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Snowdon tops the list for Britain’s most trodden paths

22 Aug 2017
Ordnance Survey
LeisureUsing GI and maps
geodatavizos maps

Did you know that OS Maps subscribers added over 400,000 routes to the service over the last 12 months? We’ve analysed the (almost) 400,000 public routes and found that Snowdon bags the top spot for most routes created.

GB OS Maps routes 2017

We broke the country down into square kilometres and counted the number of routes passing through each square, and while Snowdon topped this list, the Edale area of the Peak District grabbed 6 of the top 10 spots, with the Lake District taking the remaining places. 

GB OS Maps routes 2017 - Edale

OS Maps now contains almost 1.2 million private and public routes, making it one of the largest databases of its kind in the world. We’ve illustrated the 400,000 public routes created in the last 12 months in a series of stunning data visualisations created by our GeoDataViz team member Charley Glynn. The darker, thicker areas illustrate the higher concentration of routes and reveal popularity.

We’ve always assumed the majority of the routes are created for walking, cycling and running activities, but it’s clear that some people have been finding new ways to use our products. You can see several instances where people have used our products to route their car journeys and spotted a couple of people using our products at sea to record their movements!

GB OS Maps routes 2017 GIF

Beyond the National Parks, which obviously dominate, we also realised that the National Trails are heavily used to create routes. Their locations can be clearly spotted when looking at the data visualisations.

We also created a league table to establish the most popular towns and cities to #GetOutside and plot routes. The London boroughs of Richmond-upon-Thames and Wandsworth feature in the top ten, along with Guilford, Winchester, Sheffield and Bath. It’s great to see people exploring our urban environment as well as the countryside. Take a look at the full results below, and visit our Flickr gallery to see all of the data visualisations.

GB OS Maps routes 2017

1km Grid Squares with number of routes going through that square

Grid square Location Number of routes
SH6054 Snowdon (Summit) 3779
SK1285 Edale 3590
NY2107 Scafell Pike (Summit) 3007
SK0786 Edale Cross 2636
SK0886 Edale (Jacob’s Ladder) 2632
NY3704 Ambleside 2587
SH6154 Snowdon (Pyg Track) 2581
SK1283 Edale (Mam Tor) 2529
SK1384 Edale (Hollins Cross) 2492
SK1185 Edale 2452
SO0121 Pen y Fan 2404
SH6455 Pen-y-pass 2377
NY2806  Langdale Fell (Cumbria Way) 2359
NY2208 Great End (Scafell Pike) 2342
NY3307 Grasmere (Centre) 2311
SK1085 Edale (Upper Booth) 2298
SK1284 Edale (Cold Side) 2288
NY2308 Allen Crags (Scafell Pike) 2278
NY3415 Helvellyn (Summit) 2271
NY2623 Keswick 2244


Top 10 cities and towns and number of routes

City/Town Number of routes
Ambleside 2731
Keswick 2523
Richmond Upon Thames 1278
Bath 1234
Sheffield 1205
Wandsworth 1169
Winchester 1147
Guildford 1140
Bakewell 1091
Church Stretton 1003
Ordnance Survey
By Ordnance Survey
Press Office

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