If you’re looking to take your hill-walking skills to the next level then our one day ‘introduction to mountain navigation’ course is just for you. We’ll introduce you to the map and compass, explain what they do, how to use them and how they work with each other. We’ll teach you about route planning using paper and digital maps and cover any other topics you might need help with to turn you into a confident and competent outdoor person.

When you’re ready to progress we can help you move onto the National Navigation Award Scheme Bronze Navigator and Silver Navigator Awards or you might prefer our intensive ‘Straight to Silver’ Navigator Award courses.

The day begins with a short ‘classroom’ session over breakfast at The Penny Pot Cafe in Edale in the heart of the Peak District. This is a great opportunity to pick up the new skills you’ll need for when you head out to continue the learning in the local hills. The end of the day finishes with cake back at the cafe whilst the group recaps the day.

Public courses take place throughout the year or if there’s three or more of you in your party you can pick your own date. Book online using the live availability checker or contact us to find out more.

Pick your own date

    If there's three or more of you in your group we can add a course on a date that suits you. We'll then advertise this new date on our website for others to join or if you'd like one of our instructors to run a private course just for you, please contact us.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    We set a limit of eight people on our courses so you’re always guaranteed the attention of our instructors. All sorts of people come on our courses from all sorts of backgrounds and all ages but what they all have in common is a desire to learn more about navigating in the outdoors.

    Absolutely! Children aged eight and over are welcome on our Introduction to Mountain Navigation courses when accompanied by a parent, guardian or carer. Discounted prices are available for children aged 8-15 and for family groups.

    Our Introduction to Mountain Navigation course takes place over one day usually running from around 9am to 5pm.

    No there’s no assessment for our one day Introduction to Navigation courses so you can simply enjoy learning without any fear of assessment.

    Our Introduction to Mountain Navigation takes place in the heart of the Peak District in the small village of Edale. Only around an hour’s drive from Manchester or Sheffield and easily accessible from the M1 for London and the North, the Peak District is perfectly located in the middle of the country.

    Edale also has a railway station on the Manchester-Sheffield line making it accessible to all.

    If you’d like to stay over and make a weekend of it (always recommended!) then there are a few very local accommodation options available:

    • The Rambler Inn is the pub just around the corner from where the course meets. It has nine en-suite rooms available as well as a one bedroom cottage.
    • Fieldhead Campsite is a small 45 pitch site again just a few minutes walk from where we meet. It’s a bit ‘rustic’ (there’s no electricity, wifi or even phone signal!) but it’s a lovely little site to get away from it all.
    • Newfold Farm in the centre of the village (a five minute walk) welcomes tents as well as campervans and caravans or you can book to stay in one of their luxury bell tents. They also have a cafe and make great pizza at weekends!

    If you have a car then you can also look for accommodation in nearby Castleton, Hope, Hathersage and other surrounding villages and small towns.

    You’ll need outdoor kit for a whole weekend in the hills whatever the weather! You’ll also need an Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 Explorer map for the Dark Peak area (OL1). If you happen to have an OS 1:50 000 Landranger (110) or Harvey Peak District Central map then bring them along but don’t go out and buy them specially. The only one you definitely need is the OS OL1 map. You’ll also need a compass. We recommend the Silva Expedition 4 but any long-edged compass will do the job.


    Remember to bring enough food and drink with you to last the whole day and some money for breakfasts and cakes!


    There’s a full kit list below. Please have a look at the weather before setting off and dress accordingly. Better to have an extra fleece and woolly hat in your bag just in case. Remember we’ll be outdoors all weekend in all weathers so be sure to have the right gear. If it’s looking wet then keeping spares clothes to change into in your car is also a good idea.


    • Comfortable hill walking clothing – personal base layers and trousers (not jeans)
    • Waterproof jacket with hood
    • Waterproof trousers (separate to your walking trousers)
    • Spare warm/fleece jacket
    • Walking boots or walking trainers
    • Comfortable walking socks
    • Warm hat and gloves or sun hat and sun screen (weather dependent)
    • Vacuum flask for hot drink and/or re-usable water bottle
    • Personal first aid kit and personal medication
    • Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 Explorer map for the Dark Peak area (OL1)
    • Compass (long-edge type such as the Silva Expedition 4)
    • Day walk rucksack – approx. 20-25 litres
    • Packed lunch and snacks for each day

    You can get hold of OS maps direct from Ordnance Survey or from any book store including Amazon but we recommend Dash4It – the map superstore. They guarantee the latest maps at the cheapest prices all with free delivery. They also stock a wide range of compasses.

    You can buy outdoor gear from a wide variety of independent and national retailers but MountainXperience recommends Cotswold Outdoor where you’re assured of the best advice and service from real outdoor people. Customers of MountainXperience receive 12.5% off purchases at Cotswold Outdoor stores and online.


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