#TrigPillar80: The Trig Pillar Trail Challenge

On 18 April 1936 a group of surveyors gathered around a white concrete pillar in a field in Cold Ashby and began the retriangulation of Great Britain. That trig pillar is still standing 80 years on, along with thousands more around the country. We’re giving you the chance to join our celebrations and #GetOutside to bag a trig pillar with The Trig Pillar Trail Challenge, featuring 25 trig pillars around Britain.


How did you choose the 25 trig pillars for the map?

We teamed up with our #GetOutside champions and asked them to nominate their favourite trig pillar to visit on their outdoors adventures. They chose trigs all across the country – many in our beautiful National Parks. They range from the very easy to bag to the extremely difficult (one forms part of final selection training for the Special Forces)! Many of the champions have also provided walks, runs and cycle rides that encompass their nominated trig pillar. Click on the trig you’re interested in on our interactive map and if there’s an associated walk, you’ll be taken to our #GetOutside site with a full write up and photos of the route. The route is plotted in OS Maps, so if you’re a subscriber, you’ll be able to follow the route too. If you’re not a subscriber, you still have access to the walk description and the GPX file.


We also asked Rob Woodall, Britain’s top trig-bagger, to nominate one. Having bagged 6,190 over 14 years – he is something of an expert on the subject! Rob chose a very interesting one, the lowest trig pillar in Britain…

The last four trig pillars were picked by us at OS, to provide a wider geographic spread.

How can I join in The Trig Pillar Trail Challenge?

Go to our interactive map to see exactly where the 25 trig pillars in the challenge are located around Britain. If you visit one of those trig pillars on your next outdoors adventure, just take a photo and share it with us on Twitter or Instagram using #TrigPillar80. Or just bag your favourite trig pillar and share your photo with us too.

We’ve had a limited edition T-shirt printed to celebrate the anniversary and we’ll be giving up to four T-shirts away each week while stocks last or until 31 August 2016 at the latest. If you’ve shared a photo with us using #TrigPillar80, you’ll be automatically entered into the random draw.

I don’t live near any of the trigs on the challenge map, can I still take part?

Yes – there are thousands of trig pillars out there and we’d love to see your photos of them using #TrigPillar80. The trigs pillars nominated by our champions are to encourage more people to #GetOutside and explore Britain by providing walks and routes around them. We’ll be just as happy to see your photo from your favourite trig pillar too.

I’m really keen to bag all of the trig pillars in the challenge, will I get a special prize?

We haven’t got any plans for that, but we’ll be very impressed! We’d love to hear from people who do manage all 25 – and from anyone planning to follow in Rob Woodall’s footsteps and bag all of those trig pillars still standing in Britain.

Visit The Trig Pillar Trail Challenge map for some route inspiration for your next adventure.

See #TrigPillar80 photos on Twitter and Instagram.

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