Map reading and compass courses

Learn how to read a map and use a compass

Beginners will learn to read a map and use a compass on the one day map reading course and Bronze National Navigation Award Scheme.
Learn to use a compass and accurate navigation techniques to cross more open countryside on a two day map and compass course or a Silver National Navigation Award Scheme course.
Confidently navigate in the UK hills and mountains using a map and compass on the Mountain Navigation course or the National Navigation Award Scheme Gold level training course.

  • Dear Nigel,  
    Just wanted to say thank you for your teaching on the recent map reading course.
    Neal and I put our new skills to the test during a weekend walking in the Black Mountains. We were pleased to put all the skills into practice and we didn't get lost once! Neither did we argue over the Map!
    Thanks again
    Ellie and Neal - Two day map reading April 2017
  • Hi nigel,
    Decided to bite the bullet and have a go. In North Devon, just passed Blackpool mill cottage. Thank you so much, you have given me the confidence, to do this, and it is great, putting all the things you taught into good practice. Having a great time with map and compass.
    Best wishes Laura Laura - Two day map reading course July 2017
  • Hi Nigel, I am dropping you this note to thank you for the excellent NNAS Silver course I recently attended with you in the New Forest. Great Tuition, plenty of time to discuss the technical aspects of navigation. Through your good work I learnt some new techniques and ironed out some old bad habits I had acquired over a number of years and of course all in a great location.
    Keep up the good work. Chris Duff March 2017 (Silver NNAS)
  • Many thanks for a really enjoyable & excellent day. I really valued the clear & detailed instruction you provided yesterday. Andrew - One to one map reading (May 17)
We are back in business and looking forward to seeing you on a….. One, two day, bespoke and NNAS courses….
  • Welcome back!
    Firstly I would like to thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult days. New Forest Navigation (Nigel) is back up and if not fully running at least walking and starting to offer course dates for this summer and autumn. Initially the number of people on each course will be fewer but tuition and learning will be the same fantastic quality with a few tweaks to keep everyone safe.
  • Book with confidence
    Book with confidence: Everyone can amend, cancel and postpone a course at anytime should they want to, and re-book onto a suitable replacement course up to April 2021.

    There is no pressure to attend a course now - I want everyone to attend when they are happy to do so. You can postpone any course until April 2021. Just let me know and I will make a diary note to email you later in the year with some dates and options.

    If you have booked a two day weekend course (not NNAS) and wanted to do a longer midweek day 'compressed' day course instead as a one to one, or one to two then do get in touch. This option will not cost any extra for those that have postponed a courses.
  • Keeping safe
    Keeping us all safe:
    Do not attend the course if you have or may have been in contact with anyone who has displayed any of the symptoms of coronavirus. You should consult and follow the official government advice if you are not sure wether you are able to attend; If in doubt postpone and attend another day!
    Joining instructions will also include details of where to assemble at each car park/start location.
    Every participant will get their own pack of maps, compasses and laminated resources to use for the duration of the course. These will all be sterilised at the end of each course and copies of the resources will be available to download from the website.
    Each participant will have their own signing on form.
    The course will be taught whilst maintaining social distancing with a maximum group size of 6 participants and will make use of the wider tracks and paths; during the course there will still be plenty of opportunity to stop, ask questions, look and learn.
    Each participant will need to be fully equip for the expected weather and ground conditions and should also bring a small personal first aid kit and consider bringing an 'orange survival bag' (especially during wetter/colder weather).
    Participants and the group leader will always be guided by and follow current government advice on how to 'Protect yourself and others from Coronavirus' - website link: The government guidance gives instructions for staying safe outside your home and for meeting people from outside you household.
    All activities are risk assessed and an extra assessment has been made for carrying out emergency first aid by the group leader (Nigel) who always carries emergency equipment and a full first aid kit.
    A full safety and socially distancing briefing will be made before the course starts.
    Face coverings: These are not mandatory for any course; you may want to bring one anyway incase for any reason outdoor distancing is not possible or you need require non emergency first aid assistance. A folded buff or simple covering made form a folded scarf will be sufficient.
    Lifts: Nigel will not be able to give anyone a lift from the station or to/from accommodation. Some courses start close to the station (20 minutes walk) or a one to one/two midweek course could be arranged that starts at the station or closer to it.

One day and two day map reading and compass courses

Learn how to read a map and use a compass on tracks, paths and across open countryside

learning to use compass bearings and navigation skills on a one and two day how to use a map and compass course

One or two day map day reading course. Ideal for complete beginners or those looking to improve navigation skills.

Learn how to use a map and easy to identify features to find your way on tracks, paths and across open countryside.

Learn how to use a compass to walk on bearings and point you down the correct path. Everyone can - and does learn how to use a compass!

Learn what to do if you are lost and how to relocate.

Suitable for absolute beginners or those looking to improve skills

Courses run all year - every month, weekends and midweek

Around 6 on each course - available as 1:1, 1:2 and groups

National Navigation Award Scheme courses

Bronze, Silver and Gold level training and assesment courses

Learning to navigate on more open countryside on a National Navigation Award Scheme bronze silver and gold nnas course

Personal performance, non-competitive, incentive scheme for anyone looking to learn navigation skills and get out and enjoy the countryside.

Bronze level course suitable for complete beginners that want learn to use a map and compass. Silver level courses for those that want to navigate more open countryside occasionally away from tracks and paths.

Bronze and silver level training and assessments courses in the New Forest, Dorset and Wiltshire.

Gold level training and assessment courses in South Wales.

