One and two day map reading courses

Navigation training suitable for complete beginners that want to learn how to use a map and compass. Learn how to use a map and easy to identify features, map measurements and timings to plan and walk your own routes. On day two gain further confidence and learn how to use a compass to walk on compass bearings to cross more open countryside.

  • couple use map and compass to cross open heathland
  • map reading group use maps and compasses
  • couple wave a smile at the camera on a map reading course
  • learning to navaiagte and plan routes on tracks and paths
  • two people use prcise navigation and compass to check path direction
  • taking bearings witha compass to relocate when lost in the New Forest
  • group learn how to relocate them selves using a compass if lost in the new forest
  • using precise naviagtion pacing and bearings to cross open countryside

£64 or £115 per person (New Forest)

Suitable for absolute beginners or those looking to improve navigation skills

All equipment provided - just bring yourself!

Around 5/6 hours each day

Courses run all year

One to one, couples and groups

Comprehensive joining details and suggested kit list

Learn essential navigation skills so you can plan and walk your routes. Everyone can, and does learn how to use a compass to point them down the correct path! The two day course is ideal preparation for NNAS Silver, mountain navigation courses and for those walking long distance tracks and trails.

Learn how to navigate confidently on tracks and paths by using a map and orienting it to 'on the ground' features, map measurements and timings. Learn how to use a compass to make bearings to walk down the correct path or track. Over the two day navigation training learn to use a compass to cross more open countryside and strategies just in case you do get lost!

5-6 hour course each day with plenty of time to learn, practice navigation skills and ask questions. Each course length is around 10-12km at a learning pace - it is not a route march.

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 and you activity can always be arranged.

All weather fun - Course takes place mostly on surfaced tracks, paths and well drained areas of the forest. Wear warm cloths, an extra layer and walking boots and come to enjoy the course at any time of the year.

All map reading equipment is provided - Proper maps and quality compasses are provided for the course. You just need to bring food, drink and yourself!

Course joining details are sent a couple of weeks before the course start date. Get in touch if you are using public transport and want a lift from the station (Brockenhurst) to the course start car park and the day two start form you accommodation.

The day one course is great as an introduction to navigation and for those who want to read a map and use a compass. Consider doing both days (two day course) if you want to learn further compass techniques and have time to practice and consolidate skills. Day two only courses run a few times a year if you want to come back and do it on another weekend.

  • Dates and places remaining
  • What you will learn
  • Start locations
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See every course date and place remaining on the Course Calendar

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What you will learn on the one and two day navigation course

Day one map reading course - one day navigation course is ideal for beginners with absolutely no previous experience. Everyone can learn to read a map and use a compass!

On the one day map reading course you will learn to use a compass to point you down the correct path. Don't worry if that sounds difficult, anyone can, and everyone does learn an easy to remember 1-2-3 process to use the compass.

Two day map reading course (day two) - Use the compass for bearings across more open ground, relocation and practice and consolidate skills.

The day two course is for those who have completed the day one course, introduction to map reading course or have some skills already.

Ideally do both days together as a two day navigation course; you can book for both days consecutively for a fun weekend course or choose to do day two on a different weekend or midweek day.

You will Learn:

  • Read a map using easy to find features such as tracks, paths and forest rides.
  • Learn how to orient yourself and the map using easy to find features such as tracks, paths, rides and boundary features so you can choose the correct track and path to go down.
  • Measure the map and use time to keep track of distance and where you are.
  • Start using easy to find features to break your route down into smaller chunks.
  • Use a compass to point you down the correct track, path or forest ride.
  • Gain further confidence using a compass to walk on fainter tracks and paths, across more open countryside and to walk on a bearing (D2).
  • Start using contour information (D2).
  • Put everything together along with more accurate map measuring, pacing and timing to navigate confidently and accurately (D2).

*Bespoke map reading and how to use a compass courses can be arranged as one to one, for couples and small groups.

Course duration and length

The day one, and two map reading courses are usually around 5-6 hours. Map reading courses start from forest car parks and full joining details are sent to participants around 2 weeks before the course start date. The course length is around 10-12km (around 6 miles).

All weather fun!

The courses take place on forest tracks, paths and also ventures onto more open forest countryside and through woodland that at times may be loose, slippery and muddy. It is advisable to wear walking boots or sturdy walking shoes and be equip for all expected weather conditions. During very wet weather better surfaced tracks and paths are used where possible.

Equipment provided.

Proper maps and real compasses are provided for all courses and you can take home a handy timing card and ‘how to use a compass crib’ so you don't have to remember everything. Just bring yourself and enjoy.

Still want to know more? Just securemail and ask.

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New Forest Navigation - Map reading courses start locations

Day one (one day) map reading courses start usually from from Wilverley Plain car park, Anderwood car park, Standing Hat car parks in the New Forest. Day two map reading courses usually start from Fritham car park in the New Forest.

You can view and check directions to all map reading course start locations here.

Wilverley Plain, Anderwood and Standing Hat car parks are very close to the new forest villages of Brockenhurst, Burley, Lyndhurst and not far from Lymington and Christchurch. Fritham can be reached easily from the A31/M271 junction at Cadnam and is also easily reached from villages in the New Forest. If you are coming from further a field they all very central and easily reached from Christchurch and Bournemouth to the south west, Salisbury and Wiltshire area to the north and from Hampshire, Surrey or London using the main road network. Do allow enough time to travel across the forest and download or check directions before you come!

New Forest Navigation map reading courses start from New Forest car parks that are all easily reached by car from New Forest villages and surrounding towns and main transport links and road network for those coming across Hampshire from London or South East or West England.

Wiltshire map reading courses start close to Marlborough using countryside car parks at Fyfield Downs, West Woods and Savernake Forest. Marlborough map reading course locations and information

One and two day map reading courses can also be arranged to start from the centre of Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst or Ashurst railway station, Burley village and locations to the west of the New Forest closer to Ringwood and Fordingbridge. A lift can be arranged if you arrive public transport or are using public transport to travel within the forest.

Need more information?

Course Gift Vouchers available for all courses

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
Details and directions to New Forest Navigation map reading courses start locations. It is always advisable to download or familiarise your self with the directions rather than relying on a mobile data signal once you get to the forest.
Day one reading courses usually start from Wilverley Plain car park, Anderwood car park and Standing Hat car park - Standing Hat car park does not have any toilet facilities.
Day two and bespoke midweek and weekend map reading courses usually start from Fritham car park and Abbotts Well and Frogham car park. Neither of these car parks have toilet facilities.
National Navigation Award Scheme - Bronze level courses usually start from Anderwood car park, Wilverley Plain car park and Fritham car park.
National Navigation Award Scheme - Silver level courses usually start from Abbots Well car park but also High Corner car park and Ashley Walk car park.

New Forest - Starting locations for map reading courses

Map reading courses gift vouchers

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 be now bought now and do not have to be used until 31 July 2020

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