What is Orienteering?

In orienteering you navigate your way between control points marked on a specially drawn map. While there are plenty of people who enjoy the sport competitively, racing between posts in the fastest possible time, it’s perfectly OK to enjoy orienteering at your own pace, whatever your age or level of fitness – and you’ll see more of the parks that way. But you could also get together with members of your club, school or even neighbourhood to organise a competition.

How do you do it?

The orienteering routes are mapped out using a series of distinctive green, red and white posts dotted around Campbell Park, Willen Lake, Caldecotte Lake and the Ouzel Valley Park.  The posts are part of a permanent orienteering course that is open to anyone who wants to try out the sport, or simply give a different purpose to their outing to the park.

Each course is represented by a series of numbers. Once you’ve chosen your course the challenge is to use the map – and a compass if you want – to find your way to the control post with that number. When you spot the post – and some of them are quite well-hidden! – you simply write down the two letters engraved on the post in a grid on the back of the map – proof that you really did find the post. If you’re doing the course competitively you should time how long it takes you to navigate your way around.

Maps are available to download below and offer a choice of courses from a gentle 2km to an ambitious 15km, visiting one or all three of the parks.

South Midlands Orienteering Club

Each month in the spring and summer South Midlands Orienteering Club host a monthly orienteering events aimed at beginners and club members.  Open to individuals and groups, see our What's on calendar for event details.

To join the South Midlands Orienteering Club and discover how to use maps while having fun in the parks, see www.smoc.info for more information.

    Discover our parks

    • Willen Lake South


      Willen Lake - Park Image.jpg

      Willen Lake is Milton Keynes’ most popular park. Visitors take part in watersports activities, go cycling, enjoy the playground, try the high ropes course or simply picnic along Willen’s shores. It’s a great place to entertain all ages of family and friends, whether it’s a visit to the café or restaurant, a stroll, trying a beginners’ course in sailing or hiring a pedalo or bike.

    • Campbell Park


      Campbell Park - Park Image.jpg

      Located at the heart of Milton Keynes, Campbell Park hosts many of Milton Keynes’ major festivals and events. Its imaginative mix of formal gardens, water features, woodland and open pasture mean it’s an ideal spot to enjoy the changing seasons.

    • Caldecotte Lake


      Caldecotte Lake.jpg (1)

      Planning an outdoor adventure in Milton Keynes? Explore the beautiful location of Caldecotte Lake. Whether its watersports, bird watching or children’s activities, you’re sure to have a great family day out, with lots of space for little ones to run around, plus some tranquil corners to relax as well.

    • Ouzel Valley Park


      Ouzel Valley Park - park.jpg

      The Ouzel Valley Park meanders from Caldecotte Lake in the south to Willen Lake in the north. The park has a spacious, open atmosphere with long views. Much of the land is farmed by The Parks Trust rearing our own cattle and sheep, between the livestock you can still see the remnants of an old field system with the ridge and furrow still visible. Incorporating the historic villages of Woolstone and Woughton, the park is bordered on its western side by the Grand Union Canal.