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Learn to use maps

We describe the different maps that are available in this area under 'Outdoors maps'. But, how to use them?

Firstly, you don't always have to use a map. To get out in the fresh air, sometimes paths are good enough and clear enough to follow without map reading skills. Try established routes like the Bristol to Bath Railway Path, the Kennet and Avon Canal, or walks around the docks in Bristol, or the sea front at Severn Beach. Or, just go out of your front door and see if you can find somewhere new. Remember where you went and return by the same way - known as 'breadcrumb navigation'.

Or, choose some of the ready prepared routes on our website. They have directions and sometimes the maps included with them may be easier to follow if you're not used to Ordnance Survey maps. We plan to work through all the routes on the system and make the directions and maps better, and easier to follow where possible, so if you find they don't work for you, let us know.

Finally. There's good information already produced by the Ordnance Survey to help you learn to read a map, so we are not going to re-invent the wheel. This includes videos presented by Simon King, cameraman and presenter - you may have seen him on Springwatch and Autumnwatch on the BBC. Learn to read a map with the Ordnance Survey here.