Harvey's maps of long distance footpaths: coverage

This reviews some of the route maps published by Harvey Map Services for long distance footpaths (now called, US-fashion, `national trails'). The main purpose of this review is to give more information on the area covered than does Harvey's web site. Some other remarks on the mapping are also given -- for example, what types of detail are shown.

I also include a brief review of their Forest of Bowland map, which is rather different from most of their others.


Harvey Map Services publish maps of several long distance footpaths. Unlike many strip maps, they include a few kilometres on either side of the route. Their web site, however, does not give exact information about the coverage -- it shows a bounding rectangle.

These maps are unlike the bulk of Harvey's maps in that several include substantial areas of lowland farming country, unlike their sheet maps of fellwalking areas.

Harvey's maps are often not available in the shops, and so have to be ordered by post. Thus it is useful to know things in advance which would be obvious if you could look at the map. Their web site does not give enough information. These notes attempt to provide it.

Harvey's maps in general, including these maps, are good at showing the information the walker needs, without unnecessary clutter. They are usually printed on water-resistent paper, or in a few cases, plastic; at the time of writing both the Hadrian's Wall map and the Ridgeway map were on a plastic which they call XT40.

General points

Lowland areas

Most of Harvey's maps are of moorland or hills. These route maps are only partly of such country. In lowland, Harvey's maps have a different feel. The background is yellow (white only for open upland). In many lowland areas, footpaths are non-existent, and the walker has to follow the right of way according to the map. The contrast of these rights of way (shown in red) against the yellow is not great, much less than the black against white of footpaths in uplands, or the O.S. red against white. Thus Harvey's maps are not quite as good in lowland areas, in general, as they are in upland.

Although, like most Harvey's maps, field boundaries are only shown on upland areas, they do show many narrow belts of trees missing from the O.S. 1:50000. These often follow field boundaries, and can be helpful in navigation.

The long distance path itself

This is marked very clearly and boldly. Different markings distinguish between sections where the path is clear, intermittent, or non-existent. To some extent the boldness of the path obscures detail near it -- but it is usually possible to read, for example, whether the path is on one side or another of a wall or fence.

In maps where it follows a linear feature, like Hadrian's Wall or Offa's Dyke, the feature is shown with ad-hoc markings -- these seem to work well, though can be disconcerting until you realise what they are.

Not strip maps

Harvey's route maps are not strip maps (as at least one advertising site says), in the way, say, that the maps are in Wainwright's Coast to Coast volume, or his Pennine Way volume. They are maps which are normal topographic maps, but with panels designed to cover the route of one long distance path.

Criteria for criticism

I should first say that I have not walked the full length of any of these paths, and so my remarks are bound to be patchy in quality. However, I have walked on substantial sections of each one.

Here I remark on the coverage from the point of view of somebody walking the path who nevertheless has to or wants to deviate from it, for food, accommodation, in case of bad weather on upland sections, or to visit some place not far off it. Clearly the amount of paper allows for this, and these are all things that a walker might commonly want, and so these criteria seem reasonable.

The particular maps are criticized in detail below. In general, it can be said that the quality of coverage is variable. There is too much verbiage which adds little to the maps, and many places near the paths are not covered even though it would have been easy to do so. I have assumed that the amount of paper available is the same; I have not made any remarks about deficiencies which would require a larger sheet. The only exception is the Pennine Way.

In the descriptions, when I say that a rectangle is truncated, or some part `there', I mean that the rectangular area of paper has only part of it used for map. The remainder is used for tourist information, legend, and the like. The outlines of the rectangles can be seen on Harvey's web site (in the pop-up for each sheet), but there it is not shown how much of the rectangle is actual map. The pop-up outlines can sometimes be misleading; for example, that for Offa's Dyke South shows Abergavenny in the SW corner of panel 3, but in fact Abergavenny is not mapped -- that area of the panel is used for a small-scale map of historic sites along the path.

The panels of the map for north-south paths have a maximum width of almost 9 km double, 4 km single. The full height is about 18.5 km. For east-west paths the height and width are reversed.

Hadrian's Wall

See pop-up from Harvey's catalogue for panels.

