Beginner’s Navigation Course Feedback

Hi Tristan

I just want to say thank you for such an interesting and enjoyable course yesterday. I can honestly say that I don’t think I have ever learnt so much in a single day!
I am now very much looking forward to putting my new knowledge to the test the next time I am out walking.
Many thanks,

Scott Dunn, Twickenham


Thanks for the course…we loved it!

Paula and Ita, Warrington


Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed yesterday’s course – one of the best things I have ever done.

Simon Moules


What a fascinating and stimulating course yesterday at the RGS.

I went walking with a friend and our assorted dogs this morning, and I hope I didn’t bore her to sobs with tree-spotting – in fact I found a perfect example of an oak ‘king of the jungle’ with all its N,S,E,W features exactly as they should be – very gratifying and exciting as well!

Although I’d already read your book, I learnt so much more, and I was reminded of what I hadn’t really taken in already. I’ll certainly recommend everyone I know, and who might be vaguely interested, to go along to your next course. Thanks again so much for opening my eyes wider to the natural world around us. It was also such a privilege to meet all those other genuinely interesting people.

Fiona Rogers, Lymington


Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Natural Navigation course on Friday.
Great location and environment to learn in, and the photographs provided so many opportunities to decipher the clues to navigation.

Whilst I’ve been reading your book, hearing from you directly made a huge difference – I learnt so much and enjoyed it all.

David Willis (Chalfont St Giles)


Thank you for the really excellent course on Friday. I’ve been recommending it to people over the lunch table at work and elsewhere. A lot of people have seen the TV programme. Last night I peered out of my kitchen window in North Kensington/Queens Park, after turning the lights at bedtime, to see Orion as bright as could be. Unfortunately his bow was lopped off by a building…but still…

This morning I walked to work and navigated my way in through unfamiliar back streets by the sun. Such fun!

Denise Prior, London


A quick note to say Thank you, Thank you for a fantastic day yesterday. We all completely and utterly loved the day and, as I’m sure you won’t be surprised, all in very different ways. It’s incredible how everything you showed us makes you look at your surrounds in such a different way…..something I was hoping for from the day but wasn’t necessarily expected. I always think it’s never that easy to achieve, especially that quickly!

You’ve created a fascinating a fantastic course, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t enjoy it.

Harriet Parsons, London.



I came on your Beginner’s Guide course on the 2nd May with my wife Judith. I just wanted to let you know that it was one of the most fascinating days we have spent in a long while. Judith was delighted (it was a birthday present to her), and we are both keen to begin practising some of the things you taught us. I also thought you were an excellent presenter, making the whole thing enthralling, and using your enthusiasm to enthuse us – this is a rare skill.

Thank you very much – I’ll be buying your book when it is out,


Rory W., Brighton.


I greatly enjoyed it, the day flew by, it was nice to be surrounded by others who are interested in this topic too and I also enjoyed the atmosphere at the RGS.

I really enjoy the astronomy side of natural navigation and am now spending my bike rides in and out of work looking that the moon and trying to decide how many degrees behind the sun it is. I enjoyed the way you quizzed us on where the sun would be at certain times of the year at different latitudes, I found the models helpful and the photos illuminating. I was intrigued by the observations about how trees grow (the tick effect) and will certainly look at them more closely. I’m less certain about the path conditions in practice but will out this weekend looking at the countryside in a new way. I only wish I could see more stars from where I live to see for myself about Orion’s belt! The video of the Polynesian sailors following their 32 stars was another highlight – they must have been very observant and skillful indeed.

In summary – a great day, your enthusiasm was infectious, I enjoyed every minute, could have easily come back the next day for more.

I really wish you every success in the future Tristan – it’s such a fascinating subject are you are a gifted ambassador. 24th Sep really was the best day I’ve had in quite some time!

Helen Older (Wallington, Surrey)


Many thanks for a super and fascinating weekend. My family will probably curse you forever more as we stop on every future walk and I regale them with stories.

Thank you and good luck with the new book.

Mark Richardson, London


Thank you very much for a really fantastic and inspirational day. It has really opened my eyes to a different way of looking at navigation.

Hugo Deed, York.


Just to say many thanks for the most enjoyable and informative day on the 11th. I am also greatly enjoying your book and it is helping to cement the information in my sieve-like brain. It was good to have it with me on my rather long journey home on the coach that night, and of course, the moon and its habits also to dwell on.

