Britain's loneliest OS map

6 minute read
Want to know which OS map gets the least attention? Read on to find out where the most unexplored parts of Great Britain are to be found – we’re ready to reveal some OS secrets!

According to our sales figures for 2017/18, we have been able to publish the top 10 least popular Explorer maps in England, Scotland and Wales.

We believe it’s possible these hidden gems may well have been forsaken by walkers and ramblers heading for world-famous areas such as Snowdon, the Lakes and the Peak District. However, for those wishing to wander off the beaten path for some wild and wonderful places, we hope you’ll bring life back to these maps that have been overlooked.

The top 10 maps with the lowest sales in the whole of Great Britain all came from Scotland. OS Explorer 440 covering Glen Cassley & Glen Oykel, a beautifully barren wilderness in the northern Highlands, is our number 1 hidden treasure. Our map covering the two coastal Buchan fishing towns of Peterhead & Fraserburgh (OS Explorer 427) was close behind at number 2, while the Ayrshire Coast Path found in Kilmarnock & Irvine (OS Explorer 333) came in at number 3.

Top 10 least popular maps in GB (all in Scotland)

RankOverall Rank#Name
11Explorer 440Glen Cassley & Glen Oykel
22Explorer 427Peterhead & Fraserburgh
33Explorer 333Kilmarnock & Irvine
44Explorer 417Monadhliath Mountains North & Strathdearn
55Explorer 327Cumnock & Dalmellington
66Explorer 449Strath Halladale & Strathy Point
77Explorer 443Ben Klibreck & Ben Armine
88Explorer 343Motherwell & Coatbridge
99Explorer 334East Kilbride, Galston & Darvel
1010Explorer 335Lanark & Tinto Hills


Over Hadrian’s Wall and into England, it is the east of the country – and particularly Lincolnshire and its surrounds – which garnered the least attention from the map buying public. Eight out of the ten least popular maps covered this area which, given how ideal the flat landscape is for cycling, is something of a surprise. In this part of the world, there are some wonderful walks to be enjoyed around the low-lying fenlands, rivers and streams.

Top 10 least popular maps in England

RankOverall Rank#Name
126Explorer 248Bourne & Heckington
228Explorer 280Isle of Axholme, Scunthorpe & Gainsborough
341Explorer 249Spalding & Holbeach
443Explorer 235Wisbech & Peterborough North
547Explorer 284Grimsby, Cleethorpes & Immingham
659Explorer 314Solway Firth
760Explorer 228March & Ely
861Explorer 291Goole & Gilberdyke
966Explorer 281Ancholme Valley
1072Explorer 292Withernsea & Spurn Head


Moving into Wales there is a whole treasure trove of places that map buyers are unaware of, mostly dotted around the west, south and centre of the country. Whether it be the unspoilt scenery of Carmathenshire (OS Explorer 185 – Newcastle Emlyn, Llandysul & Cynwyl Elfed), the beauty of the Ceredigion coastal path (OS Explorer 199 – Lampeter, Tregaron & Llan-non), or the historic Builth Wells in the Wye Valley (OS Explorer 188 – Builth Wells, Painscastle & Talgarth), there is a variety of beautiful places ready to discover.

Top 10 least popular maps in Wales

RankOverall Rank#Name
188Explorer 185Newcastle Emlyn, Llandysul & Cynwyl Elfed
2100Explorer 178Llanelli & ammanford
3107Explorer 199Lampeter, Tregaron & Llan-non
4117Explorer 186Llandeilo & Brechfa Forest / Fforest Brechfa
5121Explorer 188Builth Wells, Painscastle & Talgarth
6144Explorer 239Lake Vyrnwy & Llanfyllin, Tanat Valley
7149Explorer 187Llandovery, Llanwrtyd Wells & Llyn Brianne
8152Explorer 165Swansea, Neath & Port Talbot
9169Explorer 166Rhondda & Merthyr Tydfil
10174Explorer 215Newtown, Llanfair Caereinion

So if you’re simply thinking of getting away from the crowd this year or if you feel sorry for the humble OS Explorer 440, why not take your cue from these lists and head for an area less-travelled?

Ordnance Survey
By Ordnance Survey

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