“Staycations should never be seen as a second best choice, because Britain is a truly great holiday destination,” says Nick Giles, General Manager of Ordnance Survey Leisure. “Whether you’re looking for a traditional family beach break, a weekend of adrenalin-pumping adventure or a few days discovering hidden city streets, keeping a map close at hand will not only bring the outdoors to life and ensure you make the most of your time away but is also a sensible safety precaution.”
Whilst traditionalists can still choose the national mapping authority’s range of paper maps, its online leisure portal, OS getamap and OS MapFinder app are ideal for those who like to share experiences or use their mapping on a mobile device. All are underpinned by the attention to detail and accuracy for which Ordnance Survey is known and trusted for around the world.
Choose the iconic pink OS Landranger Map series or one of the 403 orange OS Explorer Maps, favoured by outdoor enthusiasts for their 4 cm to 1 km detail. Both are available in weatherproof format – a popular and practical option for the unpredictable British summer – or as bespoke Custom Made maps, which can be centred on a location of choice complete with personalised titles and the option to include your own front cover image. All show National Trails, recreational paths, picnic areas, viewpoints and selected places of interest, as well as Rights of Way information for England and Wales.
With the largest database of British walking routes – more than 250,000 in total – OS getamap is a great place to plan outdoor leisure activities. Register free for the basic pay-as-you-go-printing service to create walking, cycling and running routes, add markers and points of interest, or become a subscriber for unlimited printing and full functionality, including free recommended and ready-to-use routes, personalisation options and the ability to import and export routes to mobile devices. Find out more at www.osgetamap.co.uk.
Routes can also be shared between OS getamap and the new OS MapFinder app, which was recently upgraded to allow users to both export and import routes via email and URL. The flexible sharing option also allows GPX route files created on other third-party apps and websites to be easily imported, as well as the posting of favourite routes for friends and family on social media.
Fast and easy-to-use, this popular mobile app brings the iconic Ordnance Survey paper maps to iOS devices and will be available on Android devices soon. It is free to download and includes free overview mapping for the whole of Great Britain, with the option to purchase and download small quantities of more detailed map data for outdoor use. Routes can be saved on the device to be reviewed or repeated at a later date and can be personalised with photographs.
Nick says: ‘To make the most of a great British holiday, you need a great British map. Ordnance Survey has been mapping the country for more than 220 years and, with some 250 surveyors and imagery from aircraft, we make around 10,000 changes every day to keep our authoritative map of the nation up to date. I think that Ordnance Survey could claim that no one knows Britain better than us.’
Ordnance Survey’s top tips for getting to know Britain better
1. Pop the kettle on
There’s nothing like the anticipation of a summer holiday and, by giving you a preview of your destination, a map is great way to get in the mood. Whether you prefer poring over a paper map, exploring online or via an app, grab yourself a cuppa and gather the family around the kitchen table to discover the area surrounding your holiday destination, and make plans so there’s an activity or attraction to suit everyone.
2. Hop online
Join in the chat online and find out what a place is really like by asking the opinion of previous visitors. OS getamap, for example, allows you to find great places to go and things to do, as well as to check local weather before you set off; you can even find a pub or a place to stay.
3. Plan, but keep the spontaneity
You don’t want to miss any must-see sights, so it’s a good idea to have some sort of plan for your holiday. Avoid the temptation to stick to a timetable though, as a bit of spontaneity is all part of getting away from the 9 to 5 routine. A map on your mobile or in your backpack
, will not only keep journeys on track, it will also help you to discover hidden gems, such as quaint pubs, secluded coves or country houses, along the way.
4. Swot up on your skills
Map reading is easy once you’ve mastered the basics and most people already have a broad grasp of grid references and symbols from their school days. If you feel your skills could benefit from a bit of a brush-up, Ordnance Survey has a great leaflet, Map reading made easy peasy to download at: ow.ly/kTn9F. There’s also a section explaining map symbols, including some free flashcard templates to print out, which make a great game for the children.
5. Stay safe
Hopefully you’ll enjoy a happy holiday without incident, but if you do get into a spot of bother, a map can make all the difference. Taking a minute to get your bearings may be all you need to get back on track, but if you need help, giving the emergency services the grid reference of your location will help them find you quickly.
- Over 250,000 routes
- More than 100,000 users of OS getamap every month
- More than 750,000 map routes have been printed since launch (April 2011)
More than 410,000 map routes have been saved into customers’ map folders
- Over 120,000 downloads in just over three months