We’re lucky in Great Britain to live in an area packed with ancient monuments and archaeological sites. And it can add a twist to your weekend #GetOutside adventures to plan a walk that takes in one of these sites. From Avebury’s Neolithic stone circles to Caerleon’s Roman amphitheatre to Glen Elg’s Iron Age brochs, the whole country has fantastic historic sites available.
One of the OS Historical map series, our Ancient Britain map provides an overview of thousands of years of history. Part map and part historical guide, the whole of Great Britain is covered in a double-sided sheet. It includes a list of key dates, events and archaeological evidence. Sites and museums are listed along with recommended reading for more information on the period.
Our Flying Unit has been immortalised by the iconic Squadron Prints who produce the highly acclaimed series of aircraft and ship lithographic prints. One of the Cessna 404 Titan’s we use, G-FIFA, features on the stunning print.
Our Flying Unit operate from East Midlands Airport, taking to the skies above Great Britain between February and November each year. Professional pilots take our air camera operators up in two Cessna 404s, G-FIFA and G-TASK, to take aerial imagery of over 50,000 square kilometres of the country each season. From the Scilly Isles to the Shetland Islands, the team will capture over 140,000 aerial images each year, using the 196-megapixel cameras on-board the planes.
Did you know that our Partner A-Z Maps is also the official mapping partner for the National Trails of England and Wales? They reproduce our 1:25,000 data (as used in our own OS Explorer maps) to cover the 16 long distance paths that are official National Trails. Ideal if you have a long distance summer adventure planned!
Their A-Z Adventure Series is in a convenient book format with an index to places of interest, towns, villages and features. Their books cover nearly all the 15 National Trails, and they’re aiming to complete the set by autumn 2017. Latest releases include the Norfolk Coast Path and the Yorkshire Wolds Way.
Keeping the family entertained during summer holidays can be a challenge, particularly if the British weather hits a damp spell. We’ve got five great activities, both indoor and outdoor, that will appeal to budding geographers and explorers. And a fantastic competition to win some books to help you with the entertainment…
Download our Minecraft map of Great Britain
Minecraft, the Swedish computer game in which you make things out of virtual blocks, remains hugely popular with users of all ages. If you or your family are Minecraft devotees, why not try our geographically-accurate Minecraft map of Britain?
Today marks 226 years since Ordnance Survey was founded. In the late 1700s the government at the time ordered its defence ministry – the Board of Ordnance – to begin a survey of England’s vulnerable southern coasts, worried that the French Revolution might sweep across the English Channel. In June 1791, the Board purchased a new Ramsden theodolite, and this is seen as the foundation of our organisation.
We’re marking the occasion by giving you the chance to win a limited edition OS print. Artist Bradley Hutchings paid tribute to the graphic artists of our past with a signed limited edition print, digitally created and inspired by iconic British landscapes. For many people, it is the historic Ellis Martin hand-drawn map covers that grab the imagination. Bradley has paid tribute to this era with his limited edition print. Only 250 signed prints were made – and we’ve got 3 of them up for grabs. To enter, tell us which year OS will turn 230. Just post on the blog by midnight on Sunday 25 June. We’ll draw 3 winners at random from all of the correct answers.
A fantastic way to inspire a love of cartography at an early age, have you heard of the Barbara Petchenik Children’s Map Competition 2017? Barbara was a leading cartographer whose work related to children. In her memory, the International Cartographic Association holds a biennial competition.
2015 overall winner: The world in our hands by Pan Sin Yi (aged 15)
Hands up if you were the lucky recipient of a copy of The Great British Colouring Map this Christmas? Or if you decided to treat yourself to a spot of mappy colouring in? We’ve loved seeing some of you sharing your photos on Twitter and Instagram of your pristine new books, and of progress as you get started with the colouring. And it gave us an idea for a competition…
Hands up if you’re looking for some free family activities over the summer holidays? We thought so…how about a spot of trig bagging to get the family outside? This year we’ve been celebrating the 80th anniversary of the trig pillar, those concrete pillars that are often found at the top of hills and create a handy photo opportunity.
Once a key part of our surveying network, and since superseded by GNSS, they stand tall and mark the summit of many a walk. With around 6,000 still standing around Britain you stand a fair chance of spotting one when you’re out exploring, and you can spot them on your map as the small blue triangle with a dot in the centre.