Geraldine Beatty


Thank you very much for a really great day yesterday. I learnt so much and you really did a fantastic job with your presentation with so much thought and so many props. The Orrery was really helpful. The subject is fascinating and your insights will make every walk and every journey so much more interesting.

Richard Nissen, London.


Thanks for a great day yesterday. As I cycled home through the park I was studying the trees and the sunset and the puddles – the whole thing could become quite compulsive I think. Really looking forward to getting into the book and demonstrating my new skills to my wife as we stroll through the countryside.

Gareth Lewis, London.


Just a quick email to say a huge thank you for the day at West Dean college recently, I really enjoyed the passion and knowledge you clearly have for the topic. I have put some of my learning into practice straight away by teaching my six year old son how to find the north star. I will no doubt be using some of the knowledge in our work with people living with dementia.

Neil Mapes, Dementia Adventure


A very enjoyable day and nice to know there are so many things that ones does not know!

Mike Greenland (Wimborne, Dorset)


Thank you for a most enjoyable and informative day on Saturday. Richard and I have spent many hours since testing each other about directions – our children think we are quite mad!

Mary Atkinson, West Sussex


Came on the course with my partner Pam and the RGS in May of last year … I was the one that had wandered about in the Rub Al Khali with a load of dynamite J

Been trying to encourage people to do your course – dunno if anyone that I chased has, but had one convert in Cyprus in September when a bit of a conversation in the bar resulted in me asserting where South was, and when they checked up on me, I was only 6 degrees out followed by. “bugger me, how did you know that” – “Natural Navigation course, give this guy a shout, he’s a cool guy”



Thank you for yesterday. The day was really enjoyable and even though I have been teaching map reading for a good number of years I still learnt a great deal.

Jeff Baker (Peterborough)


Just to thank you very much for the course on Saturday -

you certainly know your stuff!

It did open my eyes and I’m so grateful for that – the pocket guide will be a real help.

It was a lovely group too and a great day; thank you very much!

Maat Barlow


I just wanted to thank you for such a fantastic course yesterday. I have been out this morning assessing moss and trees and finding life that inch richer already. I think what you’re doing is fantastic and I’ll let you know how my ramblings go.

James Walker (London)


I have to say that of all the courses that I have done over the years, the Natural Navigation course has probably been one of the most enjoyable, but also the one that I have kept going back to in daily life and using, or at least trying to use!

Nick Tile (Colchester)


Thank you for the course yesterday, it was wonderful. It more than fulfilled our expectations and we both went home with full minds. It was a privilege. I now have a real feel for what direction the stars are moving in whereas before just noticed the differences in their location.

Richard and Jennifer Strange (High Wycombe)


found it a most enlightening day and have already entertained myself this morning with my new knowledge calculating south on a foggy drive back from Farnham. Rest assured it will make pub walks, at the very least, all the more interesting – though not sure the kids will thank you after the 15th “which way are we facing now?” question in the first mile.

Ben Norman (Kingston, Surrey)


Sarah Salway, successful fiction writer, Fellow of LSE and all-round elite wordsmith came on the Beginner’s Guide course at the RGS on the 24th September. You can read her thoughts on it here.


Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the course on 2nd July; the whole day was brilliant and I felt it was pitched at an ideal level, with trickier theory interspersed with the more fun/eye-catching visuals. I have downloaded the software as you suggested and have been having a great time with that!
Am now very much looking forward to using my new-found knowledge “in the wild”
all the very best and thanks again,

Lucia (Beckenham, Kent)


Many thanks for a fantastic day yesterday.

I learnt so much and was stimulated also by the opportunity to apply what I did know to a new “problem solving” challenge! I checked out the moon last night and located Polaris and was quite comfortable that it was NOT directly above my head as I always imagined it might be! (I do need to re-set the weathervane and I think I’ll use Polaris to do this!)

The principles you taught will add another layer to my enjoyment and connection with the great outdoors. So rather than just walking through it and looking at the views I’ll be able to read more off it. Natural Navigation is a key to unlocking a fascinating text in the Earth’s rich library.

Thanks again for a very inspiring day – just off to check the lichen and moss on the trees in the garden!

Richard W (Cambridge)


Apart from being significantly educational with a good mix of people, Saturday was great fun.

