Navigate UK hills and mountains

Hill & mountain navigation

Learn how to stay safe, plan and navigate routes on UK hills and mountains

£149 per person (£199 for 3 day option)

All maps and compasses provided

Around 6 people on each course for quality tuition

Plan your own routes on UK hills & mountains

Around 6 hours of tuition each day

Bespoke for 1:1, 1:2 and groups

Ideal for mountain and hill novices - Learn essential hill and mountain navigation techniques and hill skills to plan and walk your own routes in UK hills and mountains.

Ideally you will have already completed a two day map reading or bronze NNAS course

Learn how to navigate using accurate map measurements, pacing, timing and use of contours - Learn to use a compass to cross open terrain and to relocate yourself if you are lost. Stay safe with hills skills, gear advice and what to so if things do go wrong. (they won't)!

The course takes place over two days on the hills and mountains near the Brecon Beacons with around 5-7 hours each day spent on the hills. You won't need to be super fit to complete the course but will need to be able to get up some hills and across some open hill moorland.

One to one, one to two, couples and groups always welcome with courses arranged to suit. Midweek courses dates and navigation training tailored to suit you.

All weather fun. Hill and mountain courses take place in most weather conditions. Start locations and route choice may be flexible depending on the weather but please wear and bring the correct equipment to enjoy a couple of days in the hills and mountains.

Silver National Navigation Award Scheme option. If you have completed the bronze level you can sign up for the silver on this course. A 3 day option is available with a Friday pre 'afternoon' for anyone on the course that wants to brush up rusty skills.

Course joining details are sent a couple a few weeks before the course start date. This course takes place near Brecon, South Wales. Meet each day at Tal y Bont on Usk.

All map reading equipment is provided - Proper maps and quality compasses are provided for the course. Book your own accommodation of choioce. You then just need to bring food, drink and yourself!

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

  • Full course joining details are sent around two weeks before the start date

Frequently asked questions...

It is best to the one or two day course before doing the hill and mountain course. The course will use and build on the techniques you learnt in a lowland setting and show you how to use them and other techniques to plan and navigate routes on hills and mountains.

There is an extra pre-day/afternoon you can do if you have rusty skills, want to acclimatise to the hills or fancy a very steep learning curve!

It is best to have done the bronze or the two day map reading course before you do the silver level. The NNAS courses build on the skills and techniques learnt at the previous level. You will learn all the silver syllabus techniques so you might as well have a go at the silver.

This hill and mountain navigation course closely follows those of the syllabus techniques learnt at Silver NNAS. The course makes use of a mixture of hills and mountain paths, sections of open ground and moorland. The terrain and route is ideal for those that want to take lowland bronze and silver NNAS techniques to start planning and walking routes in UK hills and mountains.

The course is also ideal if you are wanting to to do the Gold level NNAS course and have not completed any of the NNAS award levels before; note that a three day course options is available with an optional afternoon 'pre-course' session spent covering aspects of the bronze syllabus, refresher on using compass bearings and a general hill acclimatisation. On the silver NNAS you will be registered with the NNAS and will undertake an informal assessment using a checklist of syllabus skills, a few practical exercises and with some individual and group 'question and answer'.

You will need to fit enough to walk up to 18/20KM on sometimes steep hill and moorland terrain, some of which will be on rough moorland without surfaced paths. During the day will will go up one or two steep hills abut will do so at learning pace with time to stop, enjoy the view and catch your breath.

As a regular walker you should be able to comfortable walk 20-24KM on a lowland walk with some ups and downs.

You must wear suitable footwear (leather or synthetic full height walking boots), bring/wear a full set of waterproofs (jacket AND trousers even if weather forecast is for fine weather), gaiters, additional warm layer/s (extra fleece or spare top in case of emergency), hat, gloves, spare hat and gloves and if we are lucky a sunhat and sun cream! You may need to bring insect repellant and it is advisable to pack a small personal first aid kit.

It is always much cooler on the exposed mountain and hill tops than you would expect it to be and we will spend quite some time be standing around looking at maps etc. so bring or wear extra to when just walking and spares (you can never have too many warm layers).

