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Orienteering is a challenging outdoor adventure sport that exercises both the mind and the body. The aim is to navigate in sequence between control points (see photo) marked on a unique orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. It does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run, walk or jog the course and progress at your own pace. Orienteering can take place anywhere from remote forest and countryside to urban parks and school playgrounds. It’s a great sport for runners, joggers and walkers who want to improve their navigation skills or for anyone who loves the outdoors. Orienteering is the adventure sport for all.

How is an Orienteering Compass used? It’s quite simple when you get the hang of it. Say you want to go from point A on your orienteering map to point B (and you are currently standing at point A). Align the edge of the compass (the long side of the base plate) between the two points on the map, with the Direction of Travel Arrow pointing towards point B. By turning the Compass Housing, align the orienting lines inside the housing with the grid lines of the map. The lines on the map going north, that is. Ensure the Orienting Arrow is pointing north (up the map). Now the compass is set to the required bearing. Hold the compass in your hand. And you’ll have to hold it quite flat, so that the compass needle can turn. Then turn yourself, your hand, the entire compass, just make sure the Compass Housing doesn’t turn, and turn it until the red compass needle is aligned with the Orienting Arrow inside the Compass Housing. The Direction of Travel Arrow will then point towards point B.

Local orienteering facilities:

Tegg’s Nose Country Park

Tel: 01625 614279
Directions: Just off the A537 Buxton Road, signposted from Macclesfield.
Open: all year.

Macclesfield Forest

Tel: 01260 252832
Directions: Through Langley village.
Open: all year.

There is a Permanent Orienteering Course (POC) at both Teggs Nose and Macclesfield Forest, set up by the Greater Manchester Orienteering Activities (GMOA) people. The POC at Macc Forest, set up in 2013, includes six courses, ranging from grade White up to Red (all orienteering courses are classified by colour to indicate length and technical difficulty). At a relaxed walking pace with good navigation, the courses should take from 20 minutes (White) to 90 minutes (Red) to complete.


A Guide to Orienteering is a very useful guide to all aspects of orienteering, as suggested by Aubrey.

Manchester and District Orienteering Club (MDOC) covers all parts of Greater Manchester and the surrounding area but the largest concentration of members is in South Manchester and Macclesfield. They welcome both senior and junior members. They have a strong programme for training juniors in the sport. There is a regular program of events throughout the year.

Greater Manchester Orienteering Activities (GMOA) is a voluntary organisation which sets up and maintains permanent orienteering courses.

Macclesfield Harriers organise occasional orienteering events.

British Orienteering: Official site of the governing body for the United Kingdom. Provides information about the sport, news, events, fixtures, history, rankings, …