OS Maps


Ordnance Survey maps have always been part of my life. Each grid square tells a story of landforms, history, language, culture and facilities. Valentina enjoyed map reading on last weekend’s practice expedition for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award.

This prompted me to look at the OS website. It was quite sad, because it was yet another reminder of what has gone. Looking at the maps brought back memories from the Yorkshire Dales and Moors, from the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia, the Lake District and from where we live now. Geography O and A level, my dad’s box of maps. After the wave of sadness passed, I enjoyed studying the maps. I have included several here, each with a few comments. If you are unfamiliar with the OS maps, you might like to download a legend.

Yorkshire Dales


A gill, beck and foss are all names for small streams in Yorkshire 


Yorkshire Dales


Old mines, grouse shooting and quarries. The black lines are drystone walls. 


Yorkshire Dales


The east side of the valley is much steeper than the west. A tarn is a high elevation lake. 


Yorkshire Moors


Plenty of springs, woodland changes to moorland at low altitude on the exposed moors. 


Yorkshire Moors


Embankments and cuttings to fit the railway in the valley. A Rigg is the name for a hillside in this area. 


Isle of Skye, Scotland


Dun Dugan, Achachork – great names. Steep down to the sea, churches, lifeboat station. 



Scottish Highlands


Translation welcome. Craggy and wet, with fords to keep your feet dry. 


Snowdonia, Wales


The lake is at least 20 metres deep, such were the glaciers here. Plenty of payphones, though the map may be old. 


Author: Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

One thought on “OS Maps”

  1. I am glad to hear I am not the only one who could sit and look at maps for hours. I still remember being introduced to the OS maps in Geography at school and being amazed at all the details they included. Wish we could get something even slightly comparable for areas here in Arizona, but it seems maps of any kind are hard to come by! Thanks for including those maps on your post!

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