Maps for Walkers
Maps are available both in paper and in digital forms.You can buy maps online from this site and maps are listed on each route’s page with direct ‘buy online’ links.
|For an overview of the main LDP network, use the LDWA / Harvey Maps Long Distance Path Chart, a coloured UK map showing the LDP path network, in conjunction with this website and the UK Trailwalker’s Handbook. The Chart is useful for route planning and selecting an LDP to walk and it includes E-Routes in the UK. The Chart shows the UK LDPs network as it was in 2002 but does not include new routes since then. It was researched by the LDWA.|
A large-scale map, such as an Ordnance Survey (OS) or Harvey map, should always be carried when walking any LDP. Each route entry includes its OS map numbers and lists other maps. OS mapping covers the whole of Great Britain at several scales, with the Landranger and Explorer series of most use to walkers. The Landranger 1:50,000 scale maps are good for initial planning and adequate for most route-finding purposes.
|For those who like more detail, including field boundaries, etc, the Ordnance Survey Explorer 1:25,000 series (that now include or replace the older Outdoor Leisure series maps) now cover all of England, Wales and Scotland. The routes of many major LDPs are marked on these maps. The new Access Land is being shown on new editions of OS Explorer mapping. A rugged version of the Explorer maps, called ‘Active’ is now available with full coverage – see below. Official guidebooks to the English National Trails contain extracts from OS maps and these may suffice if detours from the route are not contemplated.||
(Image reproduced from the OS Get-a-map Service with kind permission of OS)
If you would like a customised centred OS map, the OS Select product provides a tailored service based on both their Landranger and Explorer series mapping and if you want an unfolded map this is an option, as the OS paper maps are folded. The centred maps are supplied by the OS and through other suppliers and are inkjet printed so the print quality if different from the usual maps.
Other publishers have produced dedicated maps for certain LDPs. Of these Harvey Maps have the most extensive catalogue and their mapping also covers most major walking areas at both 1: 40,000 scale and, in their Superwalker series, at 1: 25,000 scale. Harvey Maps for LDPs are in stripmap form with a number of panels covering the route on a single sheet. Significant deviations from the route may take you off these maps. These maps also include local and route background information. Waterproof and rugged versions are being introduced – the information will say so if this is the case.
We list any other specialist maps that we know of, but they may not all have online purchase links.
Waterproof OS maps are now available as the ’Active’ format of all the OS Explorer Maps and some Landranger Maps, an encapsulated map that is tough, durable and weatherproof. The maps are covered in a protective plastic coating that can be written on, so your favourite routes can be easily highlighted. They are much more costly but more durable and may obviate the need for a map case, though they are bulkier and heavier. Aqua3 and Guidepost make and supply laminated OS maps and Stanfords supply waterproof maps, as well as paper maps. OS Explorer Active maps can be bought on this LDPs site.
The route information on this website includes OS Landranger and Explorer LDP map lists and these may be bought online using the purchase links there at discounted prices, with the best value if you buy several maps and qualify for the free postage - see FAQ's - How do I obtain path maps and publications?
Apart from the online purchase links on this site, LDWA Members can also get a discount on OS maps by post from TSO Scotland, 71 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9AZ. Tel 0870 606 5566, Fax 0870 606 5588, Email email@example.com. Members of LDWA should quote their membership number when placing their orders to ensure they receive the discount of buy one map, get the second map half price - with any order subject to a £2.00 postage and packing charge.
The LDWA does not stock or supply OS maps direct via its own merchandise shop.
Maps are widely available online, by phone and through local book and outdoor shops. Major suppliers include:
Ordnance Survey - (08456 05 05 05)
Aqua3 - (01433 621779)
Cordee Ltd - (0116 254 3579)
Elstead Maps - (01483 898 099)
Guidepost - (0115 937 6716 and guidepost.uk.com)
The Map Shop - (0800 08454080 and firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mapstore - is the online shop for National Map Centre (020 7222 2466)
Map and Compass - (01484 846 776)
Stanfords - (020 7836 0189)
Dash4it - (0845 634 62 66)
Digital format mapping is available for the OS Explorer and Landranger maps, and some Harvey maps and it is normally provided in CD or DVD form to install on your PC. It can be linked with a GPS enabling waypoints to be transferred, both to the GPS, and once the route is walked, back from the GPS to show the actual route taken. Lists of waypoints making up a route can be shared with users of similar software and these may be included in route publications or on websites.
If the GPS can display maps the current position can be overlaid. Alternatively maps can displayed on a pocket PC or Smartphone. Compared to a paper map the small screen size naturally limits the area viewed.
Digital maps enable route planning by tracing a route, annotating points or routes, estimating of distances and times, showing gradient profiles and simulated ‘fly-throughs’ of a route, and selecting and printing of selected areas of a map with optionally, a route overlaid. When printing, the printed size can also be varied for readability using the facilities of the PC or the printer to enlarge or reduce from the normal map scale.
Digital maps can cover very large areas seamlessly, so scrolling is possible on the computer screen without meeting ‘edges’ as with paper maps. When buying, select an appropriate product that covers the areas you need and ensure it provides seamless scrolling if this is important to you. Single OS maps can be bought in digital format but only cover the same areas as the paper maps. Using the map lists in the route details pages you can select these maps for an LDP. Waypoint information can normally be transferred directly between different map scales if you have more than one scale of map, e.g., from Landranger to Explorer. Searches by place or location name may be provided. Aerial photography may be included.
Digital maps require significant PC storage space and can be demanding on computing power and for 3D effects a suitable graphics card may be required. Check the system requirements before purchasing and test the software using a free trial download or free sample CD. Some products involve compressed map files with a reduction in map sharpness and graphic quality, but with less storage space and computing power required and possibly at lower cost. Larger scale maps will involve more information and so larger storage space. Split screen displays can show say topographic maps and aerial photography side by side.
Although apparently expensive, remember that these maps can cover large areas and as sections can be printed again, they do not require replacing like paper maps. Digital maps are covered by a user licence that you purchase with the map and this may allow limited numbers of copies to be printed and may include other restrictions of use. The OS map version will normally be recent but may not be the latest. If this is a concern check the map version with the supplier. Updates will not normally be supplied free and you may need to upgrade or re-purchase the same areas again: the suppliers’ websites cover upgrade fees.
Waterproof map prints can be made either by printing on waterproof paper or by laminating the printout. When printing, the quality of the printer will affect the final result and a colour printer will be needed for best effect.
Digital products vary in regional coverage and the facilities they provide but all the digital map suppliers listed below offer Landranger and Explorer coverage of the UK, with the additional products identified, and sites include useful technical support feature articles online:
Anquet (0845 330 9570 and Sales@Anquet.co.uk) National Park Series, Harvey Maps Series, Selected long distance paths strip maps.
Memory-map (0870 740 9040 and enquiry form online). National Parks. Selected long distance paths strip maps. Toughprint paper for printing maps for outdoor use - waterproof, resists crumples and tears.
ISYS Outdoors (Hillwalker), (0845 166 5701and enquiry form online). Some products include walks, photographs, music and information
Tracklogs (Sales and queries online only.) Customised centred maps. National Parks. (Image copyright of Tracklogs and used with permission.)
Most of the track files provided for download on this site are currently Tracklogs files.
Small areas of OS maps can be viewed online directly using online mapping websites and on this site there are click links for route start and finish points. For more information on this and using online map sites see FAQ's - How can I see on a map online of where a route starts or finishes if I don’t have the paper map?