Gold Navigator Award

Accredited 2 Day Advanced Navigation Course

The Gold Navigator Award builds on the skills acquired at the Bronze and Silver levels and adds techniques and skills for dealing with complex contour features both large and small. Gold NNAS courses are taught in areas with access to open country and involve periods where you’ll be navigating away from paths and tracks.

The Gold National Navigation Award is Mountain Leader level navigation.


If you would like to discuss this course for a club, society or other group of people, please see the Adventures for You page or just get in touch to discuss options and prices

Gold Navigator Award

Building on the skills covered in the Bronze and Silver Navigator Awards, the Gold National Navigation Award builds on the skills acquired at the Bronze and Silver levels and adds techniques and skills for dealing with complex contour features both large and small.

The Gold National Navigation Award contains a pre- and post-course question paper. Both papers must be submitted to be marked in addition to the practical elements before the course is deemed complete and a result can be announced.

By the end of the course, you will have a good understanding of:

  • Use the skills and techniques of the Bronze and Silver Awards in the context of Gold National Navigation Award navigation strategies.

  • Use 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 the 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 courses are run in the Howgill Fells area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park

There is a very brief indoor session (Covid dependent) both days but we are mainly out on the hills learning the practical tools and skills in the real environment. After booking onto the course you will also have access to a bite-size video series which covers the syllabus. This also is a useful reminder resource for afterwards!

The instructor:client ratio is 1:4 with a minimum of 2 clients for both training and assessment to ensure that everyone gets the most benefit from the course. Peer-experience and sharing is an important aspect.

You will be unable to book onto this course unless you have completed and passed the Silver Navigator Award. If you have equivalent experience (e.g. you're a Summer ML trainee, HML etc) then please just get in touch so we can bypass the automated booking check


The Courses are developed by the National Navigation Award Scheme. The Awards (Bronze, Silver and Gold) are accredited by the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework (SCQF) at Level 4, 5 and 6 respectively and 2 SCQF credit points are awarded on completion. These have equivalents in England and Wales.


We meet at the Fat Lamb Inn outside Ravenstonedale (on the A683 between Kirkby Stephen and Sedburgh) for a short indoor session before heading out to the hills for the rest of the day. Further details are provided on registering. If you are travelling from afar, I recommend getting accommodation at the Inn, other pubs in Ravenstonedale or in nearby Kirkby Stephen or Sedbergh.


There is a series of bitesize videos that accompany this course and act as a useful reminder for those who have been on courses. They may also help you with particular aspects of navigation but don't feel this course is right for you. Teaching navigation theory online can never replace going out with an instructor. You can't 'feel' what it is like to walk 100m using pacing when sat at home.

If you decide this course is right for you, please ensure that you have watched the video series. This will seed some of the concepts we will practice out on the hill.

You can find the link here.


Each non-residential course costs £190 per person for the two days training and assessment with discounts for booking more than one place. You will need to provide your own accommodation (if needed), transport and travel insurance.

It includes training and assessment over two days (minimum of 12 hours) with a qualified NNAS Tutor and experienced guide. There is a certificate on successfully passing the award.

Images from Past Events

To Book

If you want to chat to me about the course then please feel free to do so - email is a good start as I'm often out and about with limited phone reception. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions too.

To book simply click the link below and follow the instructions. Please note that you will be redirected to the NNAS JustGo website to complete your booking.

Please ensure you've read the booking Terms and Conditions and you are aware of what you need to bring by downloading the gear list.

Saturday 15th - Sunday 16th October 2022, Howgill Fells