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Orienteering in Dorset

Did you love taking part in Beat the Street? Disappointed the Game is over? Or maybe you didn't take part and wish you could have? Then you'll be pleased to know there are plenty of opportunities across Dorset to continue the Beat the Street fun throughout the whole year. Here's some information about the things you can do and how to get involved. 


What is Orienteering?

Orienteering is an activity for all ages that combines map reading with getting active in the great outdoors. Like in Beat the Street, the aim is to navigate between various points on a map. Now though, this will be a special orienteering map and instead of Beat Boxes, the points you’re looking for are called ‘controls’. Rather than tapping your fob/card, you might scan a QR code on your phone, or ‘dib’ the control with a special piece of equipment that is used by the orienteering clubs.

Some people like to play competitively by finding all the ‘controls’ in the shortest time possible, whereas it's also very common to orienteer just for fun. You can navigate on your own or as a team; whichever you prefer. This makes it a great pastime for the whole family and for people of all abilities. The local orienteering clubs even have coaches who can teach you to become a better orienteer!

The Oriento App

Throughout Dorset there quite a few permanent orienteering courses which are open to the public to use at any time. These are in places like parks and forests, as well as some urban areas. Check out the Oriento website to search for courses close to you. The website lists all the permanent orienteering courses in Dorset.

The Oriento app makes it easy to get involved, as it allows you to use your smartphone to scan a QR code on the ‘control’ to show that you have found it. You can record how long it takes you to find the controls and compare with others for a fun competition. You'll need to get hold of a map first for the course you want to try: these can be downloaded for free from the orienteering clubs’ websites.

Orienteering Clubs

Dorset has two Orienteering Clubs: Wessex Orienteering Club (WOC) and Wimborne Orienteers. Both clubs offer the chance to take part in fun and sociable orienteering events and have coaches who can help you to improve your orienteering skills. You can also arrange orienteering lessons for your school. For those who really want to test their fitness and improve their speed, WOC offers a weekly running practice session on Tuesday evenings. See their website for more details.

Special offer!

Wessex Orienteering is offering FREE membership for new junior members! This voucher entitles anyone aged 16 and under to free club membership, and gives that person and an accompanying adult free entry to any of the club events.


Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game where you can navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and look for the geocache (hidden container) at that location. The latest visitor to that spot may have even left a gift for you!

There are hundreds of Geocaches all across Dorset, so you can have a go wherever you live. Register for free on their website to search for the ones near you. Get your co-ordinates, get outdoors and see how many you can find!

Need some support?

If you're finding it challenging to make physical activity a part of your daily life, our Wellness Coaches can support you to find the best ways to make changes and build a healthy lifestyle. Give our friendly team a call or register online to find out how we can support you.

You can look for all sorts of activities to help you build a healthy lifestyle on our Activity Finder.

How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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