Mapping of Cumbria

Article submitted by James Kirby

If you are going to go out riding in the vast wilderness of Cumbria, you are going to need a map! Here I will discuss the advantages of paper, offline and online mapping solutions.


Traditional Maps

You will only need four maps to cover the primary area of Cumbria and the Lake District, these come as double sided folded sheets (totalling nine A3 pages each side).

The advantages of these maps are:

  • There sheer size, you can view the whole area you are visiting and find every nook, bridleway and cranny, also discover new things you never knew about.
  • You can spread them all over the floor and/or table to plan your route.
  • The new 'active' branded maps can be used outdoors when it is raining!
  • They are designed to take into account your going outdoors!

Cumbria Outdoor Leisure Maps

These maps can be found on amazon.co.uk:

Other maps/guides from around this area that might take your fancy are:


Off-line Maps

Some times printing off and laminating the area you are solely going to visit is an advantage. I have used this advantage several times now.

Why? Because the map is very small, this equals less weight and a smaller footprint in your camelbak and Why the lamination? Because it is waterproof and you can still draw on it using a permeant marker so you know where your going to go and for notes!

A4 printed and laminated maps are used in events like trail-quests or adventure racing.

Other advantages of software based mapping:

  • You can make the route before you even step out of the house to see how far it is.
  • With the built in tools, you can view a 3D version of the map to see how many large hills you are going to climb and descend on the ride.
  • You can zoom in and out of the map, on paper you just have to move your eyes closer.
  • After you have been out on the ride you can input your GPS results to see where you have been, this can include speeds, altitude and much more!

Web sites that supply digital mapping software:


Online Maps

If you are looking for a quick fix, then you can go to any of the following mapping sites to find out where your going. You are able to view arial maps on some of these sites. They are are limited to the web and you can not download the maps, just view them. But if you need to find out where something is really fast then there the best place to go!

  • Flash Earth - Flat version of Google Earth and may others.
  • Multi Map - Providing maps of every area.
  • Street Map - Alternate style of mapping of which you can view a larger area.
  • Map24 - Java mapping, with a very scaleable system.
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