Extra clothing, food and water should be packed into a comfortable day ruck sack that is lined with a water proof bag or rucksack water proof liner. Phones, wallets and the like should be in a water proof bag inside the rucksack. An orange 'survival bag' is always a great idea in your walking ruck sack as it will provide additional protection should you have to stop for a prolonged period on exposed summits or during very bad weather.

Check out the what to bring guidance page

The hill and moiuntain course will only be postponed if there are weather warnings that make it too dangerous to take part. If that happens the course date will be postponed until later in the year, possibly the autumn.

During normal wet and windy mountain weather the course route and/or start locations may be changed but will still be in the same general area.

Check out the What to bring pages for guidance of what clothing and equipment to bring.

It is best to leave the dog at home for most navigation courses. The pace of the course and the need to keep the dog on lead for much of it (livestock, protected heathland etc) means the dog will likely get restless and bored. You might also need to hands to use the map and compass.

Usually if you have booked and paid for the course in full you will not be able to postpone to another date unless you place is booked by someone else.

If you are not able to come to Wales then get in touch as soon as possble to see what can be sorted.

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 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.

Book and pay

Complete the course booking form when you are ready to book.

You can choose to pay now using PayPal to securely process a credit or debit card or request an invoice with further payment details.

On the course payment page you can also use the link to 'Stripe' payment service, a payment service that is an alternative to PayPal to process your card.

Latest hill and mountain navigation information...

Hill and mountain navigation in the South Wales

New date TBC Book me

Hill and mountain navigation in the South Wales

Two or three day course

  • New date TBC -Two day hill and mountain course
  • New date TBC - optional extra pre course day (afternoon)

You will learn how to start navigating on UK hills and mountains using silver level techniques.

You can pay a deposit to reserve a place on this course

Silver National Navigation Award Scheme in the South Wales

New Date TBC Book me

Silver National Navigation Award Scheme in the South Wales

Two or three day course Silver NNAS

  • New date TBC - Silver level course
  • New date TBC - optional extra pre course day

This silver course runs alongside the hill and mountain course. You will learn how to start navigating on UK hills and mountains using silver level techniques.

You can pay a deposit to reserve a place on this course

What you will learn - Hill & Mountain Navigation

Hill and mountain navigation plus some essential hills skills in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales.

This course is ideal for anyone who wants to get out and enjoy, and have the confidence to plan and walk routes in UK hills and mountains.

You will learn to:

  • Gain confidence to plan and walk routes on UK hills and mountains.
  • Accurately follow a route and check progress using time, pacing and continuous map contact.
  • Techniques for navigation in reduced visibility using compass bearings, contour information and fine details map reading.
  • Selecting and following a safe route in response to prevailing conditions and changing circumstances.
  • Assessing conditions and responding by suggesting safe 'escape' routes and knowing emergency conditions.
  • Recognise and respond to navigational error within a short timeframe.
  • Techniques for relocation including aspect of slope and fall back plan to using OS Locate App.

New for 2024 - Silver National Navigation Award Scheme option

This hill and mountain navigation course closely follows those of the syllabus techniques learnt at Silver NNAS. The course makes use of a mixture of hills and mountain paths, sections of open ground and moorland. The terrain and route is ideal for those that want to take lowland bronze and silver NNAS techniques to start planning and walking routes in UK hills and mountains.

The course is also ideal if you are wanting to to do the Gold level NNAS course and have not completed any of the NNAS award levels before; note that a three day course options is available with an optional afternoon 'pre-course' session spent covering aspects of the bronze syllabus, refresher on using compass bearings and a general hill acclimatisation.

Hill skills

Select - appropriate clothing, equipment and emergency equipment for walking in remote areas as well as gaining an understanding of what to do if things go wrong! A full kit list will be supplied prior to the weekend.

Who is the course for?

Anyone who wants to get out and enjoy the hills and mountains. The course takes place on high moorland terrain but you do not have to be super fit as we will be taking things at a steady learning pace.

Those taking part should have ideally completed a map reading course before such as the one or two day map reading course or the bronze NNAS. You do not need prior hill and mountain experience but will need to be properly equipped to have fun and stay safe. A Friday afternoon refresher can also be arranged if requested.

