Top walking destinations for 2016 unveiled

Looking ahead to New Year’s Resolutions for 2017? Trying to decide how to work off those Christmas calories? How about walking? Getting outside and walking in Britain is free, easy and accessible to most of us.

Where will you explore? OS Maps mobile - photo by #GetOutside champion Aleks Kashefi

Where will you explore? OS Maps mobile – photo by #GetOutside champion Aleks Kashefi

We’ve already seen 2016 prove to be a big year for the outdoor enthusiast with the nation either donning their running shoes or walking boots to #GetOutside.

With the year coming to an end we’ve taken a look back at the most popular destinations searched by walkers on our popular OS Maps online service. An amazing 1.4 million destination searches were carried out via our online version of OS Maps in 2016. So, where were people hoping to explore?

  1. Snowdon – 4388 searches
  2. Keswick, Cumbria – 3374
  3. Edale, Derbyshire – 2750
  4. London – 2185
  5. Ambleside, Cumbria – 2165
  6. Brecon – 1892
  7. Castleton, Derbyshire – 1892
  8. Coniston, Cumbria – 1814
  9. Malham, N Yorkshire – 1726
  10. Patterdale, Cumbria – 1590
#GetOutside champion Jason Rawles took this fantastic photo from the summit of Snowdon

#GetOutside champion Jason Rawles took this fantastic photo from the summit of Snowdon, which topped the 2016 search

National Parks in England and Wales are well represented, and are stunning parts of the country to visit. Sadly, no Scottish destinations quite made the top 10, with Aviemore (1551) and Glencoe (1473) just missing out.

Nick Giles, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, said: “Great Britain is a beautiful nation and we are blessed with amazing areas which we can easily access and enjoy. I am not overly surprised by the majority of the locations in the search results, as they focus on popular visitor hot spots and National Parks.

“There are a few locations on the list which I have personally not visited yet and I’ll be aiming tick these off my to do list in the New Year. So why not make 2017 the year you discover more of Great Britain and start planning today?”

We want to make the outdoors as enjoyable, accessible and safe as we possibly can. We have a range of map products and resources for all abilities so there really is no excuse why we can’t all get outside in 2017.

Sign up for OS Maps to plan your routes online, print out maps and more. You’ll also be able to access the app and have a handy reminder of your route on your phone. There are 500,000 routes ready to follow or you can easily plot your own. Don’t forget, we always recommend taking a paper map and compass along with you too, to help stay safe on your adventures. You can use our videos and guides to brush up on your map reading skills if you’re feeling a little rusty.

Feeling inspired to #GetOutside more in 2017? Let us know your resolutions on the blog. You can find more inspiration on the #GetOutside website os.uk/walking.  We are always keen to hear of your personal adventures, you could even be included on the site or blog. To share your adventure email OS on getoutside@os.uk or tell us your own favorite places in the comments.


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6 Responses

  1. Colin Lea

    Really pleased with my os maps subscription. The only thing ViewRanger now does better is an Apple Watch app that gives me info on miles walked/time walked etc, a close up of my position and map of nearby and the ability to pause the route timer when I break for lunch etc. It’s very useful for quick navigation without getting my phone out (especially when raining). Are os working on an app for the Watch, and if not, why not?

    1. Hi Colin

      We aren’t currently working on any apps for watches. We did look at the possibility of developing an app for watches, however as the screen resolution is very small, the functionality was limited and we found to be not very useful. If we find that more customers are using watches, and wanting OS Maps extended in this way,we may look at this again in the future. As a business, the decision was made to concentrate on developing the existing apps. We’ll certainly pass your feedback along to the app team.

      Thanks, Gemma

  2. Caroline Maddison

    I am also enjoying my OS subscription and finding my way around best use for the walks we make. I have downloaded routes from others and am now in a situation where I want to walk a path in the opposite direction. I have not succeeded (yet) in finding a simple way of reversing a route – what have I failed to do?!

    1. Hi Caroline

      Great to hear that you’re enjoying your subscription with us. Unfortunately, there is no way of reversing the route at this time, it would mean re-plotting it in reverse. We have passed your feedback along to the developers for future consideration too.

      Thanks, Gemma

  3. Hi
    I’ve been writing a hiking blog about my adventures around the UK for some time and would like to back up my blogs with free area fact sheet downloads from my blog so that others can use the info I have learned. I pretty much have all the OS maps purchased for my own use in paper format. Am I allowed to copy snippets of individual routes to put on fact sheets for others to use as part of an individual hike or would I have to pay extra for the privilege and if so how much per snippet? The routes are generally circular of between 5-20km.

    1. Hi Simon

      I’ve just checked with our Customer Services team as they’re the experts in this field. They’ve advised:

      Our current licensing terms mean that you can only add certain mapping to a blog without needing a licence. We do offer different options to allow customers to obtain map data free of charge, which can be used without the need for a licence.

      If you want to scan paper maps to put on your blog, it is simpler to use our 1:50 000 scale (Landranger) paper maps. Whilst this mapping is published under Crown copyright, our licensing terms mean that you mean that you can use up to 100 scanned images of 1:50 000 scale mapping on a website or blog without charge or the need for a licence. We would only ask that you include the acknowledgement “© Crown copyright. Reproduced by kind permission of Ordnance Survey.”.

      If you need more than 100 scanned images, or wish to use 1:25 000 scale (Explorer) mapping, then for this you would need to apply for a Publishing Licence. Details of all this licensing can be found on our website at https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/business-and-government/licensing/licences/publishing.html. The licence fee depends on the total amount of mapping used, with a minimum of £47.50 plus VAT – see details on the webpage linked to.

      Alternatively, if you might prefer to embed sections of mapping in your website, you may be interested in our OS Maps API – see https://apidocs.os.uk/docs/os-maps-overview and links from there for further details, including a ‘Contact Us’ link for technical support.

      Lastly, you could also plan routes in our OS Maps service (www.os.uk/osmaps) and then use links in your blog to this service. See for instance the long list of links on one of our Get Outside blogs at https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getoutside/guides/how-to-find-easy-walking-and-cycling-routes/: each of the names under “Dismantled railway routes in OS Maps” links to OS Maps, so anyone clicking on it can see the routes against the default standard mapping (and overlaid on Explorer or Landranger mapping if they have an OS Maps subscription).

      I hope that helps you. If you have any further questions, do contact the team direct via customerservices@os.uk or 03456 050505 and they’ll be able to go into more detail.

      Many thanks

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