Banner image for Free Map Reading Guides banner image

Free Map Reading Guides

OS Team • Map Reading • Jul 05, 2021 • 10 minutes

Learn how to read a map

Learn map reading skills for free with guides from National Map Reading Week, which aims to inspire people of all ages and interests to GetOutside, explore, find adventure and make memories. Reading a map can you off the usual paths, and we’re here to help you learn how!
Sign up

Map reading made easy

Download our free map reading leaflets: Map reading made easy for children and Map reading - beginners to advanced for adults or teenagers. You can even print or save them to your phone!

Map reading for kids

Instil a love of the outdoors that will last a lifetime.

Map reading skills for children

Map reading for beginners

Beginners map reading skills

Like to learn what contour lines are? Need the basics of compass use? Like to know how you can measure a distance from a map? Our collection of beginners guides will get you started in no time.

Advanced map reading skills

Advanced map reading skills

Already got the basics, but want to improve your navigation in difficult terrain, learn how to pinpoint your location when lost or read contours to identify slopes? Check out the advanced guides

More on map reading

OS Team: 50 favourite walks

favourite walks

Here at Ordnance Survey, we live and breathe the outdoors. We rallied up our keenest walkers to share their expertise and tell us about some of their favourite walks.

Teaching resources

Map reading educational resources

Whether you're a teacher or a parent, take a look at our Education Resources for project ideas and teaching aids, plus find games to play in our fun MapZone area.

Map reading quiz

Map reading quiz

Test your map reading skills with our National Map Reading Week quiz! Can you prove yourself a 'modern map master'?

OS Maps how-to guides

Check out our 10-part how-to video guides for everything you need to know about using OS Maps.

Map reading fun

Help kids learn more about the outdoors and become a map reading expert with the OS Kids Adventure Book.

Packed full of fun puzzles and challenges to keep them entertained for hours. This book is perfect for kids aged eight and older and helps take map reading offline.

OS Maps online

See maps and routes online for all of Great Britain and use 3D and Augmented Reality to visualise your routes and bring the landscape to life with OS Maps, our web and app based mapping system.

Download the free GetOutside app for family-friendly things to do outside

Packed full of activities, destinations and free things to do outside, the new GetOutside app makes it easy to organise an outdoor activity or a day out that your family will love.

Download on the Apple App Store Download from Google Play

OS Maps

Never explore without one! Stay safe, and stay active with Britain’s most accurate outdoor maps.

Be inspired to do more and go further by equipping yourself with the best tools for the job. Our maps are built on 220 years of experience - we keep walkers, runners, cyclists and more safe in the great outdoors all year round.

Available from local outdoors retailers, bookshops and our online OS shop.

Go to the OS shop