Orienteering trails in Dorset

Explore the National Trust's coast and countryside in Dorset and get active outdoors with our nature-inspired orienteering trails pack.

We have been working with our local orienteering clubs to create trails for children and families. No need for a compass, just download one or both of the trail packs below and, using the orienteering markers on the ground, you can navigate around woodlands, sand dunes and even an island. If you have time, complete all of them or keep coming back, exploring the trails throughout the year, looking for surprises as the seasons change.

The Dorset trail packs

Let's explore - three great starter routes to help you get into orienteering.

  • Waxcap Trail, Stonebarrow Hill on the Golden Cap Estate: discover Waxcap fungi around the site of a Bronze Age burial mound and former MOD radar station.
  • Emperor Dragonfly Trail, Studland Bay: venture around the golden sands of Studland Bay, home to birds and dragonflies.
  • Dartford Warbler Trail, Brownsea Island: explore this special island, seeking out the little bird that escaped extinction.

Download the Let's explore trails pack (pdf)

Keen to do more - three trickier routes, for when you're ready for the next challenge.

  • Dormouse Trail, Langdon Hill on the Golden Cap Estate: look out for dormice as you explore the woodland with views to Golden Cap, the highest point on the South Coast.
  • Spiny Seahorse Trail, Studland Bay: explore the bay, home to seahorses, bugs and birds.
  • Devil's Matchstick Trail, Brownsea Island: track your way around beautiful Brownsea, looking out for the unusual matchstick-shaped lichen.

Download the Keen to do more trails pack (pdf)