Tunbridge Wells CommonThu 4 Jan

Kent Night Cup: 11

Local level event

Explanation of event levels

Local events are usually low key and in the 'localised' area, ideal for newcomers to try the sport and Training events are non competitive and used for training and coaching, aimed at members of the club, but they can attract people from neighbouring clubs, and are often ideal for newcomers to try the sport. Regional events attract participants from around the local Region, National events are high quality competitions that will attract people from far away, Major events are Major Events such as a British Championships. Virtual events are where there are no physical controls being used. Your presence at a control is registered using an App on your mobile phone, normally the free MapRun App.

Terrain type: Parkland & Woodland



Results with KNC points

KNC League


Well done to the 27 competitors who braved what was an exceptionally wet evening. Tunbridge Wells Common is a challenging area to plan a 60 minute score course because of its small size. Even while using all 22 controls available, all of our usual scoring formats produced courses that were too short to fill an hour of running for the fastest competitors. I decided to try something a bit different similar to a recent Summer event at Brockhill. It produced a map that was quite a complicated tangle and I was worried that some people would misjudge how far they could go and finish much too early.

I was pleased to see that six different first controls were used with people heading off in all directions. A few people stayed at the start for quite some time which is a sign that it was rather on the complicated side. Most people identified the sequences of short bonus legs on each side of the main road. Those that did not missed out on a lot of points. In my opinion, focusing on collecting bonuses was more effective than collecting lots of controls because the high control density slows down running so much and fatigues the brain a little more.

In the end, only one person finished in under 50 minutes. The total length was a touch short - ideally everyone should have to think about skipping some points and Tommy Heap just scraped in under time with full marks. My special commendations go to Sean and Neil who must have smoothly executed well-planned routes. It sounded like most people enjoyed the race despite the weather, although some found it too challenging.

I do apologise for how late the evening got with the change of apres-O venue and the slow results processing. I hope we all had a good sleep afterwards.

Thanks for coming along!


Last updated: Mon 08 January, 2024


The Kent Night Cup returns to Tunbridge Wells Common for the first time since before the start of the pandemic. Our familiar 19:30 mass start score format will have flavour added by a bonus points system that will require careful planning and the unusual challenges characteristic of a forest so close to a town centre.

Location Info

Near: Tunbridge Wells
Lat,Lng: 51.12903,0.25193
OS Grid Ref: TQ577392
What3Words: ///lazy.bleak.faces

Open an interactive map in:
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Directions / Parking

Parking will be in Tunbridge Wells Common Car Park off Fir Tree Road. Fir Tree Road is a dead-end accessible only from Major York’s Road, which links the A26 and A264. All except those coming from the south are recommended to approach from the A264 end. Parking is free (max 4 hours).

Any vehicles over 2 metres in height must park on the side of Fir Tree Road before the car park entrance.

There is no dedicated bicycle parking but there is a fence that bikes could be chained to,

The Assembly, Start and Finish will be at the north end of the car park.

Public Transport Options

The event centre is a 1km walk from Tunbridge Wells station, partially through the competition area.

Bus routes 281 Rusthall - High Brooms and 291 Crawley - Tunbridge Wells stop on Major York’s Road at the bottom of Fir Tree Road 250 metres from Assembly.

Pre-event Details

Map / Terrain

1:4,000 scale map with 2m contours freshly updated to ISSprOM 2019-2. Maps will be printed on A4 waterproof paper.

Those not familiar with this latest mapping specification should look through it at ISSprOM Take note of the symbols used for different types of path - Symbols 501 to 507.

Tunbridge Wells Common is a small area of mixed woodland and open spaces criss-crossed by a dense network of paths and a few roads. Some of the roads have lighting but this will not help navigation in the woods. Some of the paths are paved, some are likely to be muddy but most areas should be fairly firm underfoot.

Navigating the tangle of paths will form the bulk of the challenge but there will be some useful pieces of vegetation, contour and rock detail.