Course cost

The course cost of £149 includes the use of maps, compasses and other navigational equipment. Use of emergency equipment and full course tuition for the two days (12-14 hours). The cost does NOT include accommodation, transport, food etc.

Check out the location details for some ideas of where you can look for accommodation.

Hill and mountain navigation course start information

The course takes place each day outdoors on the hills and mountains near to Talybont-on-Usk, South Wales.

Each morning we will meet at 09:30 for 09:45 'leave' to go to start locations outside the Tap y Boot Stores and Cafe in Talybont-on-Usk, Brecon.

The pre-afternoon session will be at a different location and start time

Check out the website for the address and opening times. Website and details for TalyBont Stores and Cafe are here

There is a village car park about 100 metres down the road from the shop. I may have room for 2/3 people if you wanted to leave yours in the village car park during the day. Saturday we will drive around 10 minutes to a start location near Pencelli and Sunday around 20 minutes to a hillside car park. The security of your car and and belongings within whilst you are parked is your responsibility and it is always advisable to remove any times of value.

Course Format

The course takes place entirely outdoors!

The first day will be spend on the lower slopes of Waun Rydd and Bryn learning and practicing navigation skills and techniques, the second will be a mountain walk putting it all into practice over the high plates of Waun Rydd and Gwaun Cerrig Llwydion.

The first starts from Pencelli church from where we ‘navigate’ our way onto the eastern slopes of Bryn revising rusty map and compass skills on out way. Much of the day will be spent learning and gaining confidence in using the map and compass, understanding contours and using pacing and timing to walk on accurate compass bearings. We will also run through relocation techniques and what to do if things go wrong on the hill.

Second we park near Blaen y glyn and practice you new found skills by navigating our way across the lower slopes and high plateau of Waun Rydd and Gwaun Cerrig Lywydion with a few practice bearings and navigation challenges as we go!

Equipment, clothing and suitability to take part

Everyone taking part MUST be equip for walking across rough mountain and hill terrain and on exposed mountain tops in ALL weather.

You must wear suitable footwear (leather or synthetic full height walking boots), bring/wear a full set of waterproofs (jacket AND trousers even if weather forecast is for fine weather), gaiters, additional warm layer/s (extra fleece or spare top in case of emergency), hat, gloves, spare hat and gloves and if we are lucky a sunhat and sun cream! You may need to bring insect repellant and it is advisable to pack a small personal first aid kit.

It is always much cooler on the exposed mountain and hill tops than you would expect it to be and we will spend quite some time be standing around looking at maps etc. so bring or wear extra to when just walking and spares (you can never have too many warm layers).

Extra clothing, food and water should be packed into a comfortable day ruck sack that is lined with a water proof bag or rucksack water proof liner. Phones, wallets and the like should be in a water proof bag inside the rucksack. An orange 'survival bag' is always a great idea in your walking ruck sack as it will provide additional protection should you have to stop for a prolonged period on exposed summits or during very bad weather.

If you normally need or like to use trekking poles then bring those with you as well. Also remember to bring any regular medication and personal first aid kit with plasters, medication, insect bite relief etc.]

Bring enough food, snacks, water (around 1.5-2 litres of water) and a flask (if you like a hot drink) for the entire day and some spare 'high-octane' food if you need an end of day boost. We are out all day and even if we do not walk to far we may not return to the cars until around 17:00-18:00.

All maps, compasses and navigation equipment you need for the course will be provided. If you want to bring your own to try out that is fine as well. I will be bringing a large safety ‘bothy’ bag we can use to sit in for lunch or a rest if it cold or wet so it is advisable to bring sit mat or section of camping mat to sit on inside.

Please ensure you have declared any medical or fitness issues with Nigel prior to taking part in the course. You will need to be fit enough to walk all day on open moorland/mountain terrain, mountain tracks and paths and across pathless moorland sections, with a number of steep ascents and descents for around 12-16km (8-10 miles, with a relaxed pace with time to enjoy the course and views.)

If you turn up without suitable footwear and clothing and equipment you may not be able to take part in the course. Please check what you need before travelling to Wales!

If you need any clothing or equipment advice drop me an email and I will be only too happy to run things through with you. Contact securemail if you need to know more

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