Converting between miles and kilometres

Home learning focus

Learn how to convert between miles and kilometres.

This lesson includes:

  • a learning summary
  • an interactive activity
  • two worksheets

Learn

In the United Kingdom, miles are often used to measure distance. However, most places in the world use kilometres.

Miles are imperial measures while kilometres are metric. To recap on imperial and metric measurements, have a look at the guides on 'Length and distance' in KS2 Maths.

When abroad, you may find the need to convert kilometres into miles so that you can understand how far you are travelling in a measurement that you are used to.

When converting between miles and kilometres and vice versa, you need to remember these useful conversions.

MilesKilometres
1 mile≈ 1.6km
5 miles≈ 8km

The symbol that looks like a wiggly equals sign means approximately.

When you are converting, you have to remember to multiply both sides by the same number. Knowing your times tables will come in handy with these conversions.

Now let's take a look at some examples.

Example 1: Convert kilometres to miles

What is 32km in miles?

  • Step 1: Look at the conversion table again. 5 miles ≈ 8km will be the easiest one to use since 32 is a larger number.

  • Step 2: Look at the relationship between 8km and 32km. Think about what you multiply by 8 to make 32. You multiply by 4.

  • Step 3: Both lengths have to be multiplied by the same number. If you have multiplied 8km by 4 to make 32km, you have to multiply 5 miles by 4 as well to find out the conversion.

5 miles x 4 = 20 miles

So 32 kilometres is approximately 20 miles.

Example 2: Convert miles to kilometres

What is 30 miles in kilometres?

  • Step 1: Look at the conversion table again. 5 miles ≈ 8km will be the easiest one to use since 30 is a larger number.

  • Step 2: Look at the relationship between 5 miles and 30 miles - you multiply 5 by 6 to make 30.

  • Step 3: Multiply both lengths by the same number to find out the conversion.

8km x 6 = 48km

So 30 miles is approximately 48 kilometres.

Practise

Activity 1

Miles and kilometres

First work through Chapters 1 and 2 of this interactive activity. Remember to use the conversion table to help you to convert between miles and kilometres.

Miles and kilometres

Activity 2

Convert between miles and kilometres

Use your knowledge of converting between miles and kilometres to solve the problems on this worksheet from HeadStart Primary.

Convert between miles and kilometres

Finished? Click here for the answer sheet

Activity 3

Converting between miles and kilometres

Put your knowledge of converting between miles and kilometres to the test by completing this worksheet from Twinkl. Use the information on the worksheet to help you to answer the questions using the method provided.

Converting between miles and kilometres

Finished? Click here for the answer sheet

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.

More lessons for Year 6 and P7
KS2 Maths
7 - 11 Maths
Primary games
Newsround
Join the Super Movement!
KS2 English