Exercise for the mind and body
Orienteering is a sport to build your brain as well as your brawn. The aim is to find a sequence of control points that are marked on a specially designed map: the skill is to find all the points as efficiently as possible. Competitive events involve finishing the course as quickly as you can, but it doesn’t have to be a race: there’s a lot of fun in just going at your own pace.
Orienteering began in Sweden and the first public competition was held in Norway in 1897. Courses are often planned around beautiful or wild countryside. Scotland’s forests are ideal, with their attractive scenery, well-made paths, and unlimited fiendish hiding places for the control points.
Quite a few forests have permanent orienteering courses where you can see for yourself just how much fun you can have with a map and compass. Cardrona near Peebles, Allean near Pitlochry and Aberfoyle all have fixed courses. Further north, head to Kirkhill in Aberdeenshire. These courses are looked after by local orienteering clubs and have various outlets for the map you’ll need: it may be available from a visitor centre, the local orienteering club or VisitScotland Information Centre.
Scottish Orienteering have lots more details about the sport, including a beginners’ guide video and a list of local clubs. One-off events take place in forests throughout the year and we work closely with Scottish Orienteering to support the sport.
Orienteering is available wherever you see this symbol.