Panel 1: There is no panel 1! Well, it's just an overview of the whole route.

Panel 2: A double rectangle, but with large cutoffs to N and S. Nothing N of the Eden is shown. The map extends generally to about 2 km S of the path.

Panel 3: A double rectangle, but with a small cutoff on the NW corner -- not really a loss; and a larger one on the S in the E. E of Carlisle Airport the A689 and A69 form the boundary.

Panel 4: A single rectangle, with a small rectangle in the NW replaced by an enlarged inset of Birdoswald and Gilsland, and a small cutoff in the SE. Since this and the section to the E are the most attractive, it is a shame that this one was not made double, perhaps reaching S to the Tyne. Haltwhistle Station is off to the S.

Panel 5: A double rectangle, but with a small cutoff on the NW and a large one on the S especially in the E, so that the general width N--S is about 5 km. Bardon Mill station is just shown on the S edge. An inset shows Housesteads wood, fort, and visitor centre. This panel has a reverse fold through it. (If panel 1 were deleted, some rearrangement would avoid this, as well as allowing 4 to be double.)

Panel 6: A single rectangle, with a small cutoff in the SW, and another in N centre. Good enough for this rather tedious stretch next to the road.

Panel 7: A double rectangle, but cut off just to show about 2 km either side of the path. Most of this section is through Newcastle along the river. There is an inset showing Segedunum and the end of the walk.

One small nitpick I have with the Hadrian's Wall map is that it has no scale in Roman miles. The O.S. used to show such a scale. It is useful, since there are milecastles every Roman mile, and turrets every third of a Roman mile. Also, the forts are named only with the English names, not with the Latin.

On the whole, if I were walking the route, I should probably use just this map -- unless I had to leave it for accommodation.

Offa's Dyke South

See pop-up from Harvey's catalogue for panels.

Panel 1: A complete single rectangle, following the river. Good.

Panel 2a: Monmouth. A little missing in the SW corner, but nothing of interest.

Panel 2b: Rectangle greatly truncated, on SW and N, NE. Mostly boring lowland. The SW is no great loss; the N cutoff excludes Graig Syfyrddin, of interest to Marilyn-baggers.

Panel 3: Rectangle greatly truncated, on SW and NE. To the SW is lost Abergavenny, a useful access point with railway station. On the W the lower slopes of the SW spur of Hattervel Hill are partly missing. The summit ridge of Ysgyryd Fawr (not named) is shown, but not the approach from the south; this might easily be an attractive unofficial alternative route, to cross to the south of Ysgyryd Fawr, go up and along it, and off the north end to rejoin the main path. On the NE not a lot of interest is lost.

Panel 4: Rectangle greatly truncated, on SW and NE. To the SW is lost the Chwarel y Fan ridge and part of Darren Lwyd; the latter might have been of interest in providing a way round to Capel-y-ffin YH while it was open. To the NE is lost (very oddly) part of the slopes of Black Hill (not named), which is a good way up to the path on the ridge if doing the walk in sections. Beyond that only uninteresting lowland is lost.

Panel 5: The left-hand half of the double rectangle is there except for the very N; the right-hand half only at the very N. From Hay to Gladestry nothing of great interest is lost; Hergest ridge is all covered, including Hanter Hill.

Panel 6: Double rectangle. Roughly the eastern 6 km is there. Nothing very interesting seems to be cut off on the W. (Radnor Forest is attractive, but too far from the path to justify including it.)

On the whole, if I were walking the route, I should probably use just this map. However, Ysgyryd Fawr is a tempting diversion, and I'd rather be able to see the full ridge of the Black Mountain.

Offa's Dyke North

See pop-up from Harvey's catalogue for panels.

Panel 1: A complete single rectangle. This is, to my mind, one of the most attractive sections of the path, partly because the dyke is much in evidence, and partly because the path goes over easy hills which nevertheless are high enough to feel as though you're on the tops. It is therefore a shame that they did not use a double rectangle. A double rectangle would have allowed the inclusion of Clun (accommodation, shops, castle), as well as just more of this attractive area. (Panel 3 could have been reduced to a single rectangle to provide space.)

