Cover essential map reading skills on this two day course where you’ll learn how to use ‘handrail features’ like paths and walls to guide you along your way as well learning how to measure distance, understand grid references and plan your own routes. You’ll also learn the basics of how to use a compass and how to use it with your map to ensure you don’t get lost. The Bronze Award will take you from relying on friends or guidebooks to being able to plan a walk and follow it successfully.

The National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) is a personal performance scheme for all ages to learn navigation skills and gain confidence to get out and enjoy the countryside. Their Navigator Awards give lovers of the outdoors, whatever their sport, age or fitness, the freedom to explore the paths, trails, hills and mountains of Britain. Progress through the Bronze and Silver Awards to take you from being an absolute map and compass novice to become an expert navigator.

Our mountain navigation training and map reading courses run throughout the year from the heart of the country in the Peak District National Park. We’ll explain in advance what will happen over the weekend and ensure you’ve got the right gear for an enjoyable time in the countryside. NNAS courses take place over two days and you’ll need to arrange accommodation but we can often help with recommendations if you’re stuck. The courses are held entirely outdoors so be sure to bring everything you need with you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

NNAS set a limit of eight people however we usually have far fewer people on our courses so you’re guaranteed the attention of our tutors.

Our Introduction to Navigation course is a one day activity running from around 8am to 4pm. The NNAS Bronze and Silver Navigator Awards take place over two days and you’ll need to attend both days.

There’s no need to worry. Whilst you will need to meet certain criteria set out by NNAS you’ll have the whole weekend to prove yourself. The assessment tends to take place throughout the course rather than as an ‘exam’ on Sunday afternoon. Our instructors want you to pass as much as you do and will be able to provide additional support during the day or in the evenings if required.

Of course. The requirements for the NNAS Navigator Awards are specified by The National Navigation Award Scheme and can be found below. Don’t be too worried if you don’t understand all the terminology as that’s what our instructors are there for but it might help you decide which level to start at.

The Bronze Navigator Award is a practical hands-on award. It is aimed at people with no navigation experience whether you are new to the outdoors or have been relying on others, guidebooks or easy well-defined routes.

The syllabus of the Bronze National Navigation Award teaches navigation in the countryside using paths tracks and other linear features. Basic map interpretation and compass work is also included.

​For a full syllabus of the Bronze National Navigation Award see below:

  • Navigate using a variety of maps and scales.
  • Use 4 and 6 figure grid references with worded descriptions to define the position of a map feature and to locate a feature on the ground.
  • Orientate the map using handrails, obvious point features and major landforms.
  • Use linear features (e.g. paths, tracks, clear boundaries) as handrails in simple navigation exercises.
  • Relate prominent landforms such as large hills and valleys to corresponding contour information on the map.
  • Orientate the map by aligning a compass needle against grid north and be aware that magnetic variation causes an inaccuracy.
  • Use an orientated map to confirm the direction of travel.
  • Use clearly identifiable features to confirm position along the route and to recognise when the target has been overshot.
  • Measure horizontal distance on the map and estimate distance on the ground using timing, pacing and simple visual judgements e.g.100m.
  • Plan and implement simple routes and navigation strategies based on the above skills.
  • Recognise a navigation error within a few minutes and apply simple relocation techniques using handrails and prominent features.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of local and national access issues, access legislation, personal responsibilities and the Countryside Code.
  • Demonstrate appropriate knowledge of walking equipment, safety equipment and emergency procedures.

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Introduction to Mountain Navigation – Peak District

Bronze NNAS Navigator Award – Peak District