Highlighted route of the Wales Coast Path at South Stack, Anglesey — cover artwork, Coast Path Map Atlas

What are the best maps for walkers and hikers on the Wales Coast Path? Tony Bowerman investigates

FOR WALKERS ON THE WALES COAST PATH, its unbroken 870 mile/1440 kilometre length means you’ll need an awful lot of maps. Some sections are relatively straight forward while others definitely require detailed mapping to avoid getting lost. Happily, there are plenty of excellent and detailed maps that will guide you safely on your way. We look at the options here.

Coast Path maps

The choice is good. There are plenty of easy-to-use, up-to-date maps available for the Wales Coast Path. The problem is choosing the ones that are right for you. So, let’s look at what’s out there in the shops or online.

Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale Explorer series maps (Orange covers)

Anglesey OS Explorer 262 - cover

Anglesey OS Explorer 262 – cover

The Explorer series are the walker’s maps of choice. The larger scale and additional information is ideal fo walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and provides clear information on the full range of Rights of Way (ROWs) from footpaths and bridleways to byways and National Trails. They also show field boundaries and other details not found on the smaller scale Landranger series.

The Explorer series is updated regularly and shows the route of the Wales Coast Path as a line of green diamonds. However, the route changes as new agreements are made with landowners and other stakeholders, or due to coastal erosion or ongoing work. So be sure to buy the most up-to-date versions, which even so may not reflect the current route.

The large folded sheets have maps on both sides, are cumbersome and often unwieldy in wet or windy weather.

The standard RRP is £8.99 or £14.99 for the weatherproof versions.

However, at this scale, you will need 22 maps with a total RRP of just under £200.

The list of Explorer maps for the whole of the Wales Coast Path are sheets: 154, OL14, 152, 151, 165, 164, 177, OL36, OL35, 198, 199, 213, OL23, OL18, 253, 254, OL17, 262, 263, 264, 265 and 266.

Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 scale Landranger series maps (Magenta covers)

The smaller scale Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 maps are ideal for route planning, cycling and more general use. They will help you get an overview of an area or stretch of coast. But they contain less information of use to the walker, with no field boundaries or other pertinent detail.

Like the Explorer series, the standard RRP is £8.99 or £14.99 for the weatherproof versions.

At this scale, the entire Welsh coast is covered by just 16 maps.

The list of Landranger maps for the whole of the Wales Coast Path are sheets:114, 115, 116, 117, 123, 124, 135, 145, 146, 157, 158, 159, 162, 170, 171, 172.

Again, the large sheets can be hard to sue in wet or windy weather.

At just £9.99 each, they represent a significant saving compared to the necessary equivalent Ordnance Survey maps. They are also smaller, lighter, less cumbersome, and much easier to use.

Wales Coast Path OS mapping atlases

Harvey maps

Harvey outdoor maps are 1:40,000 large foldable maps. They are weatherproof and use their own non-OS mapping.

Harvey maps are available for only some parts of the Wales Coast Path – notably the Anglesey Coastal and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

RRP is £14.50.

Northern Eye Books 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey Mapping in handy, pocket-size book format

As Ordnance Survey Partners, Northern Eye Books can use OS mapping in other creative ways and products. These include an exciting new series of handy, pocket size mapping atlases covering the entire Wales Coast Path in just seven books.

The Coast Path Map guides use enhanced OS 1:25,000 Explorer mapping of the whole Welsh coast, including the coastal strip. These map books use the very latest available OS mapping showing the most up-to-date route of the Wales Coast Path. And to make it extra clear, the route is highlighted in yellow.

We’ve also added extra mapping symbols in red to show pubs, cafes and toilets along the route not shown on the original Ordnance Survey versions.

Lighter and easier to use than the large OS sheet maps, these handy map books measure just 210 x 110mm — slightly smaller than the folded standard OS map.

At just £9.99 each, they represent a significant saving compared to the necessary equivalent Ordnance Survey maps. They are also smaller, lighter, less cumbersome, and much easier to use.

The entire 870-mile/1440 kilometre Wales Coast Path is covered by just seven mapping books — one for each of the seven Official Guides to the Wales Coast Path.

Tony Bowerman

This article was written by Tony Bowerman. Copyright © Tony Bowerman 2019. All rights reserved.
Tony Bowerman is a director of Northern Eye Books Ltd, and loves nature and the outdoors. At one time he contributed articles to several national newspapers and magazines. He later worked as an ‘interpretation consultant’ for clients such as the National Trust, Welsh Water, County Councils and Wildlife Trusts. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.
Contact: tony@northerneyebooks.com

Books and maps for this part of the coast