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West Anglian Orienteering Club

Orienteering when it suitspermanent and virtual courses

Last Updated: Fri 3 Mar 2023

Permanent or Virtual orienteering courses allow you to discover new areas away from other members of the public – so they’re perfect for social distancing and great for both families and individuals.

Orienteering is a fun sport where you navigate your way around a series of checkpoints in the fastest time. Permanent Orienteering Courses have ‘checkpoint’ posts or plaques to find in forests and parks. Virtual Orienteering Courses use an app on your mobile phone that beeps when you reach the right place as you go along. You can try either type of course at any time and at your own pace, so they offer a fun and different way to exercise without needing to be near others. For those that relish a competitive element, virtual courses allow you to immediately view your results and compare with others who have also done that course.

Follow the links to find out more and access free downloadable maps:

Here is more info and the maps for permanent courses including at Milton Country Park, Hinchingbrooke Country Park, Crown Lakes, and Ferry Meadows in Nene Park.

Here you can read more on virtual courses, which use the free MapRun6 app for a smartphone and GPS. Courses in our area include: Cambridge (city centre and south), Fen Ditton, Trumpington, Sawston, Bar Hill, Bedford, St Neots, Soham, Godmanchester, Chatteris, March, Whittlesey and Yaxley, and more are being added all of the time. Find MapRun courses anywhere in the UK using the portal developed in conjunction with WAOC.

Other than having the map or app on your phone, you need little else to get going! A compass isn't necessary on simple courses, just be dressed ready for the outdoors whether you’re planning to run or walk.

Orienteering is a fantastic chance to exercise and at the same time learn something new, connect with the outdoors, and have the satisfaction of completing a challenge. It’s great fun!