White forest is generally exceptionally smooth underfoot but the green areas can be very variable. Undergrowth markings represent extensive brambles or, occasionally, young gorse.

Course Information

60 minute time limit mass start score course suitable for all abilities. 22 controls numbered 90 – 111; visit as many as you can within the time. 10 points per control, 10 points penalty per minute/part minute late.

There will be a 10 point bonus for visiting consecutively-numbered controls, such as 91 to 92 or 103 to 102. Controls 90 and 111 will also form a pair with a 10 point bonus in order to give more flexibility in choice of starting control for those looking to collect most of the bonuses.

Maximum 430 points

Example: S, 92, 93, 106, 105, 111, 90, 91, F 10 x 7 controls + 10 x 4 bonus legs = 110 points

Courses close 70 minutes after the mass start after which the controls will be collected.

Controls will be SIAC enabled, except the finish which must be punched.

Loose control descriptions will not be provided.

After your run please report immediately to Download. Timing printouts will be provided and the results will be available on the website after the event.

If you are able to help collect controls please volunteer on the entry form or by emailing the organiser.

Read more about Course lengths and Difficulty here

Entry Details

Pre-entry only via www.racesignup.co.uk

Seniors (British Orienteering members) £7, Non-members of BO £10.

Juniors & students £ (BO or non-BO) £4.

Group (1 dibber; map for each Group member): £12 (BO), £15 (non-BO).

Dibber loan (non SIAC): Free.

Registration and Start times

Pre-entry only via www.racesignup.co.uk by midnight Wed 3 January. This will require personal details for safety purposes.

No registration on the night.

Mass start at 19:30 after a short briefing


There will be no toilets at the event. There are customer toilets at Sainsbury’s on Linden Park Road which you could use before arriving at the event.

Apres-O & prizegiving: Opera House - JD Wetherspoon on Mount Pleasant Road. Food can be ordered on the app or at the bar quoting the table number. On-street parking is generally unrestricted after 20:00 but is likely to be in short supply. Pay the £2 night rate at Crescent Road car park for convenience.

Dog restrictions

Sensible road-aware dogs allowed

Contacts / Officials

Planner / Organiser: Peter Dobra 07999 547780 email hidden; JavaScript is required

Nearest A&E Hospital

Tunbridge Wells Hospital TN2 4QJ 3.7 miles/12 minutes. Map available at Assembly
NHS Urgent care search

Safety Notes

Compulsory items: Torch, backup light, whistle, full leg and torso cover, waterproof hooded jacket if inclement weather is forecast

Recommended items: Mobile phone, high visibility clothing, shoes suitable for tarmac and mud

The carriage of a mobile phone is compulsory for newcomers.

Major York’s Road bisects the area. It is out-of-bounds except at the three crossing points marked on the map.

Safety bearing is NE or SW towards Major York’s Road, which can then be followed back to Fir Tree Road for the car park entrance.

There are several other minor roads running through the area where traffic may be encountered. Any under 16’s wishing to run unaccompanied must report to the Organiser for an additional briefing identifying where they are allowed to run - between Major York’s, Mount Ephraim and Castle Road.

Many of the roads have steeply-banked verges, of which the mapped contours give some indication. Less mobile competitors will find it easiest to join and cross roads where they intersect with paths.

Treat other users of the area with respect, including road-users, pedestrians and homeowners. Do not shine torches at them. In the unlikely event that an unhappy member of the public seeks to have an altercation or interfere with the event, please phone the Organiser.

There will be a key drop which can act as an additional safety check in case you do not return to Download when expected. Those who are not travelling to the event by car are encouraged to leave an item in the key drop.

There are high crags and rocks which are not safe to go near at night. Wellington Rocks is marked out-of-bounds.

Mapped ponds can be deep but are fairly obvious on the ground.

There are some very steep slippery slopes. Gentler options are never far away.

Deer and small mammals are common on the Common. They will want nothing to do with you so try not to corner them between opposing runners.


There is a block of forest with long-term rough sleepers that is mapped out-of-bounds