Map reading and how to use a compass courses

Learn how to use a map and compass to plan and navigate your own routes

One, two day and Bronze National Navigation Award Scheme courses suitable for complete beginners.

Silver and Gold National Navigation Award Scheme, hill & mountain navigation courses for intermediate navigators

One and two day map reading courses

Beginners will learn how to use a map and compass on day one

Two day courses to use contours, additional compass technique and skills learnt on day one to plan and walk routes, consolidate learning and gain further confidence

Day one & two
  • Suitable for complete beginners
  • Everyone WILL learn to use a compass
  • Use a map & compass together
  • Lots of time to learn skills and ask questions
  • All equipment provided
Two day course
  • Start planning and navigating your own routes
  • Start to use contours
  • Learn more compass skills
  • Consolidate skills and gain confidence to navigate on your own

Which course to choose - One or two day map reading course?

Learn how to use a map and compass together on day one. Consolidate skills and use contours and few more tips a tricks on day to gain confidence in using them to plan and navigate your own routes. Most people who do both days find it very beneficial!

Two day course or return and do the second day later

On a one day course you will learn enough to start planning and navigating your own routes.

Over two days you will have the opportunity to consolidate what you have learnt, try the techniques out on a variety of tracks and paths and gain more confidence in using them.

You will also learn how to use larger contours features, check the direction of travel and some of the features using the compass and have the opportunity to plan and n a section of the route.

Feed back form past participants that have done both days or returned for the second later has been very positive. Many found the day gave them increased confidence to go away and navigate on their own.

You can return to do the second day on another weekend if you want to

You can read all about the one and two day map reading courses here

Two day or Bronze National Navigation Award Scheme?

You will learn the same things on the two day course and Bronze NNAS

The two day course and the Bronze National Navigation Award Scheme run alongside each other. Bronze candidates are registered with the NNAS, will be informally assed using a syllabus check list of skills learnt and will be asked a few questions to check understanding of what they have learnt.

Two day or Bronze National Navigation Award Scheme?

The two day course and the Bronze NNAS often run at the same time.

Everyone doing the two day course are learning the Bronze syllabus skills with a few differences:

  • Candidates for the bronze pay £149 per person when they book to cover registration & certificate costs with NNAS

  • If you want to do the BNNAS after the two day course has started then the registraion fee is £15 per person

  • There understanding of what they have learnt is informally assessed against a checklist of syllabus 'skills' and group and individual Q&A's

  • They will get awarded the Bronze level and the chance to down load a swanky certificate and be the envy of their outdoor friends

You can read all the details and look at the syllabus for the Bronze National Navigation Award Scheme course here

How to...

Book & Pay

How to book and pay

When you are ready to book

  • Check the course date has places remaining and where the start location is

  • Have a look on the course calendar to see if you need to pay in full or pay a deposit

  • Complete the booking form and pay using PayPal or request an invoice to pay via bank

Book and pay - FAQ's

You can see every course date on the course calender page. The page will tell you

  • How many places are left on each course
  • If you need to pay a deposit or infull to secure a place
  • Where course start location

Each courses pages also have the very latest information as well as full details of what you will learn on the course.

You are also welcome to securemail if you need further information

You can see every course date on the course calender page. The page will tell you

  • How many places are left on each course and if the course needs minium numbers to goahead.
  • If you need to pay a deposit or in full to secure a place

Usually you can pay a deposit to reserve a place on a courses that is taking place in a few months time, or require minimum numbers to commence.

Deposits will be refunded if the course does not goahed. Usually you will know this 4-8 weeks before the course date.

You are also welcome to securemail if you need further information

Each of the course website pages has pricing information.

One and two day map reading courses

National Navigation Award Scheme courses

Hill and mountain navigation course

The can use the first couple of drop downs and number of people box to on course booking form to calculate what a couyrse will cost.

You are also welcome to securemail if you need further information

There are lots more Frequently Asked Questions on each of the courses own website pages.

These website pages also have loads of information about what you will learn, latest information, start locations, which corses are suitable for beginners etc.

One and two day map reading courses

National Navigation Award Scheme courses

Hill and mountain navigation courses

You are also welcome to securemail if you need further information

National Navigation Award Scheme

Bronze, Silver and Gold level NNAS courses

Learn map and compass skills - everyone learns to use a compass!

Bronze level course suitable for beginners

Learn how to use a compass, contours and easy to identify features to plan and navigate your own routes

Regular courses throughout the year

Bronze and Silver National Navigation Award Scheme in New Forest, Cranbourne Chase, South Downs, south Wales and across the south of England.

Gold National Navigation Award Scheme courses take place in South Wales

Bronze National Navigation Award Scheme

Suitable for complete beginners

Learn to navigate

Plan and walk your own routes

Use a map and compass

Everyone can & WILL learn to use a compass!

