Finally had to give in and upgrade my Ordnance Survey OL1 map.

The important date on the map sheet is on the inside top left corner – the ‘revision date’ essentially tells you how out of date your map is.

The OL1 on the left is now 11 years out of date and experience proves there is significant difference in map content, from footpaths to disappearing ‘phone boxes.

Whilst Ordnance Survey are updating their digital database (via many different surveying platforms) on a daily basis, the content and popularity of a printed map area will dictate how frequently the printed map is updated.

A new cover photo doesn’t necessarily mean an updated map !! PS The map on the right is 2019.

Walk this way ….

Have you noticed …. we’ve lost about an hour of sunlight on an evening compared to mid June. The wind over the Dark Peak last night almost had an autumnal chill to it. Bilberry everywhere for the munching. Sunsets soon to have the fire red band through them. Woolly hat and a pair of gloves soon deserving of a place in the rucksack ….

I’m still out and about teaching climbing, and guiding some walks (see a previous post on a few reps up and down to the top of England), but it’s navigation training I’m doing most of just now.

I’ve decided to move away from the National Navigation Award scheme (aka NNAS) and to offer ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’, and ‘advanced’ courses. Doing so allows me to work more closely to meet the needs of my clients rather than ‘imposing’ a course syllabus on them. Feedback over the last 50 or so clients supports this presumption.

So I thought if I threw some words and a few nice pictures on a blog post you might consider booking me as your navigation tutor. Most of what I do is in the Peak District but I can and do travel. Courses can essentially be whatever you want them to be, perhaps a 2 day ‘beginners’ course, a 1 day refresher, or a day focussing on a particular area or on night navigation. You choose.

On all of my courses I cover additional important issues around ‘hill skills’ including equipment, weather, access, technology, training, how to get unlost, and what to do in an emergency …. it’s not ‘all’ full-on navigation. And yes there will be tea and cake if possible !!

I can of course also still be booked for climbing courses or days, and for guided walks. On that note I will be in Lochaber in NW Scotland from 13-24 September making best use of the early Autumn light to lead walks on Ben Nevis and some of the other ‘big days out’ up there. If that sort of thing is your sort of thing please get in touch – I can advise on accommodation and equipment.

Dates and locations are bespoke to my clients – I don’t run ‘open’ courses but I am very happy to run courses for a bunch of friends, group, or family – the cost per person reduces accordingly.

PS I always donate 10% of my course costs to an access, environmental, or mountain safety charity or organisation local to wherever the course occurred.

Right then …. some pictures to persuade you get in touch …..

Navigating to distraction …

A weekend spent delivering a Beginners Navigation course. Wanders around the late Summer purples of the heather on Win Hill on Saturday, and then Cave Dale and the ‘Great Ridge’ on Sunday. A lovely 2 days with clients that were keen to learn and participated fully in the navigation.

On a personal level, and perhaps beyond the subject of this blog, the weekend provided distraction from the events in Afghanistan. A Nation of Afghans have been sold to the wolves, and a generation of British servicemen and servicewomen have been left wondering what they fought for, and what many of our British and Afghan friends and colleagues gave their all for. For as long as i can remember i have sought solace in the hills, and this weekend their distraction was much appreciated.

‘I will lift mine eyes unto the hills. From whence cometh my help ?’

Scafell days …

I was fortunate to have a week in Cumbria last week. I was unfortunate with the weather for most of it. I was very unfortunate with the weather on Scafell Pike which i guided clients up four times in five days – three times from Wasdale (via Hollowstones) and once from Seathwaite (via the Corridor Route).

It was good to be back on the contour lines of my younger days, and to get some good ‘vert’ – about 15000ft over the week – in my little chicken legs.

I managed to find time to squeeze in a visit to Millican Dalton’s cave in which i used to reside, and to sit a while in St Olaf’s in Wasdale which is a place long close to my heart. Grateful as always for the Wasdale Inn for calories and fluids, and for having the fire on in August !!!

Contact details for guided walks are elsewhere on this website.


A week or so of trying to stay out of the sun. Evening walks. An increasing affinity for cold water dips and swimming. Noticing the near. Cold lemonade. A few guided walks and navigation courses led and taught. A few minutes being nibbled off the length of each day now, but still good for playing out until beyond 9.30pm.

I’m teaching a beginners navigation course for Pure Outdoor on 14-15 August in the Peak District (course base is Bamford). The course is £155 pp and as always I donate 10% of my earnings to a local environmental or access organisation. Let me know if that sort of thing is your sort of thing (bookings are direct with Pure).


I strongly believe that story-telling and the passing down of history and folklore through walking, talking, and seeing is amongst the finest ways one can spend time in the hills. I have been trying for several years to get the exceptionally deep well of knowledge that Bill Gordon has of the North Lees Estate in the Peak District down on paper, and or told in public. The closest I have got yet was persuading him to lead a walk yesterday around the Estate. Bill was a worker on, and then warden of the Estate for 31 years. Suffice to say that amongst the 7 of us that walked with Bill yesterday there was probably over 300 years of local walking experience, and Bill showed and told us things that, had we not been with him, we would not have seen or known in our lifetimes. // I can but urge you to seek out those who have been longest and closest to the land upon which you take your pleasure and exercise and ask them to lead you, tell you, and show you. Indebted. Thanks Bill.