Orienteering in the Striking Landscapes of Scotland
Orienteering is an adventure sport in which competitors make use of a magnetic compass and a map to navigate their way across diverse terrain on foot, visiting control points as indicated on the map in a pre-determined sequence. Competitors need to decide on the best route between control points in order to complete the course in the quickest time possible. This exciting and challenging sport is very popular in Scotland, a country that has an abundance of beautiful countryside which offers an endless choice of interesting terrain for orienteering courses.
Orienteering can be a very competitive activity, but it is also be an activity that the whole family can participate in and enjoy. With the emphasis on enjoying the outdoors, orienteering clubs throughout Scotland offer a variety of events throughout the year. These occasions include social club events, which also serve as training for participants who want to progress to competitive orienteering. Club members can compete in regional competitions, as well as badge and championship events under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Orienteering League (SOL). Orienteering clubs take turns in organizing Scottish Orienteering League series events and national championships, which are held in some of Scotland’s key orientation areas.
A highlight on the calendar of Scotland’s orienteering enthusiasts is the Scottish Six Day Event which is held every two years. This week long festival of orienteering attracts tens of thousands of competitors from around the world who enjoy the challenge of exploring some of Scotland’s most scenic areas. The next Scottish Six Day Event will be held in the Tayside region of Scotland from the 2nd to the 8th of August 2009.
Permanent orienteering courses have been established throughout Scotland where tourists are welcome to test their navigational skills, while at the same time enjoying Scotland’s outdoor life. Orienteering courses in the north of Scotland include Auchteraw, Carbisdale, Ord Hill and Quarrelwood. The north-east of Scotland features courses at Battlehill Wood, Bennachie Wood, Crathes Castle and Kirkhill Forest. In central Scotland orienteering enthusiasts can enjoy Abbey Craig, Allean Forest, Beecraigs Country Park, Cammo Estate, Blackford Hill and fifteen parks in the city of Glasgow. The south-east of Scotland offers Bowhill Estate, Cardrona Forest and Glentress.
Orienteering continues to grow in popularity, and enthusiasts agree that it is a great way to keep both body and mind in peak condition. It is also a great way to get in touch with the natural beauty of Scotland.