Rats collected nuts from a container in a large arena in four experiments testing how learning about a beacon or cue at a goal interacts with learning about other spatial cues (place learning). Place learning was quick, with little evidence of competition from the beacon (Experiments 1 and 2). Rats trained to approach a beacon regardless of its location were subsequently impaired when the well-learned beacon was removed and other spatial cues identified the location of the goal (Experiment 3). The competition between beacon and place cues reflected learned irrelevance for place cues (Experiment 4). The findings differ from those of some studies of associative interactions between cue and place learning in other paradigms.