Navigation Courses

mapNavigation courses can help you to:

Our National Navigation Award Scheme Courses are run all year round, usually within Northumberland National Park, but we are happy to provide them in the Lake District or Yorkshire Dales, if you prefer.

Bronze and Silver Courses are run over two days, Gold Courses are two days training, followed by a one day assessment at a later date.

We are also Providers of the Young Navigator Star Award (YNSA) which encourages youngsters to actively learn outside the classroom.

One-day (not NNAS) and Night navigation courses are also available.

Are you preparing for an ML Assessment, or maybe been deferred on your navigation? We can tailor a day or days to suit your requirements.

On one day courses, we cover as much as possible in a day, or tailor the day to suit the needs of the participants. Typically, we will cover the following:

Setting the map
Thumbing the map
Pacing and timing
Estimating distance
Grid references
Relocation strategies
Use of the compass.

Important: candidates undertaking an NNAS Course will have their details added to the Online Candidate Management System. This can be done in one of two ways:

1. The candidate may sign up to the Management System themselves, and create an account.

2. This can be done on by us on their behalf, if permission is given by completing a Participant Consent Form.

Bronze NNAS Award – Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the nature of a map as a two dimensional plan.
  • Understand how to use map symbols and scales, on a variety of maps.
  • Take a 6 figure grid reference for any given position and also locate such a reference on the map.
  • Orientate the map with and without a compass.
  • Use the orientated map to identify land features and indicate direction of travel.
  • Choose simple navigation strategies and routes.
  • Use linear features (e.g. paths and tracks) as handrails in simple navigation exercises.
  • Estimate distance on both map and ground.
  • Using a basic understanding of contours, match major landforms like hills and valleys to their map representation.
  • Plan a safe, suitable walk.
  • Relocate using simple techniques on paths and other handrails.
  • Understand access rights and responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of local and national access issues and access legislation.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the Countryside Code, and of procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency.

Silver NNAS Award - Learning Outcomes (in addition to those of the Bronze Award)

  • Devise a strategy for a navigational stage, to break it down into 'coarse' and 'fine' navigation and to use clear features en route to check that they are 'on course'.
  • Understand and apply the following components of a navigational strategy 'aiming off', 'attack points', 'collecting features', simplifying navigation, and apply them in varying terrain.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of contour features, both large and small, on the map and on the ground.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the navigation physical and factors affecting route choice.
  • Judge distance accurately on the map and on the ground.
  • Plan a safe walk or route involving Silver award skills and strategies.

  • Employ simple relocation strategies when lost.

  • Use a compass to follow accurate bearings and to check the direction of footpaths or other linear features on both map and ground.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the effects of fatigue and physical discomfort brought on by navigating in demanding countryside and/or extreme weather condition. Knowledge of basic first aid is also expected.

  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of the Countryside Code and current access legislation as for the Bronze level together with an appreciation of basic environmental factors in mixing 'man with nature' (e.g. footpath erosion and methods of dealing with it), and responsibilities towards other countryside interests like farming, forestry and conservation.

Gold NNAS Award - Learning Outcomes (in addition to those of Bronze and Silver)                 

  • Utilise the skills and techniques of the Bronze and Silver Awards in the context of Gold National Navigation Award navigation strategies.
  • Utilise contours and fine detail as the prime method of navigation.
  • Accurately: Follow a route, judge distance, check progress against time, use relevant compass skills and maintain continuous map contact.
  • Use back bearings and transits to confirm current position.
  • Use aspect of slope as an aid to relocation.
  • Select appropriate techniques within an overall navigation strategy.
  • Navigate in intricate terrain in reduced visibility i.e. mist or darkness.
  • Select an appropriate, safe route in relation to height gain and loss, dangerous terrain and other major hazards.
  • Assess the route ahead in the field in relation to prevailing conditions or changing circumstances (e.g. weather, time, daylight, ability/fitness) and re-plan the route appropriately if necessary.
  • Shorten a route, use an escape route and know emergency procedures.
  • Recognise the occurrence of a navigational error within a few minutes and apply appropriate relocation techniques.
  • Select appropriate clothing, equipment and first aid for walking in remote areas in all weather conditions.
  • Understand the physical demands created by hill and moorland terrain in all weather conditions.
  • Understand the effects of cold, heat, fatigue and discomfort on decision making and execution of a selected route.

The cost of NNAS Courses (two days) is £120.00 per person.

Gold Assessment £90.00 per person.

Discounts available for groups.

One day navigation courses cost £60.00 per person.

Ratios for NNAS Courses 1:6 for Bronze and Silver, 1:4 for Gold.

Ratios for One Day Course 1:8

Please note: a minimum of two candidates are required for a Course to go ahead.

All courses are run by qualified Mountain Leaders, with many years experience in all areas of the UK, in all weather conditions. We do not have huge amounts of clients on navigation courses, hence ample time can be spent with each person, ensuring they have the opportunity to practice, and understand what they have been taught.

Contact Paul on 07786902586, 0191 4133775 or email for a quote.

Kit list and course programme will be sent out on confirmation of booking.The meeting place for navigation courses in Northumberland, will be Clennell Hall Country House, Alwinton, where there is ample parking. We will  then have tea/coffee and cover some theory before spending the rest of the day on the hill. We will return to Clennell Hall Country House at the end of each day for a debrief, and refreshments. 

Available courses

This is a list of upcoming courses. You can reserve places on a course by clicking on Book. Please read our Terms and Conditions before booking.

Start End Course Location Price Places Left  
23 Mar 2019 23 Mar 2019 One Day Navigation Course 09.30 - Alwinton £60.00 8 6 Book
23 Mar 2019 24 Mar 2019 Bronze or Silver NNAS Award 09.30 Alwinton £120.00 6 6 Book
30 Mar 2019 30 Mar 2019 One Day Navigation Course 09.30 - Alwinton £60.00 8 4 Book
13 Apr 2019 14 Apr 2019 Bronze or Silver NNAS Award 09.30 - Alwinton £120.00 6 4 Book
13 Apr 2019 13 Apr 2019 One Day Navigation Course 09.30 - Alwinton £60.00 8 7 Book
20 Apr 2019 21 Apr 2019 Gold NNAS Training 09.30 - Borrowdale £120.00 4 4 Book
20 Apr 2019 21 Apr 2019 Bronze or Silver NNAS Award 09.30 - Alwinton £120.00 6 6 Book
20 Apr 2019 20 Apr 2019 One Day Navigation Course 09.30 - Alwinton £60.00 8 8 Book
27 Apr 2019 27 Apr 2019 One Day Navigation Course 09.30 - Alwinton £60.00 8 8 Book
27 Apr 2019 28 Apr 2019 Bronze or Silver NNAS Award 09.30 - Alwinton £120.00 6 5 Book
25 May 2019 26 May 2019 Gold NNAS Training 09.30 Ambleside £120.00 4 4 Book