Stonebarrow Permanent Orienteering Course

We're delighted to now offer a permanent orienteering course at Stonebarrow on the Golden Cap Estate. Orienteering appeals to all ages, and it's a great way to explore the estate and have fun with the family. You can also tick off a 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ challenge - Find your way with a map and compass.

What is it?

The Stonebarrow Permanent Orienteering Course (Stonebarrow POC) consists of three courses on the Golden Cap Estate, established by the National Trust and Wimborne Orienteers . Each route has a series of red-and-white metal markers (see photo above). They're fixed to wooden structures such as gates and posts on the slopes of Stonebarrow Hill and the fields to the south. Each marker has a unique two-letter code.

What's the challenge?

The quest is to find your way around a course using one of the the three maps (which you can download to take with you.)

  • Short Course - 0.6 miles (1km) with 7 control markers
  • Medium Course - 1.2 miles (2km) with 10 control markers
  • Long Course - 2 miles (3.2km) with 13 control markers

On the right of each map is a grid with three columns - control number, description and code. When you find each marker, write its two-letter code in the third column.

You can check if you're right by looking at the answers underneath the grid. To prevent you accidentally seeing an answer, they're encrypted. There is a simple decryption key at the bottom.

Understanding the maps

Courses are reversible and can be shortened, as you'll see from the maps. The start and finish, shown by a red triangle, is outside the National Trust Shop. Controls are shown by red circles. Red lines show the shortest route between controls, but finding a good route is your task...

Not sure of the symbols and colours used on orienteering maps? You can download the orienteering legend (PDF / 0.1MB) download to take with you along with your chosen route map.

View and download the routes

Safety matters

  • If you get lost, head north (uphill) to the road
  • Dense vegetation (dark green) is a variable mixture of gorse, bramble, thorn and bracken
  • Rough open areas are generally crossable though some parts are covered by heavy bracken in summer
  • Keep clear of the cliff edges if you're doing the Long Course