Panel 2a: Notionally a reverse L shape, but in effect a single rectangle, extended slightly to include Montgomery. In the south the coverage is fine. In the north, part of what should be the town of Welshpool is unaccountably blank (not even used for legend etc.) -- a useful place for shops, railway station etc (not to mention the light railway, listed in the tourist information, but off the edge of the map). Of the Long Mountain only the part with the path on it is shown, not even going as far as the Welsh Harp. It is a shame that the panel boundaries here could not have been arranged so that diversions up Moel y Golfa would fit in.

Panel 2b: A single rectangle, covering just the valley bottom where the path goes. Comments above with 2a.

Panel 3: A double rectangle, but only the right-hand half used. This seems adequate. The centre of Oswestry is just fitted on. Springhill Bunkhouse might have been added on the W at the N.

Panel 4: A double rectangle, but with pieces missing in the SW and NE. The SW piece is not a great loss. The NE piece would have included the moorland of Eclusham Mountain. Cyrn y Brain is shown, and the path linking it to the Offa's Dyke path, but not all the path from Cyrn y Brain down to the summit of the Horseshoe Pass (a convenient access point). The western edge here is just a little E of the 20 grid line, and so there is a gap of about only 200 m between this map and O.S. 1:50000 sheet 116 (if you wanted to detour to include Moel y Gamelin as well). On the E edge Chirk is shown, with shops and station, but Ruabon is off the map.

Panel 5: A double rectangle, with some small losses in the SW and NE. Generally a good panel, since the Clwydian Hills are a natural N--S narrow linear feature. The SW cutoff means that the town of Ruthin is not shown. The NE cutoff rather randomly loses some of the lower slopes.

Panel 6: A double rectangle, but with large pieces cut out on the SW and NE. The SW cutoff means that Denbigh is not shown. Part of St Asaph is just on. In the NE, of the hill SE of Prestatyn only the W summit is shown (237 m).

On the whole, if I were walking the route, I should probably try to use just this map, unless accommodation could only be found off it.

Cumbria Way

See pop-up from Harvey's catalogue for panels. Most of this path is in the Lake District, which Harvey have mapped thoroughly. This shows, in that most of the rectangles are complete, without pieces cut off. Wainwrights are marked with red bold type.

Panel 1: A single rectangle, not full height since the bottom includes a basic town plan of Ulverston. Lowick High Common is just off the map to the W of Gawthwaite -- this Marilyn, attractive apart from the large quarry on the W, is not shown on any Harvey map. (Well, if you object to wind farms you wouldn't count it attractive.)

Panel 2: A full double rectangle. Excellent. In S, High Nibthwaite, E Loughrigg summit, N Thunacar Knott, W Goats Hause.

Panel 3: A double rectangle, but, except as far N as Easedale Tarn, with 3 km cut off on the E. The loss of the eastern flank of the Central Fells is not a great issue; it is possible with the map to make a diversion over the Langdale Pikes, even over Ullscarf and on to Grange Fell. However, if the rectangle had been shifted W a little, it would have been possible to show the High Spy -- Maiden Moor ridge as well, which would be another attractive diversion.

Panel 4: Almost a complete double rectangle, with only a little cut off in the NW. This shows the bulk of the Northern Fells, from Ullock Pike in the W to Sharp Edge in the E. This is just wide enough to show the alternative routes of the Way.

Panel 5: A double rectangle, but much cut off on the NW and SE. The Way is shown, with 1--3 km on either side. This is less interesting walking country, and the cutoffs are not a great loss.

On the whole, if I were walking the route, I should be happy using just this map.

Coast to Coast West

See pop-up from Harvey's catalogue for panels.

Most of this is also covered by Harvey's Lake District maps.

Panel 1: A double rectangle, but only the top half is used, except for a small part covering St Bees village. All of St Bees Head and Hannah Moor (a Yeaman) are shown, as is all of Dent (which is truncated on Harvey's Atlas).

Panel 2: A full single rectangle. It shows the Red Pike alternative. However, it would not be possible to use this map for other unofficial alternatives over Great Bourne on the N, or Pillar on the S (Pillar itself is shown, but almost none of the ridge to Caw Fell).

