Discover the countryside around youPlan your perfect route
With 2021 looking like it's going to be the year of the staycation, many of us in the UK are going to be discovering new places. If you are doing it right, then you may be back again in 2022, 2023 ...
However, if you turn up somewhere new, or even if you have time to discover somewhere local, how do you get the best out of your time, or in corporate-speak - 'How do you get the most bang for your buck?' (So glad that's behind me)
Well, if you're in the UK, we have the Ordnance Survey Maps App.
Why the OSMap App?How will it help me?
Well, for a relatively small outlay of £23.99 a year* for the premium addition, you have a new world at your fingertips. In this post, I will cover that in more detail, but in summary, it will help you discover routes near a given railway station, find public car parks in the countryside, decide the gradients & distance you want to cover, and most importantly - is there a pub on the route. There's obviously a lot more, and I'll cover that as we go.
*Alternative Options: There is the free option, all you need to do is register, but you do have limited functionality or you can opt for £2.99 a month, but it works out more expensive over 12 months
The OS Map App is available on web-based for PC's & Mac's, and there is an app offering for iOS & Android. I'll cover desktop & iOS usages in this article.
Trust me when I say with this app, with all the experience of Ordnance Survey behind it, you'll get to see the world around you in a new light. In particular, it will help you discover something new.
Where to stay in the heart of Kent
- The Woolpack Hotel - Located in the centre of Tenterden, this historic inn offers delightful rooms within traditional surroundings. A delicious full English breakfast is included in the price. - The George Hotel & Brasserie - Choose the George Hotel for a beautiful stay in the heart of Cranbrook. The historic building is full of character and offers a delicious breakfast. - The Dog and Bear Hotel - Located in the picturesque market square of Lenham. They offer cosy, stylish bedrooms, open fireplaces & local seasonal fare in their traditional restaurant.
Country walks near meHow the OSMap App will help you
As you may or may not know, Janis & I live in a small village in the county of Kent (That's the very southeast corner of the UK, if you didn't know).
You may have caught our post on our Local War Memorial, and our day trip around Northern France to find their commemoration in the CWGC cemeteries scattered around the region
Well, with the power of the OS Map App, it allowed us to explore the network of footpaths, bridleways & byways that surround us, as well as understanding the terrain, and more importantly, the gradients (we live in the shadow of the North Downs)
An introduction to the OSMaps App
I sit at a desk for a lot of the day when I'm not travelling, in front of my trusty PC, so I often start with the web-based version at https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/
As I mentioned earlier, I am using the premium addition; the free version will have limited functionality, but that's okay I'll include screenshots. I'll start with the standard view of the southeast of England. I've switched on the weather in the 'places' menu too, and it shows I'm sitting inside writing this on a lovely sunny day - what am I mad?
Now, let me touch on that places menu. This provides you with a wealth of information for planning a trip, from car parks, places to stay, beaches, and some items I found pretty obscure. I had to look up the definition of a Marilyn (a mountain or hill with a relative height of at least 150 metres)
There are 7 different layer views; Standard, Aerial, National Park pathways, Greenspace, National Cycle Network, OS Leisure Maps & Aerial 3D. A couple of the layers then cycle through different scales. The OS Leisure Maps, for example, provide 1:1M, 1:1250k, 1:50k & 1:25K.
That's pretty impressive, and you did see that correctly £23.99 for an annual subscription that you can stop at any time.
Are you starting to see how this can help you get a little more from your staycation?
* All Ordnance Survey screenshots ©Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey. Media 058/21
Is the OSMap App good value?Are you not sold already?
You saw our post on Margate; you thought it looks lovely, but you wanted to opt for a Holiday Cottage to give you some flexibility to explore.
Well, you like the look at the Beach House at Westgate. Let's take a look at the OS Maps app.
You can see you're not in the wilderness, and Margate is only a short distance away,
Check the Map Legend and;
Escape for a few days
Are you in search of a tranquil hideaway to relax and unwind in, while you discover the beautiful British countryside?
Browse through the handpicked properties and unique retreats at Holiday Cottages.
Planning your First RouteGetting the most out of the OS Map App
There's also more information, it's about a 38-minute walk, but if we take the bikes it's 9-minutes. You can now save your route
That route is now available on all your devices
OSMaps app on the SmartphoneBecause I'm not dragging my laptop around
And if you're worried about data consumption on your device, well, you can download the base map. If you expand the route, you can see additional information such as the terrain profile.
Of course, you could have created the whole route on your smart device or tablet; there's no need for a PC. I'm just sitting at my desk, dreaming of a box of fish 'n' chips by the sea.
Printing Maps from the OSMap AppBecause I'm old school
Actually, there are many practical reasons why you would want to print the map out. The most likely one is that your device has run out of charge (surely not, you must have a USB battery pack)
Well, the good news is with the premium version, you can print out up to A3, I think most of us will be satisfied with the A4 option, but it's good to have the added option should we know anyone with an A3 printer.
Why would I want an annual subscription to OSMaps?Let me take you back to the beginning
So is that everything?What else can OSMaps do?
Not by a long shot; there is so much more. However, I couldn't fit it into this article. I haven't explored all the features yet, and I have some other ideas for how we can use the app to improve our travel planning. I guess that means there will be another post with some tips on using the OSMaps App.
Until then, another Staycation shot.
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