Map reading skills: Making sense of contour lines

We’ve made it to week three in our six-week blog series on map reading skills. Map reading is an essential skill for any explorer or outdoor enthusiast. We’ve teamed up with Steve Backshall to record a series of videos to remind you of the basics and help you feel confident with your map.


So far we’ve covered which OS map you need and understanding map symbols. Today we’ll be telling you how to make sense of contour lines and over the few weeks we’ll also cover:

  • How to read a grid reference, both four-figure and six-figure versions
  • Knowing your compass and how to take a compass bearing
  • Understanding magnetic north

We’ll share Steve’s video with you, give a summary in the blog and point you in the right direction of further resources and details. Hear what Steve has to say about contour lines: Read More