Panel 3: A full double rectangle. The alternatives of Gibson Knott and Far Easedale are shown. So are the three possibilities of Grisedale, St Sunday Crag, or Helvellyn. Grasmere is just on; Glenridding just off.

Panel 4: Almost a full double rectangle; just a little in the SE corner, SW of M6 j39, is cut off. Many fells of the High St range, S of the path as far as Froswick, are shown.

Panel 5: A double rectangle, but with large pieces cut off on SW and NE. This is disappointing. First, it might have been good if this panel were contiguous with the Harvey Dales West map (or Howgill Fells) to the S (there is a gap of 1 km, apart from the cutoff). Second, Wainwright's original route runs over the limestone E of Beacon Hill, which is not mapped. This was changed in later editions because it was not a right of way, and obviously Harvey don't want to foster ill will by marking the route over it; nevertheless, it is attractive walking country and worth a detour, mostly now open as access land, and so worth mapping.

Panel 6: Almost a full double rectangle; just a little in the SW corner cut off (not likely to be of interest on the C2C, and covered by Dales West). The three seasonal alternatives over Nine Standards Rigg are shown. Two careful details: the dates of closure of Kirby Stephen and Keld YHs are both given!

On the whole, if I were walking the route, I should probably be happy using just this map; the only doubtful stretch is the Orton Fells, where it's not clear that accommodation could be found easily on the map.

Coast to Coast East

See pop-up from Harvey's catalogue for panels.

Oddly, in an attempt to have the panels read in a logical order, panels 1 and 2 are double rectangles, but you can only see all of them if the map is opened out on two folds, or the folds are reversed. Neither of these is convenient if you want the map in a map case. This is more inconvenient for panel 2, where the path crosses the fold.

Panel 1: Almost a full double rectangle. The length of Swaledale is shown, useful as bad weather route or for accommodation.

Panel 2: A double rectangle, but with a large irregular strip missing on the N, and another cutoff in the S central and E. All of the town of Richmond is shown, but little N or E of it. E of Richmond only a narrow strip 2 km either side of the path is shown.

Panel 3: A single rectangle, trimmed on the NW to be even narrower there. The least interesting section of the path, and so needs little more. Both alternatives are shown between Ellerton and Danby Wiske.

Panel 4: A double rectangle, with cutoffs in the NW and in the SE. The NW cutoff just loses some of the boring farmland. The SE cutoff loses some of the North York Moors. However, the route of the path here is so good that the loss is not likely to be felt; there are no obvious facilities in that cut off section either. Osmotherly is just shown. I'm not quite sure where there is to stay the night between Osmotherly and Glaisdale; the only places marked on the map are the Lion Inn, high on the moors (on panel 5), and a bunkhouse in Farndale. (On the other hand going should be fast along the old railway.)

Panel 5: A double rectangle, with cutoffs in the NW, SW and SE. The bulk of the high moor is covered, where the path goes, but not the ridges or valleys N and S. I suspect that, for accommodation, more coverage to N and S would be needed, though it is hard to see how it could be fitted onto the map without greatly increasing its area. The NW cutoff means that Westerdale YH bunkhouse (2007) is excluded.

Panel 6: Another double rectangle, with cutoffs in the N, SW and SE. The path is covered fine; the only addition that might be possible is Whitby, perhaps with an inset.

On the whole, if I were walking the route, I should want more than this map. The main problem is the high N Yorkshire moors (panel 5) -- for escape routes, and access to accommodation (unless the Lion Inn were used), I think coverage north or south, preferably both, would be needed.


See pop-up from Harvey's catalogue for panels. The panels are irregular in shape, and with this map it is hard to be precise without verbosity. In general, somewhere between 2 and 5 km either side of the path is covered, typically 2--3 km. There is one feature I have not noticed on their other maps: some places providing services such as accommodation and food, just off the map, are indicated with arrows (e.g. `to Uffington', with pub, telephone symbols). These seem useful, though in some cases the map could easily have been extended to show the place instead. On this map, unlike some others of Harvey's, contours are at 10 m intervals.

