Agree with C57.
Distance and size/proportion are the things which catch you (or at least me) out. 10 miles is really quite close to the aircraft. Large towns are very large. Villages look bigger than you'd think them to be.
3 more things:
- Concentrate on finding one or 2 specific things first. Don't have a general look at the chart and then try to match what you see in real life. Find a couple of things (or 1) on the chart that should be good markers and look for those, then back up with other things once you have that.
- Remember that what is on the chart will always be on the ground, but not necessarily the other way around. I.e., there is not normally any point in spotting a really obvious feature in real life and then looking for it on the chart since it may not be there. Any really obvious features along you route you should have found during your pre-flight briefing on the chart anyway and you should be looking for those on the ground - not the other way around.
- Mark off your last known position on the map and update it with e.g. a green marker or so. That will give you an insant clue of where you should start looking as well as a reminder of where you've been, track , speed etc.
And enjoy it.... it does come with practice and and you'll notice when you take friends up that you have acquired it
(Oh - and whatever you do - if you are in East Anglia, never, never ever, navigate by disused airfields - there are just too many of them!)
We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon.