National Parks


Putting The Sill on the map

Opening tomorrow, during National Parks Week 2017, is The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre in Northumberland National Park. Our surveyor Richard Bennett was on site recently to ensure the building was added to the map.

The Sill is the result of a partnership between the National Park and YHA England and Wales, including space for exhibitions, a café, a Youth Hostel, a rural business hub, and a shop specialising in local crafts and produce.

Richard was on hand to measure every aspect of the site and add the featured to 550 million in our geospatial database. His GNSS receiver locks on to several satellites and a series of ground stations (that’s right, no trig pillars required!) and the calculations are accurate to within a few centimetres. Read More


Encourage children to #GetOutside with Mission:Explore

CVR_ME NP english front JPEGFormer Geovation Challenge winners Mission:Explore are launching a new book to coincide with National Parks Week. The new adventure book is packed with challenges for children to try out, perfect to encourage the family to #GetOutside with Mission:Explore and explore Britain’s 15 National Parks.

Mission:Explore National Parks is a collaboration with National Parks UK that challenges children and their families to become extreme explorers, natural navigators and wildlife watchers. Each member of the National Park UK family is a unique place, suited for discovery, curiosity and creativity – ideal to #GetOutside and explore.

There are 49 weird and wonderful missions to tackle, ranging from eating like a local to creating puddle maps or navigating by the stars. We caught up with #GetOutside champion Steve Backshall recently and put him to the challenge, take a look: Read More


Route of the week: Tom Moses’ Yorkshire Dales

Moses-Somerberg-3As official mapping partner for the 2014 Friends Life Tour of Britain we’re thrilled to be supporting the race and will be at the Liverpool, Brighton and London stages if you want to pop by and see us. We’re also extremely excited to be able to bring you a series of recommended rides from the Rapha Condor JLT team. Ranging from 100–200km, from Skipton to Bodmin, there should be routes to suit many cyclists.

Download the GPX file

Tom Moses has been one of Rapha Condor JLT’s top performers in 2014, scoring some impressive results in the spring, including a memorable stage win in diabolical conditions at the Tour of Normandy in France, where he held the yellow jersey for a number of days. Read More


Walk of the week: Scenic Windermere walk and boat tour

Today’s walk is a guest blog from Digital Outdoors, a network of over 60 camping and outdoor holiday websites. Their mission is to connect UK campers with great campsites and inspire and nurture a love for the Great British Outdoors.

Length of route: 3.1 m
Starting point: SD 413 987
Suitable for: Walking
Maps: OS Explorer Map OL7 The English Lakes: South-Eastern area
Download our OS MapFinder app and record your route
Use OS getamap


Read More


Plan a visit to a National Park

This week is National Parks Week, a seven-day celebration of Britain’s wildlife. It sees events organised across Britain’s 15 National Parks and encourages all Brits to head out and explore open areas right on their doorstep. There will also be a photography competition (on the theme ‘Space to Grow’) and overnight stays to show off the Parks’ dark skies.

So for those planning a visit to one of Britain’s National Parks for the big week ahead, here are some of the goings on you can look forward to.

Brecon Beacons

Brecon Beacons

Pen y Fan View To Cribyn, © Douglas Law

‘Take pART’ is an arts and crafts scheme aimed at allowing children to get creative, learn a new skill and make something tangible, especially if this can be done with natural materials. This year’s National Parks Week will coincide with two Take pART workshops: pottery and felt pictures.

Both workshops will take place at the National Park visitor centre, with pottery on the cards on July 29 and felt the following day. The cost for each will be £5 per child. Adults or families looking for more physical activities, meanwhile, may be tempted by the Walk, Talk and Tea stroll around Mynydd Illtud. The family-friendly four-mile stroll will take in industrial sites, spiritual centre and Iron Age hillfort (depending on time). Space on the walk cost £4 but this includes a cream tea. Read More


Enjoy National Parks week

It’s not too late to put some plans in place and make the most of National Parks week, which starts on 28 July. With 15 fantastic Parks to visit across Great Britain, there should be something for everyone – whether you want to go walking, camping, cycling, rock-climbing or even star-gazing.

We’ve pulled together some facts and figures on our National Parks to inspire you – take a look here. And if you do fancy a visit, check out our Map shop for discounted National Park map bundles too.



Celebrate National Parks Week with a walk

If you’d like to take part in this week’s National Parks Week there are heaps of events going on throughout the week with information on their website. If it’s inspiring you to visit one of our spectacular National Parks this week (or at a later date), why not try one of our walks or rides? We’ve compiled our top ten National Parks’ routes from our blog below.

And, if you love using our maps for your outdoors activity – why not enter our competition to become a face of Ordnance Survey? You could take your photos when on one of these walks.

1. Try Kinder Low for a circular walk in the Peak District – and you’ll spot one of our trig points on this walk by Peter Naldrett.

2. If you’re visiting the Welsh gem that is the Brecon Beacons, this popular walk around Storey Arms, Pen-y-fan and the ridge will ensure you have some great views.

3. Go munro-bagging around Driesh and Mayar in the Cairngorms if you find yourself in this lovely Scottish National Park.

4. There are many spectacular walks around the Lake District and this six mile loop around Grasmere and Elterwater is gentle enough to suit most, but still affords some amazing views (below).

5. Bag some more munros in the Trossachs around Ben Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin.

6. If you’re not a fan of mountain climbing and are looking for a flatter experience in a National Park – try the New Forest.  This circular route around Bishop’s Dyke starts and finishes near the Drift Inn too – handy for rewarding yourself at the end!

Read More


Walk of the week: Kinder Low

We thought we’d give you advance warning to celebrate the start of National Parks Week on Monday 29 July by revisiting this guest walk from last year in the spectacular Peak District.

Today’s walk is from Peter Naldrett, author of the Trigpoint Walks series of books.

Length of route: 8.3 miles
Time: 4 hours
Ascent: 574 m/1884 ft
Difficulty: Rocky terrain/steep in places
Start/finish point: Main car park at Edale (SK124853)
Trig point: Kinder Low at 633 m (SK079871)
OS Explorer Map (1:25 000) – OL1 The Peak District (Dark Peak area)
Download our OS MapFinder app and record the route
Use OS getamap to plot the route yourself

Route information: This is a very strenuous walk, but one of the most rewarding in the Peak District, passing spectacular rock formations, streams and viewpoints. As with any walk on Kinder, I made sure that I took with me a compass, a map, sturdy shoes and waterproofs as the weather can turn for the worse at any time.

Parking is available in the main car park at Edale and from there I took the path to the left of the toilets which leads to the only road to the village. Turning right onto the road and continuing along it, I kept to the left of The Old Nag’s Head pub. The road turns into a track, following signs for Grindsbrook and the route eventually takes a path to the right of a private drive. It then heads down the steps and crosses the bridge, joining a man-made path at the other side of the valley. The next step involved heading along this path and going through a gate that leads through a small wood and then out of the gate at the far side of it. I crossed the stream and continued along the path as it followed the right hand side of the river. A sheer cliff face eventually appears on the right, and this marks the spot when I had to carefully cross the river using the rocks and continue on the left hand side of it towards the top of the Kinder Plateau. Close to the top, the rocky river bed forks in two and then I headed to the left. I could now see a path straight in front of me as I emerged onto the top at grid reference SK105 872. I took this stone path. As I followed this route along the edge of Kinder Scout I passed some incredible rock formations and enjoyed views to the south over the Peak District.

Read More