket:  Adults - £4, Children - £2 

    Special Weekend Package:

    The package includes 2 nights camping, entry to all 3 races & day 1 ferry ticket

    If booked before 30/07/08

    • Seniors - £28
    • Students/Juniors - £22

    If booked after 30/07/08

    • Seniors - £30
    • Students/Juniors - £24

    The closing date for entries will be 15/08/08.

    With the Scottish 6 Day International Festival of Orienteering being held in this area in 2011, it will be a great way to sample what is to come while taking in some top quality orienteering in a relaxed and friendly environment.