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learn to navigate in the mountains - lake district mountaineering

1 day

mountain navigation course

A 1 day, intro to mountain to navigation course.  Through a mixture of theory and practical we will cover map reading skills and develop fundamental navigation techniques in mountainous terrain.

This course is delivered by mountain professionals and the syllabus has been designed by the LDM team 



Itinerary PDF - Click Here

View Dates Below


This is a mountain navigation course that can run with up to 6 people per instructor. 

This introduction to navigation course is a foundational course designed to help people navigate effectively in the outdoors. It emphasises hands-on, practical learning in a controlled environment, ensuring participants leave with the ability to find their way in hill, moorland and mountain terrain. 

The day will based in High Borrowdale, meeting at Honister Slate Mine, in the cafe at this location for briefings and course background before we cover some navigation theory and head out for a journey around Grey Knotts, Brandreth, Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike, to put all skills into practice and develop our navigation techniques.


The day will be in mountainous terrain, heading up onto the summits of Brandreth and Grey Knotts.  Here we will be on mountain and fell paths and tracks, rough ground, bog and grass with some short but steep uphill and downhill sections. 

The journey is normally around 8km. 


Theory Session 

Map choices, legend, scales and symbols 

Understanding the Map 

Features, contours & topography and grid references 

Map Reading Skills 

Orientating the map, feature association, recognising prominent landmarks, 

Orienteering and Journey Planning 

Measuring distances and forming solid strategies, relaying information from map to ground with pacing and timing 

Compass Basics 

The compass, its features and basic usage 

Practical Navigation Exercises

Participants practice their navigation skills in a controlled outdoor setting with an emphasis on using maps, compasses, and orienteering techniques appropriate to the terrain travelled 

Intro to GPS 

Looking at appropriate apps and technology, whats recommended and what should be avoided 


Choosing a map and map types

Grid references

Orientating the map

4 D's of navigation

Measuring distances


Navigating via linear features such as paths, walls and streams

Developing hand railing techniques

Basic contour interpretation

Intro to GPS

navigation course with lake district mountaineering
learn to read contours, practical, fun and safe courses for all


Be more confident in basic navigation techniques such as direction, distance, duration and description of the terrain and its features,

Be knowledgable about maps and which maps are appropriate to your journey and terrain operating, 

Use the correct technology and GPS apps, 

Understand pacing and timings to estimate distance travelled


Expert Instructors:

Our course is led by experienced navigators with a deep understanding of map and compass skills. They are dedicated to providing high-quality instruction and ensuring each participant gains a solid foundation in navigation.

Comprehensive Curriculum:

Our course covers all essential aspects of navigation, from map reading and compass use to terrain association, helping you develop solid strategies. Participants will leave with a greater understanding of how to find their way in the outdoors.

Practical Application:

We believe in hands-on learning. Our course includes extensive practical exercises and outdoor navigation scenarios, allowing participants to immediately apply what they've learned in real-world situations.

Small Group Sizes:

We maintain small class sizes to ensure focussed attention and ample opportunity for questions, discussions, and where possible one-on-one guidance. 

Positive Learning Environment:

We foster a supportive and encouraging learning environment where participants can feel comfortable asking questions, making mistakes, and building confidence in their navigation abilities.

Proven Track Record:

Our navigation course has a track record of success, with many satisfied participants who have gone on to confidently navigate in a variety of outdoor settings. Their testimonials speak to the effectiveness of our instruction.

2024 dates

21st September 2024 

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12th October 2024

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11th January 2025

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22st April 2025

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18th May 2024

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Course Ratios

1:6 Ratio 

This is an open course designed for you to meet like minded individuals 

An instructor can teach up to 6 people on this course - we can provide additional instructors adhering to a 1:6 ratio. 

Minimum of 2 for courses to run

We can run private courses for you and your group, please just enquire and we can help organise this for you 


16+ yrs to attend this course

Under 18's must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian

We can accommodate under 16's on private days.  This means you can attend as a family for example. (12+)

No experience is necessary 

This course is for beginner hill walkers, we will teach you the basics so the day will be at run at a friendly pace 

We are here to build confidence towards your own adventures 


We will share kit lists with you during the booking stage

You will need to wear suitable outdoor clothing (warm and waterproof where possible) and suitable mountain footwear (boots)

A good rucksack to carry everything you need for the day is advisable

Lunch, snacks and water for a full day

OL4 map and Silva Expedition 4 compass are recommended


These courses use the North Lakes and we will meet at Honister Slate Mine cafe on the first day for 9:00am


There are public transport links from Keswick, or we can look to set up car shares. 

Here we will introduce the course outlines, planning stages and discuss our objectives

The YHA at Honister Hause offers accommodation if needed 

Hire our Lake District Mountaineering instructors for private and tailored programmes.

Suited to your goals & ambitions to make the most of YOUR time in the mountains. 

Just ask for a bespoke navigation day when contacting us! 

Day rates: 

1:1 £200

1:2 £220

1:3 £250

4 or more: £70pp

Navigation bespoke lake district


We look forward to hearing from you and working towards your mountaineering ambitions and helping to achieve your goals. 

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If calls are missed we will respond when possible, please leave a voicemail or text message where possible.

Thank you

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