All equipment provided

Quality maps & compasses

Bronze National Navigation Award Scheme

Bronze level courses are suitable for complete beginners

Learn how to use a map and compass together to plan and start navigating your own routes on tracks, paths and countryside rights of way.

  • Suitable for complete beginners
  • Everyone WILL learn to use a compass
  • Use a map & compass together
  • Lots of time to learn skills and ask questions
  • All equipment provided
  • Start planning and navigating your own routes
  • Start to use contours
  • Learn more compass skills
  • Consolidate skills and gain confidence to navigate on your own

Silver National Navigation Award Scheme

Intermediate navigators will learn skills to navigate on more open countryside utilising and building on Bronze level techniques

Use compass bearings, finer detail, smaller contour features to navigate on more open countryside and less obvious tracks and paths

  • Suitable for intermediate navigators

    Optional per-day for those who have not completed Bronze or have rusty skills!

  • Learn compass bearings and use of the compass for relocation strategies
  • Use smaller contours features
  • Learn navigation strategies for more open countryside
  • Recognise navigational error and learn relocation statergies
  • Welsh hill and mountain option New for 2024

    Silver NNAS in South Wales. 11 & 12 May. Hill and mountain navigation course

  • Recognised competency by many organisations
  • All equipment provided

Gold National Navigation Award Scheme

Utilise bronze and silver techniques in the contact of Gold NNAS strategies using contours and fine detail as the primary means of navigation

Optional pre-day available for those with rusty skills or wanting to 'acclimatise' to mountain terrain

  • Utilise bronze and silver techniques in the contact of Gold NNAS strategies

    3 day gold option for rusty or lowland silver award holders

  • Intermediate to advanced navigators
  • Navigate intricate terrain in reduced visibility
  • Aspect of slope for relocation
  • Contours and fine detail as prime method of navigation
  • Recognise navigational error and learn relocation statergies
  • Accurately maintain continuous map contact
  • Use back bearing and transits to confirm position

Bronze NNAS

On-Your-Bike

Bronze National Navigation Award Scheme on your MTB!

Check out Wessex Adventures if you want to do the Bronze National Navigation Award Scheme, one and two day navigation courses on your off road bike.

Latest information

Check out the 'latest information' for details of the next few courses, places left and what you need to to do to reserve a place or book onto that courses date or use the course calendar to every date and options to filter by course name.

Go to the courses date calendar page or the next 'tab' to see every course date, places remaining and if you can pay in full or pay a deposit to secure a place.

If you need further information then use the contact form or securemail to find out more.

Next few you can book or reserve TODAY...Date/s 2023/24
One day map reading - central New Forest (can use public transport)27 June (midweek course)
Two day map reading and/or Bronze NNAS - New Forest27 & 28 June (midweek course)
One day map reading - New Forest 29 June
Two day map reading and/or Bronze NNAS - New Forest29 & 30 June
Midweek - One day map reading - central New Forest (can use public transport)11 July (Thursday
One day map reading - New Forest 11 July (Thurs)
Two day map reading and/or Bronze NNAS - New Forest11 & 12 July (midweek course)
One day map reading - South Downs13 July
Two day map reading and/or Bronze NNAS - South Downs13 & 14 July
Silver NNAS - North West New Forest20 & 21 July
Introduction to map reading - Morning course8 August
Introduction to map reading - Morning course9 August
One day map reading - New Forest10 August
Two day map reading and/or Bronze NNAS - New Forest10 & 11 August

Course dates

Every course page has the latest dates and details for up coming courses. There are courses scheduled right up to April 2025. Many are in the central New Forest but also South Downs, Cranbourne Chase area, South Wales and other locations across the south.

Go to the courses date calendar page or the next 'tab' to see every course date, places remaining and if you can pay in full or pay a deposit to secure a place.

If you need further information then use the contact form or securemail to find out more.

Why choose New Forest Navigation

Fully qualified, fully insured and first aid trained

Comprehensive joining details and suggested kit list

Bespoke activities available for groups, couples and individuals

Over 30 years experience leading , instructing and guiding

Map reading course gift vouchers

Valid for 6 months* and can be purchased for any navigation course. Emailed to purchaser within 72 hours. Recipiant books as normal when they find a date that suits.

Navigation courses - Learn how to use a map and compass

New Forest Navigation map reading courses start from car parks and villages within the New Forest National Park. Courses also start in Cranbourne Chase, South Downs, Dorset, Wilstshire and Hampshire. 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.

Check out Wessex Adventures for guided mountain biking, navigation on your bike, MTB skills and technique training and guided walking and actvivities