Graeme Dinnen (Chichester)


Dear Tristan , just a note to let you know how much i enjoyed the course yesterday . Already started the book last night and thoroughly enjoyed reading so far . I am not really one for reading so that is quite a compliment . Your enthusiasm really comes through , both in the course and book and certainly rubbed off on George , Andy and myself . You clearly really enjoy teaching and as someone who has up until recently taught GP trainees , I could sense that fun and excitement that teaching brings . Despite the slightly scratchy video re navigation by the polynesians , I did find that aspect fascinating . I look forward to the next course .

Mike Jenkins


Thank you for a wonderful day, yesterday. The course and surroundings were inspiring. This morning I went for a walk from the house heading in land and then onto the cliffs along a frequent route. Today was like a new experience with each plant / view being analysed. The walk did take twice as long as usual which my wife does not thank you for.

David J.


I just want to say how much I enjoyed the course last Thursday. I found it very interesting indeed and quite frankly inspirational. I have now located Mintaka and Aldebaran.

As this was dictated to me by my husband Bill and I bought the present (!) I just thought I’d say that Bill came home last Thursday absolutely full of the day and obviously loved every minute… thank you from me too!

Bill and Sarah Norris (Kingsdown, Kent)


It was an excellent day – very interesting, well paced, covered the ground, and I think I have remembered most of it which says something for your communication skills. Thank you very much.

Dr. Graham K (SW19, London)


The course was great and has really changed the way I look at things now. I have found myself standing in customers’ gardens and staring at trees and shrubs, trying to work out direction. I have also told a couple of my staff about this course and think it will benefit them to attend.
I’m glad you gave us all that info in the morning, as it did all start to make sense in the late afternoon and the next day.

I wish I had had something like this at school as it would have been a great way of learning such valuable information.

Dan Barker (London, N13)


I had been meaning to thank you for last Saturday - it was most enjoyable and I felt sufficiently confident afterwards
to put away the Tomtom for the trip home!!!! Also I am pleased to get Ian's address -
we had some interesting chats in the breaks. Often some of the pleasure of these outings
comes from the people you meet there. Like Ian, I look forward to seeing the book.

Martin W (Lymington)


I feel much more connected to our ancestors. I feel sure that as a species (is that the correct term?)

our senses have become dulled as our advances in technology have propped us up more and more.

Although this must be progress, we must also have lost some level of perception of the world around us.

My future walks will be enriched and my dinner party conversation expanded.

I am also resolved to drink a pint of Guinness a day to improve my sixth sense.

Larry Tysome (London, SW6)


I thought the content was spot on, and liked the slide tests where we could apply our knowledge.

Claire B. (High Wycombe)


Thank you very much for the course the other day. Natasha and I both really enjoyed it. Tash has been on a cadet week in Wales and she managed a 3 day hike without getting lost – thanks to your course. The rest of the cadets were reallly impressed!.

Jolyon H


I’m already finding that I’m looking at the world in a different way – I’m noticing dampness on the ground, etc and I’m desperate to try out my new found knowledge and the “Gooley method” on a longer walk in the country…

Nick V.

And anonymous feedback from a similar course...

Fascinating, could do with a week! Tutor was lively filled with knowledge and a great teacher.

Great content covered in just one day. Tutor was excellent. An unmatched expert in his field. The course was very good. I would like to explore further. I liked the relaxed atmosphere, tranquil, great location and people / staff.

Excellent course. I really liked the mix of theory and practice. Tutor was excellent at making complex ideas feel simple. I loved the course but realise just how much there is to learn!

Tutor was knowledgeable, authentic, friendly and engaging. Course was really great, but would have liked even more time outside.

Loved being outside and experiencing aspects of NN. Would have liked more of this. Tristan knows his stuff! Hugely patient with questions and generous is sharing his knowledge. Would have like to exploit landscape knowledge and skillls even more!

Tristan is very knowledgeable, used good illustrations and fielded questions well. Covered massive amounts of info in one day. The course was really worthwhile. Good suggestions for practising techniques going forward, eg planning a walk and using NN instead of map or GPS.

Really good course, clearly explained and friendly atmosphere. Tutor was thorough, amusing, accommodating and very inclusive. An excellent introduction to the subject.

Tristan obviously has an excellent grasp of content and covers the full variety of aspects relating to it. Tristan has a very engaging and inclusive manner. Overall, it was excellent.