These hill skills and navigation courses are graded to suit all comers from the complete novice to those looking to explore the upland hills and mountains of the UK with increased skill and confidence. Our courses will teach you all aspects of map reading and how to use a map and compass and a variety of navigation strategies. All courses cover knowledge of safety and access issues when walking in the countryside, as well as an understanding of environmental issues.
- Hill Skills Navigation Course 1 – Bronze
- Hill Skills Navigation Course 2 – Silver
- Hill Skills Navigation Course 3 – Gold (training)
- Hill Skills Navigation Course 3 – Gold (the assessment)
All our navigation courses run with low ratios not exceeding 1:4
Gold Award – The Assessment
This will be a one day assessment of your navigational abilities with a map and compass at the NNAS Gold Level. A rigorous day in the hills looking at how you plan and execute your navigation across wild country and including time spent in poor visibility. For assessment at this level you must have completed in the previous 3 years the NNAS Gold training, or completed your Hill and Moorland Leader training or ML training.
This assessment will cover the following objectives with 1:25000 and 1:50000 maps :
- Consolidation of Bronze and Silver Award skills.
- Close use of contours, to identify landforms (e.g. hilltops, valleys, spurs, re-entrants and knolls) and utilise them as the prime method of navigation.
- Use of ridges and valleys as reliable handrails and the size and relationship of contour features, (e.g. a series of knolls) and use them for micro navigation to specific locations.
- Use of distance judgement, compass skills and continuous contact (by frequent checking) in complicated areas.
- Planning a safe walk or route in open country in line with set criteria of duration, difficulty and objectives.
- Demonstration of the special physical and navigation demands posed by hill and moorland terrain, poor weather conditions, daylight hours and the effects of fatigue and discomfort on decision making and execution of a selected route. This includes awareness of the effects of heat and cold.
Location: Peak District National Park / Snowdonia
Please note: this is an eight hour assessment that commences at 1pm: hence plan for a late finish.
Price per person: £150
Course numbers:2 –4
Alternatively, book yourself onto a private assessment … 1:1 for £250
For provisional dates for this course see our calendar of events.
Press and media
Frequently Asked Questions
How good do I need to be?
You can start at the Bronze Level with no experience.
Can I start at the Silver or Gold level?
We would probably ask you about your previous experience and abilities to determine whether such a course would be appropriate for you, but yes this is possible.
If I sign up for the Gold course, can I borrow a tent from you?
Yes – we have mountain tents for this purpose – for your use free of charge.
Please note: Dates may be subject to change. Alternative and/or additional dates may also be arranged upon demand.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details on any of these courses,
or . . .
While accommodation is not included in the price we will happily help you find something comfortable and to the liking of your budget – from campsites and barns to youth hostels and B&B’s.
All our weekends in the Dark Peak (Rock 1,2 &3, Hill Skills 1&2, and many free weekends) have us based in Castleton, the Hope Valley, which offers the following accommodation options.
Camping and Bunkhouse
Pindale Farm Outdoor Centre
Pindale Farm, Pindale Road, Hope,
Derbyshire, S33 6RN
Tel: 01433 620111
YHA – Losehill Hall
Castleton, Hope Valley,
Derbyshire S33 8WB
Tel: 0870 770 5758
Market Place, Castleton, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 8WQ
Tel: 01433 620201
Back Street, Castleton, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 8WE
Tel: 01433 623291
Castle Street, Hope Valley, Castleton, Buxton, Derbyshire, S33 8WG
Tel: 01433 620244
Fax: 01433 620244
Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WA http://www.dunscarfarm.co.uk/
Four Seasons B&B
Spital House, How Lane, Hope Valley, Castleton, Derbyshire, S33 8WJ
Tel: 01433 620 655
Mill Bridge, Castleton, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 8WR
Tel: 01433 620125
How Lane, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WJ
Pindale Road, Hope Valley, Castleton, Buxton, Derbyshire, S33 8WU
Tel: 01433 620400
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn
How Lane, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WJ
Tel: 01433 620330
How to get to Castleton
With a view to helping the environment and keeping costs down you may be willing to share space in your car, or maybe you need a lift: either way, let us know and we’ll see what can be done.
Alternatively take the train to Hope (in the Hope Valley, Derbyshire) and from there you can walk to Castleton (2 miles), get a taxi or take the 272 bus.
Taxis will need to be pre-booked – try these numbers:
Ryders Taxis – 07805 029226
SOS Taxis – 01433 650975
Paul’s Hire – 07972 583586
Note – you must make arrangements to find Castleton in Derbyshire – there is more than one Castleton in the UK !
Free tips and advice from Ordnance Survey
BMC Hill Skills: Map basics
The National Navigation Award Scheme provides a progression of learning through a network of qualified and enthusiastic course providers. National Navigation Award assessment gives recognition to personal performance in navigation skills and provides tangible evidence in the form of badges and certificates.