This paper presents a successful approach to learning tactile map skills in the field. During a three-phase project, visually impaired primary school children explored a route between a field studies centre and the village church. The first stage involved using non-visual senses to discover specific landmarks and the character of the parkland surroundings. Secondly, the children made their own tactile sketch maps of the route, and discussed the choice of symbols for a vacuum formed tactile map of the study area. Finally, a more detailed exploration of the route was accomplished with the help of a tactile map that set the path in the context of its surroundings.