National Trails


A-Z map the National Trails

9781782571650Guest blog by our Licensed Partner, A-Z Maps

A-Z Maps has been chosen as the official mapping partner to produce maps for the National Trails of England and Wales. There are 16 long distance paths that are official National Trails, covering some of the most stunning parts of the country. The official National Trail maps will be produced using the iconic OS 1:25,000 mapping data, familiar with those who have used the OS Explorer maps.

A-Z Adventure Series

A-Z has worked closely with OS for many years and the A-Z Adventure Series has been one of the successes of this partnership. The Adventure Series contains the detailed OS mapping, so loved by walkers and outdoor enthusiasts, in a convenient book format with an index to places of interest, towns, villages and features.

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All about the South Downs Way

South Downs WaySituated between Eastbourne and Winchester, the South Downs Way is a designated National Trail which meanders 101 miles through some of Sussex and Hampshire’s most stunning countryside.

From chalky cliffs to endless green fields, it’s a popular route which attracts walkers, hikers, horse riders and bikers; not to mention families having a picnic or couples enjoying a short stroll.

Here’s all you need to know about the South Downs Way: Read More


Explore one of the 15 National Trails

If you’re looking for inspiration for you next walk, why not start with one of England and Wales’ National Trails? There are 15 trails of varying lengths to enjoy the coastline and countryside of beautiful Britain. You can dip in and out of them in short sections if the whole trail feels like a daunting task to tackle and across the 15 trails, here should be something for everyone – whether you want to go walking, riding, cycling or running.

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


If you’d like to see the infographic in more detail, try this PDF.


Eight tips to prepare for a walking holiday

With 15 National Trails across our country, coast-to-coast walks and much more you can try out, a walking holiday can be an excellent way to see our beautiful countryside. Whether you’re tackling the 45-mile Norfolk Coast Path or the 630-mile South West Coast Path, there really is a trail, or a section of a trail, that will suit walkers of all abilities.

If you haven’t been on a walking holiday before and are booking it all yourself, follow our handy tips to get you heading in the right direction.

1. Choose your trail and get yourself the right maps for it

The debate between digital and paper maps continues and the two really can complement each other. Your hand-held device will give you an instant location fix and can be easier to hold – but paper maps won’t lose signal or run out of power. Many trails will require a number of Ordnance Survey maps – and there are often specialist providers that cater for it (Harvey produce two strip maps for Wainwright’s coast to coast walk for example). There will also be guides to the trail which can help you to plan.

2. Plan your route

Be realistic about what you can achieve and still enjoy your walking holiday. If you have seven days and want to walk the 184-mile Thames Path, you would probably be better splitting the route in two and covering the second half another time. By all means vary your walks each day – have an easy eight miles one day and then aim for 20 the next day. It would be a good idea to plan the odd rest day to give yourself time to recover and also the opportunity to visit an area a little longer. And make sure that you’re breaking your walks in spots where you can find an overnight stay.

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Everything you need to know about Rights of Way

Earlier this year I was involved with the running of a series of Ordnance Survey map reading workshops across Great Britain. One topic that regularly cropped up was rights of way – where can I go walking? Today on the Ordnance Survey blog I hope to be able to answer that question for you.

When we’re compiling the information for our maps we talk to a variety of other organisations and groups that provide different data-sets to link with the maps. When our surveyors are on the ground, or when our cartographers take information from the aerial photography that our plane has taken, they can’t always tell what the rights of way in that area are. We work with local authorities and national bodies (such as Sustrans and Natural England) to bring the information together for the maps. The maps are as accurate as they can be with the information that we have to hand at the time of the map being printed.

First of all – let’s have a look at the map and see what that tells us. What we’re looking at is the “Communications” section on the map legend. Here we can see the different types of roads and paths and public rights of way. Read More