Derby Markeaton Park event suitable for beginners.

DVO welcomes newcomers to orienteering

Heard about orienteering, perhaps at school, or from fellow runners and want to check it out? Derwent Valley Orienteers welcome anyone who is interested to try out orienteering, either as a competitive run or a walk out with the family, or anything in between.

Help for newcomers

DVO welcomes beginners and new members, whatever your level of experience. We can help you learn orienteering and improve, either informally by guidance from club members at your first events or through coaching.

If you have any questions do Contact us via our form or ask us a question via Facebook.

Often, people will try their first events in parks like Markeaton or Darley Park in Derby and then try more challenging woodland,  moorland or urban street courses.

Many newcomers are families who can walk or run together or separately. Orienteering starts are usually timed at intervals, so there is no pressure of a mass start. You can go at the speed you want to navigate to the controls on your map, with or without a compass.  Your overall time and split times are recorded through a dibber (electronic timing chips strapped to a finger) to record your progress. It’s fun to work out where you may have lost time or could have improved your choice of route.

Darley Park Finish

Runners from a Parkrun, running club or fell-running background often enjoy the challenge of running across different types of terrain while navigating with a map. The fastest runners aren’t necessarily those at the top, but it certainly helps and you will need to run fast to win your age class. Most Men’s Open winners have 5K Parkrun times of well under 20 minutes.

More experienced runners upload their GPS traces from their watches to compare their routes to other competitors via the optional Routegadget tool which is available when results are published after every event.

Recommended advice for newcomers

Learn more about joining DVO

Junior awards scheme

To help juniors learn orienteering in Derwent Valley Orienteers introduced a scheme for encouraging juniors and their families to progress. We hope that they will go from learning the basics at school, to having fun at inter-school orienteering competitions then developing their skills at our Saturday Park events. Then move on to completing courses at our Local and Regional Club Events.

There are three parts to the scheme – learn more about the Junior Awards Scheme and download the logbook.


Future events

Saturday 8 June 2024
Darley Park

Thursday 13 June 2024

Saturday 22 June 2024
Allestree Park

Recent results

Sunday 19 May 2024
Hardwick Park

Sunday 3 March 2024
Shipley Country Park

Saturday 10 February 2024
Elvaston Castle

Routegadget (view routes)

MapRun Results

Join DVO

Derwent Valley Orienteers are a friendly, active club with members throughout Derbyshire.

We welcome new members whatever your experience and can help you learn orienteering and how to improve, either informally or through coaching.

Learn more


You can subscribe to receive information about future events suitable for novices.


We’re supported by the Orienteering Foundation

In 2023, thanks to a grant from the Orienteering Foundation, our Club is focusing on offering training courses for newcomers and help at local events in the Derby Area and beyond, but open to people from across Derbyshire.