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Ordnance Survey reveals ten years of walking and cycling data

National Parks dominate, but can towns and cities learn from Manchester?

Profile of By Ordnance Survey
By Ordnance Survey
Press OfficeSharing the latest news about OS. We can licence you to use OS maps in print, online and film format. For more information and resources for journalists, bloggers and media professionals, email pressoffice@os.uk or call 023 8005 5565.

Over the last ten years Brits have plotted and shared nearly 11 million public walking and cycling routes across Great Britain in Ordnance Survey’s (OS) digital mapping and adventure planning apps.

From its most southerly, easterly and westerly points, right up to the northern extremities of its remote islands, and everywhere in between, the public have created routes and show no sign in losing their love for discovering and exploring Great Britain.

Data analysis shows Brits love exploring National Parks most, with OS wondering if the Peak District village of Edale is the number one place in Great Britain in the last decade for people to go to for an outdoor experience?

Offering superb hiking, mountain biking and climbing activities, Edale was not only the most popular place in Great Britain in the last ten years to begin a route in, but it was also the most popular place to end one in too.

Analysis also reveals that it has more routes running through it than any other place in the country.

Though Snowdon appears a close second to Edale on the list of having the greatest volume of routes running through it, it is actually Cumbria and its lakes that continue to appeal and pull the British public to it, as the data reveals that since 2010 it is the most popular county for outdoor enthusiasts to head to.

The last ten years has also seen an increase in people exploring their local and more urban areas.

In part this has been helped by including OS Greenspace into Ordnance Survey’s current mapping app OS Maps.

The free to use OS Greenspace map shows you your nearest greenspace, and outside of London, Manchester is the urban area with the most routes.

Manchester has received significant investment through cycling guru Chris Boardman’s Bee Network to improve the city’s access to walking and cycling, and tellingly it has almost double the number of routes than its nearest rival.

Nick Giles, OS Leisure Managing Director, says: “Ordnance Survey introduced leisure mapping over one hundred years ago and ever since it has been the outdoor companion and guide that takes you to better places and never lets you down.

"Our award-winning app, OS Maps, provides us with valuable anonymous data and insight which ultimately shows us that for many of us half the fun of using a map is in the planning stage.

"It’s in the Sunday afternoons or evenings spent studying it and the challenge of working out where you want to go and what you want to see.

"We are very fortunate that our island has such a varied beautiful landscape, and we are continually looking at how we can better support the public in their adventures.”

Sunday 27 September is National GetOutside Day, and through its website, OS is providing inspiration and ideas for how people can celebrate that day and GetOutside safely.

Nick continues: “It has been such an unusual and challenging year for many people, but we’re hoping that National GetOutside Day will provide an opportunity to get outside and a reminder of why the outdoors is so valuable.

"It is so good for the body and mind, and perhaps now more than ever we need that healing and joy that it brings.

"Whether its standing in your garden, using OS Maps to explore your local parks and greenspaces, or something a little bit more ambitious, like a walk, do it, but stay safe.

"Check the latest government guidelines first, keep safe and savour the sensation of being outdoors.”

Most popular 1km2 grid location to begin a route

  1. Edale
  2. Pen-y-Pass
  3. Horton-in-Ribbledale

Most popular 1km2 grid location to end a route

  1. Edale
  2. Ambleside
  3. Horton-in-Ribbledale

Top 20 1Km2 grid squares with routes running through

1

SK1285

Edale 

6827

2

SH6455

Pen-y-Pass 

4178

3

SH6054

Snowdon (Summit) 

4116

4

NY3704

Ambleside 

4049

5

SD8072

Ribblesdale

3899

6

SK1283

Edale (Mam Tor) 

3806

7

NY2623

Keswick

3719

8

NY2906

Langdale

3622

9

NY3816

Glenridding

3518

10

NY2806

Langdale (Dungeon Ghyll) 

3452

11

SK1384

Edale (Hollins Cross) 

3349

12

NY3307

Grasmere

3347

13

SK0886

Edale Head / Jacob’s Ladder 

3339

14

SK0786

Edale Cross 

3336

15

NY2514

Longthwaite 

3293

16

NY1807

Wasdale Head

3234

17

SK1284

Edale (Harden Clough)

3145

18

SK1085

Edale (Upper Booth)

3012

19

SK1185

Edale (Broadlee Bank)

3004

20

SH6560

Llyn Ogwen

2939

 

Top ten counties 

1. Cumbria

2. Derbyshire

3. North Yorkshire

4. Hampshire

5. Powys

6. Devon

7. Gwynedd

8. Gloucestershire

9. Kent

10. Surrey

Top ten town and cities (excluding London)

 

Manchester

9154

Wakefield

5833

Birmingham

4412

Sheffield

3012

Bristol

2873

Winchester

2774

Cambridge

2677

Bath

2667

Brighton and Hove

2663

Nottingham

2266

 

The data has been visualised and can be viewed in Ordnance Survey’s online gallery: https://labs.os.uk/public/os-virtual-gallery/

Profile of By Ordnance Survey
By Ordnance Survey
Press OfficeSharing the latest news about OS. We can licence you to use OS maps in print, online and film format. For more information and resources for journalists, bloggers and media professionals, email pressoffice@os.uk or call 023 8005 5565.