Bronze - beginners
Silver - intermediate
Gold - advanced

Courses run regularly throughout the year in New Forest and Wales

Around 6 on each course - available as 1:1, 1:2 and groups

Choose New Forest Navigation 
Qualified mountain leader and registered NNAS provider
Fully insured for all activities
Outdoor first aid qualified
Over 20 years experience leading and training groups
Book and pay 
Booking a course

Complete the website booking form!
You can check how many places are remaining for each course, how much the course costs and other information on the course page, or check out the course calendar for every course date and places remaining

Paying for a course

You can pay immediately after you have booked using the website booking form. Payment is made using PayPal and you do not need a PayPal account to securely process and debit or credit card. If you choose to pay later you will be emailed an invoice with other payment options. Full payment is required if the course starts within the next 8 weeks. You can also pay using the website payment page.

Course dates and places left 
Latest course information

Check out each courses website page for all course dates and number of places remaining for each course or check out the course calendar for every course date a number of places remaining.

Course locations

Courses take place across the New Forest and usually start from a forest car park. Most are easily reached by car from surrounding towns and villages or further afield; a lift can be arranged if you are arriving by public transport or want a lift from your accommodation.
Course location map
Comprehensive joining details are sent a couple of weeks prior to the course date with details of the course location, start and finish times and suggestions for what to bring.

Gift vouchers 

Map reading courses gift vouchers

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Vouchers can be bought for all map reading courses and outdoor skills courses.

Gift a voucher and let the recipient book a course on a date that suits them.

Vouchers can bought at anytime and do not have to be used until April 2021!

Get in touch...

Course dates and times…


Mountain navigation and hill skills

Learn how to use a map and compass to safely navigate UK hills and mountains

map holding map and compass in brecon beacons national park

Keep on 'track' and safe in UK hills and mountains.

Learn how to use contours, compass bearings and accurate pacing and timings to stay safe and 'on track'.

Ideal for aspiring mountain leaders and those looking to walk national trails and paths.

Learn to use a map and compass in UK hills and mountains

Spring and Autumn courses dates - also consider the Gold NNAS

Around 6-8 on each course - available for groups and clubs

Further courses and activities

Outdoor skills courses and activities for individuals, groups, clubs and corporate 'away days'

Backpacking and wild camping

Backpacking and wild camping

Backpacking and wild camping - courses, advice, training and adventures

learning to use backpacking equipment and wild camping skills

Backpacking and wild camping courses - Learn to plan and go on your own adventures.

Learn essential skills on an introduction to backpacking course in the New Forest - most equipment and food can be provided.

Join New Forest Navigation on a one or two night wild camping adventure on Dartmoor or south Wales - most equipment and food can be provided or bring your own.

Equipment buying advice, training and expedition and wild camping training courses for one to one, couples or groups. Nigel has over 20 years of experience in leading, advising and training in outdoor skills.

Learn essential tips, tricks and skills to go on you own adventures

Regular dates through out the year or arranged to suit your group or club

Wild camping and backpacking is fantastic adventure for groups

Groups, clubs and corporate

Group, team and corporate activities

Take your next team day outside! Fun, challenging and rewarding activities for your group.

Members of a team enjoy a map reading course as a corporate activity in the New Forest

Introduction to map reading courses

Learn to read a map and use a compass as a team

Learn how to use a map and easy to find features to walk on tracks and paths.

Easy to learn and easy to remember way to use a compass to point you down the correct path or track!
Learn map reading as a team or group - half day courses can be arranged to suit your schedule

Fun learning experience that everyone can engage in, enjoy and achieve.

Half day or full day (one day map reading course) - All equipment provided. Just bring your team, some food and water.

Courses can be arranged for one to one, couples or groups. Weekends, midweek and summer evenings.

Learn to read a map and use a compass

Arranged to suit your team day! Half and full day options

Groups of around 12 people can learn together as a team

Night navigation

Night navigation

Fun way to learn low visibility techniques and put them to the test

Head torches light up a map and compass during a night navigation low visibility course on New Forest heathland

Learn how to use accurate timing, pacing and compass bearings to in low visibility conditions.

Night navigation courses take place a few times a year on the fainter paths and open heathland.

The course is ideal for those who have already undertaken some training already and want to put skills to the test.

Learn how to use a map, compass, accurate pacing and navigation in low visibility

Course takes place spring and autumn - can be arranged for small groups on request

4-6 people on each course - or book as a 1:1 or 1:2 or group.

Viewranger smartphone GPS

Viewranger smartphone gps software

Learn how to use Viewranger software on your smartphone

Using view ranger smartphone software to plan walk a route on forest tracks and paths

Turn your smartphone into an outdoor GPS mapping and tracking device.

Indoor and outdoor training with an opportunity to try out the software in the New Forest.

Courses can be arranged for your group, club or team.

Learn essential settings and how to use Viewranger on your smartphone

Courses available on request for one to one, small groups and clubs

Small group sizes with easy to learn guidance notes you can take home with you

New Forest Navigation map reading courses start from car parks and villages within the New Forest National Park. The New Forest is located in south Hampshire, South East England. It is easily accessible from the surrounding counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Surrey, Sussex and London. No need to travel to Snowdnia or Peak District with the New Forest on your door step!
Course start locations are reached easily from all New Forest villages and towns, which all have a huge range of accommodation options; Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst, Lymington, Christchurch, Fordingbridge, Ringwood, Burley, Sway and further afield at Bournemouth, Southampton and Salisbury.

New Forest Navigation

Learn Map Reading and how to use a Compass courses in the New Forest.
New Forest National Park, Hampshire, UK