In the forest

In the forest

Looking for family sports activities?

Do you wish there was some kind of sport that you could take up as a family? Something that enabled you to get some exercise, something that got you all out of the house and experiencing your local countryside, something that was not only fun but also an adventure?

Well orienteering is one such sport that ticks all of those boxes!

Orienteering is a great way for the whole family to get outdoors, explore the forest or countryside, while taking part in fun exercise and learning new skills that will be useful for life!

Orienteering takes place in forests. moorlands, hills, sand dunes and parks. With the help of a map you choose the route you take around the countryside from one control marker to the next. Walk around as a family group, jog or run – it’s up to you.

Maybe you just need to get out on a Sunday morning and brush away the cobwebs; perhaps your family fancies a change from the usual weekend walk; or maybe you are a sports person who wants a challenge that will stretch both your muscles and your mind. You decide how serious and competitive you want to be.

At most orienteering events there will be a range of courses available with some of these suitable for family groups. Most events have “colour-coded” courses, and white or yellow courses are ideal for families with young children.

Reaching the finish!

Reaching the finish!

You need very little equipment – a pair of trainers and an old tracksuit will get you started. A compass is useful but not essential for beginners. Fees for events vary from £3.00 adult / £1.00 child for smaller events to £10.00 adult / £4.00 child for regional or national events. The popular ‘string course’ for younger children is free.

There are permanent orienteering courses locally that can be visited at your leisure, so why not give them a try?

  • White White courses are very easy with all controls on paths. They are mainly used by 6-10 year olds and family groups. Length of course 1.0 – 1.5km.
  • Yellow Yellow courses use simple linear features like paths, walls and streams. They are mainly used by under 12’s and families. Length of course 1.5 – 2.5km.