Orienteering is the art of navigating your way round a series of points. The maps are large scale with more detail than you would find on an Ordnance Survey map. The idea is to do it at your best speed but it is also a great way to take a walk with a purpose and when you are ready, get you off the beaten track.
Orienteering in Northern Ireland provides the opportunity to view some spectacular scenery from the woodlands of Castle Ward Demesne in Co Down to the banks of the River Roe in Limavady. These are particularly good for beginners with lots of help on hand to get you started and courses suitable for all the family. Also check out the list of activity operators. These activity centres will offer orienteering as part of an action-packed adventure day at a reasonable cost. An alternative option to try out one of Northern Ireland's many Ecotrails. These provide an opportunity for young people to develop an awareness, appreciation and understanding of, and responsibility to, their local natural and built environment by taking part in an environmental trail linked to the sport of orienteering. For more info see EcotrailsNI.com
How to get started
One of the easiest ways to start orienteering is to go along to an event.
Check out www.niorienteering.org.uk for a full list. Alternatively, there are many activity providers who offer orienteering as one of their many activities.
Is it easy?
Orienteering is one of the easiest outdoor activities to start. The sport requires little equipment and is suited to individuals of all levels of fitness.
All you need to get started is a map, a compass, a pair of good quality trainers and some suitable outdoor clothing.
Is it expensive?
Events typically cost between £2 and £8. To join a club, annual membership for a junior is about £5 and £18 for seniors. Any equipment such as compasses can be hired from the club for each event.
Check out the list of activity operators also - some operators will do orienteering as part of an action-packed adventure day at a reasonable cost.
If you chose to start with a Permanent Orienteering Course, maps cost around £1.50.