Many different ways to Orienteer

Give Orienteering a go!

You can experience orienteering:

At a Permanent Course

In your own time, when you want.

At an Activity

Organised non-competitive  sessions.

At an Event

Including both serious and recreational competition.

At a Permanent Course

Permanent Orienteering Courses are a great way to get outside and go orienteering at a time and place that suits you. Courses offer a huge range of variety, from urban courses in city centres to rural routes through beautiful scenery. They are on your doorstep or further afield helping you to discover new places.

Whatever your level of experience and fitness, there are courses to suit you. A colour coding system makes it easy to find a course that is right for the level of challenge you are looking for. More information on the colour coding system can be found here.

Whether it's a walk with the family, exploring the area whilst on holiday or simply just adding variety to a training run, Permanent Orienteering Courses can help you explore.

To find out more about Permanent Orienteering Courses and how to get the best from them check out the video – it explains all you need to know!!

At an Activity

Club activity sessions are arranged by local orienteering clubs. These sessions might be training runs or an exercise to help improve orienteering technique. They often have a social aspect as well so they are a good way to meet other orienteers. Go to your local club’s website to see what they offer, or use the Find an Activity button below.

The map enables you to search for events near you taking place.


Xplorer is a family-friendly fun navigation challenge that is educational and gives children a sense of adventure as they explore the park to find the markers. It involves a healthy mix of physical activity and decision making that the whole family can enjoy together.

Using a simple map, the aim is to find a number of markers that are located around the park. At each marker, children need to identify what is pictured and enjoy learning a fun fact to tell their friends. Older children will have fun competing against their friends or other family members whilst younger children will enjoy the excitement of successfully finding the markers.

No previous experience of map reading is needed, and parents are encouraged to join in the fun!

Xplorer activities are listed here.

Have fun together

Go Xplore! find out more at

At an Event

Events are a great place to start orienteering. Most have a range of courses designed to suit all ages and abilities. Use the Find an event button to find an orienteering event suitable for you.

There are four levels of orienteering event: Local, Regional, National and Major.
Newcomers often find Local events a good way to start orienteering as they are less formal, lower cost and you can enter on the day. For higher-level events, you usually have to enter online in advance.

Orienteering Events are organised by the many orienteering clubs throughout the UK. Clubs take it in turn to stage events and the club members help with the organisation. Most helpers can compete in the event as well, either before or after they have helped.

The map enables you to search for events near you taking place.

If you know which event you are going to, you can always contact the event organiser who will happily answer any questions you might still have.     

Want to know more about orienteering?  Check out the ‘Newcomer’s Guide’ here.

Are you interested in orienteering, but don’t know enough about the sport?
This set of Frequently Asked Questions will help you find out more.