Ashridge N Ace of Herts

We welcome you to our biggest event of the year, the Ace of Herts, a National event which is a round of the South East Orienteering League. It’s not just for experts, there are courses suitable for everybody and help for newcomers.

These details will be updated as more information becomes available. About a week before the event they will become final details. They can be printed – to paper or PDF – using the blue ‘Print this page’ button at the bottom.

Location Parking on a field entered from B4506 at Ringshall HP4 1NR, field entrance at what3words paper.mocking.flotation
Terrain Ashridge North is a fine area of gently undulating deciduous woodland with a scarp slope to the west with areas of contour and vegetation detail.

The going is generally very fast with some limited areas of denser woodland and brambles. Many of the areas of rhododendron have been cleared.

The larger paths can be muddy, making straight routes through the forest more attractive. The National Trust have asked that if you do run along paths, you follow the main line even if it is wet or muddy; running round the edges damages the vegetation much more.

Notices asking the public to stay on the paths because of deer management activity can be ignored and there will no such activity on the day of the event.

The area is much used by walkers (many with dogs and/or buggies) and horse riders. Please be considerate to them to help ensure our continued access to this area.

We would like to thank the National Trust, and Ashridge Estate in particular, for access to this excellent forest.

Parking Take care approaching the entrance to the parking field, vehicles will be going slowly. The entrance is stony but can be slippery.

Park as requested by marshals.

Public Transport Limited!
Course Length km
Climb m
Men Women
Black 10-14 M21
Brown 8.5-12 M35 M40
Short Brown 7-10 M18 M20 M45 M50 W21
Blue 5.5-7.5 M16 M55 M60 W35 W40
Short Blue 4.5-6.5 M65 W18 W20 W45 W50
Green 3.5-5 M70 W16 W55 W60
Short Green 3-4 M75 W65 W70
Very Short Green 2.5-3.5 M80 M85+ W75 W80 W85+
Light Green 3-4 M14 W14
Orange 2.5-3.5 M12 W12
Yellow 2-2.9 M10 W10
White 1-1.9

As most of the terrain is very easy running and there are few contours except on the scarp slope, course lengths will be towards the top end of the recommended ranges quoted above, about 13.5km for Black. Quoted course lengths are straight line distances, you will run further.

The age classes are those recommended for the South East League. You may run any course you wish, but please take note of the course closure time if you are running a longer course than usual.

Beginners First timers are very welcome. Look for our greeters in hi-vis jackets who will give you socially-distanced help.

If you’ve not orienteered before, we suggest most people start with the yellow course. Young juniors, say primary school age, and family groups with young children are better on white. People confident with a map and compass may start on orange. It’s better to start simpler. If you find a course too easy, our policy is to allow you to run the next course up for free, if there’s time and there are maps available. Don’t forget to download between runs!

Course Notes TBD
Maps and control descriptions Maps are on waterproof paper, scale 1:10,000 with a 5 m contour interval for all courses.

Loose control descriptions, pre-printed on waterproof paper, will be in the start lanes. Descriptions will also be printed on maps.

String course TBD
Starts You may choose a start time between 10.00-12.00.  Please make every effort to get there for your start time although late starts will be available. Courses close at 14.00.

White and yellow maps available at pre-start.

Please follow signs and tapes to start, approx 500m. The route to start and from finish crosses a minor road, the crossing will be marshalled.

Entry & Fees There will be no entry in person on the day. Entries will open at SI Entries in the new year.

Seniors (BOF)
Seniors (non BOF)
Juniors (born 2002+) or students
Juniors (non BOF)

SIAC (contactless timing chip) dibber hire £2. Charge for lost dibbers £65.
If you don’t have your own dibber you’ll need to hire one.

You can enter online up to 1100 on the day, but if you need SIAC hire please enter by Friday 23:59.

Punching SIAC will be enabled.
Facilities In field: parking, portable loos, download, enquiries, SIAC pickup. Traders TBD.

In the forest:

  • start & finish
  • clothing dump. There will be a tarpaulin on the floor but no cover, please bring a bag. Clothing dump is on the way to Start and 100m from finish.
  • first aid

The Brownlow cafe is available for use after your run. It’s about 1.5km from the parking field and in the competition area, so driving round might be the best option.

Results Live results will be posted every few minutes to
Full results will be published on the same page and on Routegadget as soon as possible after the event. We aim to put provisional results up that evening.
Event cancellation Extreme weather conditions could result in late cancellation of the event. Every effort will be made to inform competitors as soon as is possible after a decision has been made. If cancellation is needed a message will be posted on the website and an email sent to all those entered.

Please check before travelling.

Dogs TBD
Safety Orienteering is an adventure sport. You take part at your own risk and are responsible for your own safety. A full risk assessment will have been carried out.

Longer courses cross Monument Drive, the main access road for visitors to Ashridge. Traffic is generally slow moving but take care.

You are advised to carry a whistle. In the event of extreme weather on the day, cagoules may be compulsory.

Large numbers of deer live in Ashridge; please allow them to move away from you without chasing and panicking them. If ever a deer does not move away from you then it is injured and should not be approached.

Ponds and marshy areas may be deeper and muddier than you think. Paths can also be muddy.

The area is popular with cyclists, dog walkers and horse riders. Please show them due consideration.

First Aid will be available at the car park 200m from the finish. The nearest hospital is the Luton and Dunstable Hospital Trust, Lewsey Road, Luton LU4 0DZ, 9 miles from the event.

You must go to Download even if you don’t finish your course. We need to confirm you’re back safely.

Planner Mike Bennett
Organiser Dave Tookey
Controller Mark Thompson (TVOC)

The small print

This event is registered with British Orienteering, number 81143.

Orienteering is a great sport for youngsters. If you bring children, please help us to keep to our safeguarding policy and British Orienteering’s photography policy.

Your personal data is used for results and insurance, see our privacy policy.

If you have to cancel for a COVID-related reason, write to and we will give a full refund. If we have to cancel the event we will offer a choice of a full refund or a voucher for use at a future HH event. That choice will be sent to the email address used for the original entry. If you do not reply by the deadline, the default is a voucher.