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Ordnance Survey Maps, GPX files and Free Online O.S. Mapping

Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure and Explorer maps at 1:25,000 are recommended. Although the outlay is considerable at 7.99 each, (minimum of nine required), most are double sided. The latest edition was especially timed to show all public access land, and are better value than the 1:50,000 Landranger maps, which do not show enough detail and are all single sided. The 1:250,000 map of Wales gives the whole picture and is useful for planning and distant view identification.

Outdoor Leisure and Explorer Maps 1:25,000 Scale

Map Type / No. Title
Explorer 151 Cardiff & Bridgend (see note 1 below)
Explorer 152 Newport & Pontypool
Explorer OL 13 Brecon Beacons National Park Eastern Area
Explorer OL 12 Brecon Beacons National Park Western Area
Explorer 187 Llandovery
Explorer 213 Aberystwyth & Cwm Rheidol
Explorer 214 Llanidloes & Newtown (see note 2 below)
Explorer 215 Newtown & Machynlleth
Explorer OL 23 Cadair Idris & Bala Lake
Explorer OL 18 Harlech, Porthmadog & Bala
Explorer OL 17 Snowdon

Landranger Maps 1:50,000 Scale

Map Type / Number Title
Landranger 171 Cardiff, Newport & surrounding area
Landranger 161 Abergavenny & the Black Mountains
Landranger 160 Brecon Beacons
Landranger 147 Elan Valley & Builth Wells area
Landranger 135 Aberystwyth & surrounding area
Landranger 124 Dolgellau & surrounding area
Landranger 115 Snowdon & surrounding area

Note 1 Explorer Map 151 is required for the nine miles from Cardiff Castle to the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway at Rudry. Alternatively there is an online OS Maps service provided by the Ordnance Survey where the missing section can be downloaded and printed in limited detail for FREE or in full detail by subscription.

Note 2 Explorer Map 214 is required for less than 3km of the route, just past the summit of Plynlimon. This could be walked using the guidebook only or the missing section can be printed using the OS Maps Service as above. A grid reference of SN814876 in the 'Search' field will get to the area and the map can be zoomed, positioned and printed.

Grid Numbering on 1:25,000 Maps

Ordnance Survey maps have grid numbers printed at 10km intervals along each axis. This means that a folded map in a map case has only about a 30% chance of having grid numbers visible on both axes. To avoid having to remove maps from the map case whenever a grid reference is required, it is recommended that repeat numbering is marked on the maps close to the route wherever necessary, before commencing the walk.

Free Maps from Ordnance Survey 'OS Maps' Website

The Ordnance Survey have now replaced their Getamap service by OS Maps.

There are three levels of access to the service giving different facilities as follows:

  1. Guest - FREE service with a very limited range of facilities: Zoomable map with contours but without footpaths and limited detail of natural features, plus Aerial Map, Directions, Places and Route Plotting but not Saving, Importing or Exporting. Attempts to use most other facilities result in redirection to a Login/Registration/Subsciption Page.
  2. Registered User - FREE service with a limited range of facilities: Zoomable map with contours but without footpaths and limited detail of natural features, plus Aerial Map. Includes A4 printing and Importing, Creating and Exporting of GPX Files.
  3. Subscriber - Access to the full range of facilities and 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 maps as well as unlimited A3 or A4 printing for a 19.99 annual subscription or 7.99 for one month, though this may increase as more facilities are added.

For those planning to walk the Cambrian Way, this could be a more economical way of obtaining maps of the route than buying paper maps and it may be worth paying the subscription fee for the convenience of printing customised map sections of the route. It must also be remembered that printer consumables add to the cost, and some printers are considerably more expensive to run than others. There is also the disadvantage that prints from inkjet printers can be ruined if they get wet, whereas those from laser printers are more durable.

Further information about OS Maps is available on the GPX File page by following the link below.

A set of GPX files of the Cambrian Way Route are available to download, and these can be imported into OS Maps or used in other mapping software or compatible GPS devices.


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