5 books for OS map fans

Wondering what to get the map-lover in your life this Christmas? Thinking that they have more than enough maps packing their shelves? How about books about maps, loving maps, walking the countryside and more?

We’ve come up with five books that all mention Ordnance Survey and are, to some degree, about OS, maps and/or exploring beautiful Britain. Plus, there’s the chance to win a copy of one of these books below…

To research Map Addict, Mike visited the most boring OS grid square in the land, followed OS founder William Roy’s eighteenth century base line across west London, explored England’s feudal nugget, Rutland, and spent the summer solstice in Milton Keynes, in order to test the theory that it is built to a pagan alignment. What more could you need to know?

Described as ‘not quite a book about walking’, Tom Cox’s excellent new book nevertheless shines with a love of the British countryside, alongside folklore and the odd badger. Research for the book often saw Tom out walking with OS map in hand, whether in Devon, Norfolk, the Peak District or beyond. There’s also a handy reminder about not using out-of-date maps in case of ‘erosion-themed death’. We won’t spoil the book by telling you any more…

Find out all about OS’ history – the political revolutions, rebellions and regional unions that altered the shape and identity of the United Kingdom over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It’s also a deliciously readable account of one of the great untold British adventure stories, featuring intrepid individuals lugging brass theodolites up mountains to make the country visible to itself for the first time.

Not just OS maps, but even a love of the OS trig pillar made it onto Bill Bryson’s list of favourite British items in his 2015 book. The book will take you on a trip from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath with many stops along the way to celebrate the best and worst of Britishness.

Last, but not least, a surprising inclusion maybe, but fans of the renowned novel will know why:

“I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to compare with our own Ordnance Survey maps; but I found that Bistritz, the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place.”

Maybe include OL27 for the North York Moors and they can explore Whitby to follow in Dracula’s footsteps too!

Win a copy of 21st-Century Yokel by Tom Cox

The Sunday Times bestselling author’s new book is in stores now, but we have one copy to give away. For the chance to win, answer this question:

Tom Cox lives in Devon and enjoys walking on Dartmoor, amongst other places. What is the number of the OS Explorer map which covers Dartmoor?

Post your answer below on the blog by midnight on Sunday 3 December. We’ll draw one winner at random from all of the correct answers.

Terms and conditions.

For more gift ideas for the map-lover in your life, check the OS Map Shop too

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176 Responses

  1. Jo Agnew

    OL 28. I live in Tavistock so Dartmoor is my back garden. I have several copies of this map; 1 in the car, 1 in the kitchen for route planning and the tuff map in the rucksack ready for the off.

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