Walking with a map and compass is the safest way to walk the Coast to Coast. This section identifies some of the maps that are currently available, covering the areas that the path crosses.
Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps
The Explorer range of maps are absolutely the best maps for walkers, probably anywhere in the world. The sort of terrain that the Coast to Coast path covers is best viewed with an Explorer map. The 1:25,000 scale of these maps includes such invaluable features as walls and field boundaries, not covered in the Landranger series. It is this type of map detail that is required when navigating the Coast to Coast.
The following maps are required to provide full coverage of the route:
Although these maps can be purchased directly from the Ordnance Survey web site, we recommend you shop around for the best price.
Ordnance Survey Landranger Maps
The Landranger series of maps are at a scale of 1:50,000 and are typically used by hill walkers, who don’t generally need a high level of detail on their maps. Although a lot of the Coast to Coast walk is perfectly suited to this scale of mapping, there are sections that traverse many fields and these areas will benefit from the additional detail found in the Explorer range shown above.
The fact that you only need one more of the Explorer series to cover the full walk than you do in this Landranger series, makes this choice of map somewhat redundant. However, the maps you will need to cover the route are shown below.
Harvey’s Strip Maps
Harvey’s Coast to Coast MapHarvey’s Coast to Coast MapWith the sad demise of the Ordnance Survey Strip Maps, OL33 and OL34, the Harvey Strip Maps are fast becoming the de-facto standard strip maps for the Coast to Coast route.
The rather odd scale of 1:40,000 means that these maps are not as detailed as the old OS strip maps, but nevertheless they are useful to have. They include some information on finding accommodation and food and they also have directions to the start, as well as blow ups of some of the towns along the route.
They are waterproof without being laminated, which means they are lighter than an Ordnance Survey waterproof map.
As with all strip maps, you need to use these with caution, as they only cover a small area of the surrounding countryside either side of the route itself. If you take a wrong turn, you can quickly leave the area covered by the maps.
Memory Map Strip Map
For those that shun traditional maps and have moved to electronic mapping, the default choice seems to have become Memory Map. By no means the only electronic map maker on the market, they have a huge market share and the product is absolutely bullet proof, if somewhat dated now.
Their offering for the Coast to Coast walker is an electronic 1:25,000 scale Ordnance Survey edition strip map. Not to be confused with the original OS strip maps. The Memory Map version includes no Wainwright additions, it is simply the OS map either side of the traditional route.
Memory Map users may already have some of the sections covered by the route, especially places like the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks. In this case, we recommend you consider a Memory Map Selections product instead. This allows you to select up to three different areas of the country, up to a total maximum area and have these sent to you just like a normal Memory Map map. These are much more cost effective than buying the Coast to Coast strip map.
Just like with the Ordnance Survey maps, do not buy these direct from Memory Map, you can get a much better deal by shopping around. Amazon often do the best price on these maps.
Anquet Strip Maps
Anquet, the other major player in the digital mapping market have just announced (Sept 2009) the launch of their National Trails maps and although the Coast to Coast still hasn’t achieved this level of recognition it obviously needs to be included in any such collection.
The Anquet products have always been much cheaper than the equivalent Memory Map maps and this series is no exception. The Coast to Coast Strip Map is almost half the price of the competition.
Anquet also provide a Coast to Coast data file to accompany the map, which is something that has still not caught on in the Memory Map camp.
Anquet also supply OS Explorer map products, so you could buy the eight OS Explorer maps that cover the route.