Other country sports
What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


Active sport
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What is it?

  • Activities under this heading include caving and potholing, climbing and mountaineering, orienteering and abseiling.  

  • More details of each of them can be obtained from the specialist organisations listed below.  

  • They mostly involve the use of special geographical features in the countryside (caves, hills, mountains) though some climbing is now done in sports centres. 

  • Other country-based activities covered elsewhere include cycling, rambling, hunting and horse riding, shooting, nature hobbies

Find out more


Caves and Caving in the UK  www.sat.dundee.ac.uk/~arb/speleo.html 
National Caving Association  www.nca.org.uk/ 
Unofficial UK Climbing Home Page  www.lbell.demon.co.uk/ 
British Mountaineering Council  www.thebmc.org/ 
British Orienteering Federation  www.cix.co.uk/~bof/ 


Caves and Caving 
Descent - Magazine of Underground Exploration 
High Mountain Sports 
Compass Sport 

Getting started

  • Find a caving, climbing or other local group or club (see organisations above).

  • See if your local group has introductory sessions or special events.  Take a climbing class at your local sports centre.

  • Consult books or magazines on these types of countryside activities.

  • Check in your local library/paper or sports centre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • All these activities require a degree of physical fitness but they are not limited to particular age groups or sex. 

  • You can go caving or climbing on your own, but it is generally safer to do so with other people in case some problem arises.  

  • Many people belong to groups or clubs for these activities, thus gaining information about possible locations and training opportunities as well general social contact.  

Equipment or clothing
  • The basic requirement is suitable clothing and footwear for the activity in question, especially taking into account its outdoor nature.  

  • In addition ropes, harnesses and other equipment may be needed, especially for those taking a serious interest in these areas.

A place or facilities
  • Many of the suitable locations for caving, climbing or mountaineering in the UK are located in the west and/or north of the country.  There are also many opportunities for these activities overseas.  

  • Many people take part during their weekends and holiday periods, allowing them to travel to further away locations.  

  • There are now artificial climbing walls at quite a number of sports centres which allow beginners and others to practice their basic skills.

Have a go - get started now


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