By: Blonde Two
Have you discovered OS Maps yet? If you haven’t then you really should give it a go. Imagine, for example, that you are going to visit Exmoor (lovely) and fancy a walk. Being a sensible walker you have packed your map but after having a good look at it, you can’t decide where to walk. Up which river should you amble? Along which coast path should you roam? Across which ridge should you stride? Tricky decisions and of course it is possible to find walks for most areas online but OS Maps have gone one better and give you a selection of tried and tested routes (for cyclists and runners too), shared by a wide variety of keen walkers and already imposed onto a 1:25,000 or 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey map.
Let’s give it a try shall we and find a walk on Exmoor. Now I know Exmoor reasonably well but there are lots of areas I haven’t covered walking yet. In my experience all roads on Exmoor lead eventually to Exford which has two pubs and a rather lovely Youth Hostel so I am going to stay at the Youth Hostel, eat at the pub and in between those two things find a great walking route. All I need to do is to log into my OS Maps account (you can get a 7-day free trial here), make sure the map is showing my location and click on ‘Discover Routes’. A whole list of routes will appear but if there are too many to choose from I can select ‘Premium Routes’ only. The routes are graded and clearly marked on an Ordnance Survey map.
In order to help me to choose my walk as well as viewing the walking route on the map I will be able to get some distance, grid reference and height gain information. This walk for example goes all the way south to Tarr Steps (beautiful but some steep hills) and has a total ascent of 628 metres (probably two reasons it is labelled as ‘challenging’).
The walks on OS Maps are added by enthusiasts from all over so, in popular areas, you will find plenty of choice. Happy hunting, and happy walking!