Devon Orienteering


Plymouth Central Park

Permanent Orienteering Course

Info updated: 02nd Apr

Plymouth Central Park is adjacent to Plymouth Argyle Football Club and the Park & Ride.

The permanent course has been updated (March 2022) as a result of a partnership between Plymouth City Council, Argyle Community Trust and Devon Orienteering Club.

The aim is to give members of the public an opportunity to try out the sport. It is suitable for people of all ages and abilities and available for individuals, families and groups, including those in schools, colleges and other settings. The Permanent Course also provides an opportunity for people who are familiar with the sport to train, coach others and progress.

For all details and copies of free maps see:

Courses  There are a range of suggested courses, colour-coded in sequence of length, amount of climb, and difficulty from white to red:

  • Easy (White Course)
  • Moderate (Yellow Course)
  • Intermediate (Orange Course)
  • Harder (Light Green)
  • Longer (Red)
  • Wheelchair and Buggy Friendly (White Course Option 2)

In addition, one map shows all of the control sites within Central Park. You may wish to plan your own route.

NB. Please be aware that there are some slopes on the Wheelchair and Buggy Friendly Course.

All courses start at the entrance to Central Park’s Community Sports Hub, just east of the Clock Tower. (The Start post is by the path to the Sports Hub at one end of the hedge.) All courses finish immediately north-east of the Clock Tower.

NB. The distances shown on the Control Description sheet represent the straight line distances between the controls. The route people actually follow will invariably be longer.

What is Orienteering? The object of the sport is to navigate around your course, visiting all controls in the correct order. Typically, at orienteering events, the fastest time is the winner, requiring a combination of navigational skills and physical fitness.

Orienteering provides benefits to people’s physical and mental health and well-being.

The equipment you need

What the controls look like The control markers are wooden posts about 1 metre tall.  Each post has a plate attached to it, showing the control number. The control number confirms you are at the correct control, as shown on the control descriptions. e.g.

White Course 1st Control has number 45 on the post. It is at a road and path junction.

Finding the Controls The post is located in the centre of the circle. The control description describes where the control is located. This a particular feature on the ground such as:  East side of stone wall

In addition, each plate has a letter in the four corners of the plate. You may wish to write down one of the letters in one corner of the plate, to prove you have been there.

Getting started A useful tip is to ensure you have the map oriented, in other words the correct way round. This means that features which are in front of you on the ground are in front of you on the map. You will need to identify at least two features on the ground to achieve this e.g. the clocktower, a building or a path junction.  

Safety points

  • Participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety whilst using the course.
  • Some of the paths may be muddy and slippery; take care.
  • Central Park is not flat; be prepared for some steeper areas, shown by contours on the map.
  • Watch out for walkers, cyclists and other members of the public so you don’t accidentally bump into them.
  • The White, Yellow and Orange courses stay entirely within the bounds of Central Park.
  • The Light Green and Red Courses may include a short area of quiet streets on the southern edge of the park. Watch out for vehicles in this area.
  • Be aware of some slopes on the wheelchair and buggy friendly course.
  • If out on your own, let someone know your plans.
  • Group leaders may advise that young people go out in pairs and that a whistle is carried, which may be used in the event of an accident or incident.
  • In an emergency call 999 or 112.
  • Whilst risks related to orienteering in Central Park are very limited, you need to take responsibility for your own safety and well-being.

If you have any comments about using this course, or if you find any of the controls damaged or missing, please contact

We very much hope you enjoy using this permanent orienteering course. You may wish to try other permanent courses within the area or take part in one of the events organised by Devon Orienteering Club. You do not need to be a member to take part in your first three events.   


Nearest town: Plymouth

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Safety and Risk

Participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety whilst using the course.