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Orienteering is a challenging outdoor sport, which exercises mind and body. The aim is to navigate around the course as quickly as possible, recording the controls visited along the way.
Speed and navigation are important skills for successful orienteering. When developing your orienteering skills the aim is to try to take shorter, but often slower cross-country routes, thus reducing the distance travelled, rather than keeping to the mapped paths.
On choosing a course, you will see the controls are listed in the order they should be visited. The start point is shown as a triangle on the map and the finish point is shown as two circles. Control points will be found within the numbered circles, and the description box on the control sheet lists the defining features to look out for at each control point.
Control points are marked with small oak posts. The posts have markers, which display a square divided into red and white triangles and control codes are also displayed underneath as detailed in the picture below.
Orienteering at Plas Newydd, Llangollen
Why not try the orienteering course at Plas Newydd in Llangollen? The maps and course sheets are available to download and print from the links below. There is no need to book and the maps are free to download. The gardens at Plas Newydd are open all year round.
In total there are nine courses to complete within the grounds of Plas Newydd. The four longer courses (Butler, Ponsonby, Regency and Gothic) are line courses. The points are listed in order, and features to look out for are listed in the descriptions box.
Four of the courses are anagram courses (Cyflmen, Dairy, Stables and Y Caban). At the control points, collect the single letters to make up a word.
The paths around Plas Newydd are well maintained and accessible. There is quite a substantial descent in places to reach the valley walk in the dell.
Two upper level courses have been designed, which are easily accessible by wheelchair users and those with limited mobility. The Accessible course is an upper level course, around the front of the house and the bowling green. Y Caban is an anagram course, which takes in the paths below Y Caban but does not venture into the dell.
The gardens at Plas Newydd are open daily to the public. It is a popular site for dog walking. Signs are located around the site asking dog owners to keep dogs on leads. Every effort is made to keep the grounds clean and tidy, however please be aware that there may be traces of dog faeces away from the main paths.
Parts of the grounds are accessible by vehicles, please be aware of these, especially when crossing the driveway.
In the dell please be aware of the water hazard. Always use the bridges to cross the stream to reduce the risk of falling in.
Young children should be supervised during the activity. It is recommended that you familiarise yourself with landmarks around the grounds and agree meeting points with older children, which may not be supervised.
The gardens and lawns are quite exposed, please bring suitable clothing for the weather conditions and always wear sun cream in summer.
Although the stables are open for refreshments when the house is open, please ensure drinks are available to your family or group at all times.