Navigation Courses

Navigation Courses & Tuition in the Lake District

Lakes Outdoor Experience run navigation skills (map reading) courses in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria. Courses are primarily based in the Kentmere area of the Southern Lake District, but we can also arrange courses in other areas of the Lake District and other areas of the UK.

  • learn to use a map and compass
  • essential for getting out and about in the great outdoors
  • expert tuition from our experienced instructors

Map Reading and Navigation Courses

Navigation, otherwise known as map reading, is the most important skill you need to learn before venturing out into the mountains. Coupled with having the correct clothing and equipment for the conditions; map reading skills will ensure you have a safe day in the mountains. 

Lakes Outdoor Experience map reading & navigation courses are designed to improve your map reading and navigation skills, no matter what your current level of ability. We run 2 day weekend Navigation Courses generally run on the last weekend of each month in Spring, Autumn & winter - at £80.00 per person these courses represent excellent value for money!  We also run, upon request, 1 or 2 day bespoke private navigation courses run at a time convenient to you at a minimum cost of £160.00 per day - please enquire with us directly for these.

As an added extra we can include the option of an overnight wild camp into your navigation course to give you a true wilderness experience - price on application.

Night Navigation can be included into either the weekend or private Navigation Skills Training Courses as required for an extra fee of £15.00 per person per hour.

We also offer bespoke navigation refresher days for Mountain Walking Leader assessment or re-assessment.

Navigation Course Skills Content

With a Lakes Outdoor Experience Navigation Course you will learn map reading skills to MTA (Mountain Training Association) standard - a very high standard of navigation skills ability.

We will start with the basics of map reading; by learning what the map symbols mean, how to identify land features through contours, streams, footpaths and how to orientate the map so that you can relate what you see on the map to what is around you.

Navigation and map reading courses

This will be followed by some of the most important skills for navigation and map reading; being able to understand grid references and using a compass to take bearings which is essential for poor visibility. Other examples of navigation will see you using linear features and attack points to get to your destination.

You'll learn about the various map scales in order that you can measure distance on the map and how to measure that distance on the ground by pacing, then you will move on to working out timings using Naismiths rule.

On our two day courses, we will practice all of the skills learnt on day one and add new skills - such as using a compass to identify unknown features from a known location. We also generally go to a different location to day one; and get in to higher, more mountainous terrain.

Lakes Outdoor Experience navigation and map reading courses are excellent value for money whether booking a navigation skills training weekend or one of our bespoke private navigation skills training courses and have proven popular with many people over the years.

If you wish to book a bespoke private course, then please contact us to discuss your specific requirements and for pricing.

  • Minimum booking numbers/price apply. 
  • Group bookings discount and children’s rates are also available.

Book activity/ contact us


Navigation Courses Courses and Activities are held in:
Kentmere The Lake District

More About Us

Iain Gallagher, Lakes Outdoor ExperienceLakes Outdoor Experience is run by Iain Gallagher. Iain divides his time between hills and crags in the Lake District, North Wales, Scotland and North Yorkshire. He can also be found climbing peaks across Europe and around the World.

Find Out More...