Rediscover Your Sense Of Adventure With OS Maps

Ordnance Survey brings you their comprehensive and easy-to-use navigation app

Looking at the OS maps app

by Live For The Outdoors |
Updated on

Want to expand your adventure horizons and open up your world to new experiences? The easy-to-use navigational tools of the OS Maps app are here to help you explore with confidence.

“I want to encourage in others the ambition to devise with the aid of maps their own cross-country marathons and not be merely followers of other people’s routes: there is no end to the possibilities of originality and initiative.” So wrote Alfred Wainwright, the famed guidebook writer and lover of the Lake District, in his 1972 book A Coast to Coast Walk. Over 50 years later those words still ring true.

In the woods checking OS Maps navigation app
©OS Maps

There is something magical about exploring new places, having new experiences and tasting that sense of discovery on your lips – with a countryside adventure you’ve planned yourself. This is exactly what OS Maps – the award-winning navigation app from Ordnance Survey - is all about. The makers of the app believe exploration is at the heart of every walking adventure: it’s about uncovering new places, experiencing exciting new landscapes, and letting that dizzying sense of discovery wash over you.

OS Maps is designed to enhance this process by providing a reliable and easy-to-use mapping service that encourages walkers to venture beyond their usual routes – and almost half a million people are finding it a total game-changer. The app has a whopping 475,000 active subscribers from 78 different countries and has been downloaded over 5 million times. In fact, it’s the third biggest outdoor navigation app in the world, with users sharing 12.6 million routes totalling 478 million kilometres - that’s as far as a journey to Mars and back! All of these users are re-discovering their sense of adventure with OS Maps.

OS Maps App screenshot
©OS Maps

At its most basic level, the app allows you to simply view Ordnance Survey’s topographical mapping for any area of the UK, zooming in and out of 1:25k and 1:50k map tiles to your heart’s content. But there is so much more to the functionality than that. You can also plot your own routes, checking the distance, height and terrain of your proposed walk, or instead discover 1,000s of pre-approved routes created by the likes of Trail and Country Walking magazines (hey – that's us!) and the Good Pub Guide. The latter is a goldmine of inspiration – a personalised guide to new and exciting routes and trails.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet forest trail or a challenging mountain hike, or whether you want an iconic ridge walk or a lesser-known hidden gem, OS Maps has a variety of options to meet your needs. Plus it’s not all about the destination – with OS Maps it’s about enjoying the journey and the surprises you encounter along the way. In a world that can feel predictable, this approach to the outdoors brings back the excitement of not knowing what’s around the next corner.

Taking a hiking break to check OS Maps
©OS Maps

This app invites you to explore, to seek and to find joy in the simple act of walking through new and uncharted territories. It’s about internal personal discovery too. As you explore new areas, you’ll learn more about your preferences, your endurance and your love for the outdoors. Each walk is a chance to learn something new about yourself and the world around you.

Sign up to OS Maps today (a premium subscription costs £24.99 annually) and it’ll give you the freedom and confidence to get outside more often, opening up a whole world of new opportunities – including these 3 best ways to use OS Maps to re-discover your sense of adventure.

3 of the best ways to use OS Maps to re-discover your sense of adventure

Hikers checking an OS Maps app on a phone
©OS Maps

1. Climb a mountain

you’ve never conquered before It’s important not to slip into a monotonous routine with your adventures. Doing the same thing in the same place constantly will, eventually, get tedious. Trying something new and going somewhere different can, however, inject excitement into your expeditions. So next time don’t climb Snowdon for the 7th time, instead pick out an obscure Snowdonia peak to climb; or don’t walk around Derwentwater like you always do, instead find a lesser-known Lake District body of water to explore. Need inspiration? Simply load up the Routes tab on the OS Maps app, search for a location and a myriad of verified walk options will be there waiting for you.

2. Visit a new national park

Walkers on Parkhouse Hill and Chrome Hill Peak District 1

There are 15 National Parks in the UK – 10 in England, three in Wales and two in Scotland – so there is a huge amount of space to explore, get off-grid and run wild. Whether it’s Dartmoor or Exmoor in the south, or Loch Lomond & The Trossachs or the Cairngorms in the north, why not book a weekend getaway to one of the national parks you’ve never been to before? It’ll be a ticket to new landscapes, new experiences and new memories, with OS Maps ready to suggest epic routes, trails and itineraries for your Friday-to-Sunday adventure.

3. Choose a lesser-known route up a popular mountain

Route 6: Skiddaw by Longside Edge, Lake District

Climb Skiddaw from Keswick up the tourist path and you’ll be one link in a huge chain of hikers all marching the same way up the giant of the Lakes’ northern fells. But start from the north-west in Barkbeth, ascending via Randel Crag, and you’ll barely see a soul. The same is true of almost all mountains: some paths are well-known and popular, others feel hidden and less-frequented. OS Maps’ database of routes can help you find those hidden gem routes up popular peaks.

OS Maps app
©OS Maps

Get half-price digital OS Maps. Trail and Country Walking magazine members get 50% off an annual subscription to OS Maps for 12 months. Find out more here.

Need help with OS Maps? Try the OS Maps online FAQ and OS Maps quick start guide for further assistance

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