Panel 1: Complete apart from a rough rectangle in the SE, E of 14 or 15 grid line, S of 73. The waymarking information is duplicated on both halves of the map -- unnecessary.

Panel 2: The NW corner is cut off by a diagonal line just NW of Ashbury.

Panel 3: The area just E of Wantage is cut off, even though an arrow directs you to facilities at Lockinge and Ardington within the area not shown. A small area south of West Ilsley (a placename which illustrates why sans-serif founts are a bad idea on maps) is omitted. So is Blewbury, again oddly since an arrow points you to facilities there.

Panel 4: Just a little of the SW corner is omitted. Yet again an arrow points you to Compton, at least part of which could have been shown.

Panel 5: This and panel 6 appear to be large roughly triangular panels. But, unsurpringly, they are in fact diagonal strips. This panel shows Cholsey and Wallingford, each in part, Swan's Way, Britwell Salome, Watlington and Lewknor just within its NW edge. Just within its SE edge are Goring, Nuffield, and Stokenchurch.

Panel 6: This shows Lacey Green, Lee Gate, and Northchurch just within its SE edge. Just within its NW edge are Chinnor and Little Kimble. Also cut off is some of the area W of Ivinghoe; just shown are Wilstone, Aston Clinton, and Halton. This panel includes the highest point of the Chilterns, just off the Ridgeway path, though its exact location is no clearer than on the O.S. map (and is almost certainly not at the stone shown on wikipedia, despite the remark there that it `can reasonably be accepted as the summit').

On the whole, if I were walking the route, I should try to cope with just this map. There is plenty of accommodation, and no exposed uplands requiring escape routes.

Pennine Way

The Pennine Way is covered by three maps, described in detail below. Of the paths listed here, it is probably the wildest one. There is not enough accommodation actually on the route (especially as the YHA has been closing several hostels in remote areas). Escape routes in case of bad weather are more important than with more lowland routes. Getting to public transport often means quite a detour. Because of these reasons, it's hard to recommend walking the Way with just these maps, except in the section covered by the North sheet. They would be adequate if you were walking the path in sections, using a car to get to crossing points; or if you were a backpacker, either determined to ignore the weather, or just lucky with it. If I were walking the Way, I should use these maps supplemented by some O.S. 1:50000 sheets for the wilder areas, or Harvey's BMC maps for the Dark Peak and the Yorkshire Dales.

The Pennine Way is the only route of those reviewed here which could not be properly covered by minor revisions of the maps. To provide maps which would be good enough for escape routes etc, I think they would have to be reworked to use at least another sheet. I have mentioned most of the places where additional coverage would be useful below.

I have also mentioned when any nearby 2008 YH hostel or independent hostel is shown or not. Of course, with the YHA closing hostels, the map is now out-of-date -- hardly Harvey's fault.

Pennine Way South

See pop-up from Harvey's catalogue for panels.

Panel 1: Most of the double rectangle is there, though it narrows in the north to just under 5 km wide. Edale is just on, but a small inset shows the link from the YH to the start of the Way. In the W Hayfield and Glossop are just on. The original route over Kinder Scout is covered as well as the current Jacob's Ladder route. It would be better if more E of Bleaklow were shown (for example, Harvey's BMC Dark Peak shows a path leading off down Near Black Clough which might alternatively be followed). Crowden YH is on.

Panel 2: Nominally a triple rectangle, but only an irregular strip near the path is shown, about 4 km wide. Marsden is just on, as is Diggle. The original route over White Moss is shown as well as the Wissenden route. It would be better if Black Hill were shown as far E as the A6024 near Holme Moss. It would be better if more were shown just W of the original route N of the A635: Harvey's Dark Peak BMC map shows the end of a fence which would be a landmark. It would be better if the dale containing Summit were shown (access to shops, public transport).

Panel 3: Most of a double rectangle is there. Todmorden and Hebden Bridge are both shown. The biggest cut is in the NW, where about 3 km x 6 km is missing. It would be better if a little more E of Maw Stones were shown. Mankinholes YH is on. Haworth YH is well off the E, unsurprisingly.

Panel 4: About half the double rectangle is there. Missing are the SW corner S of Earby, and the NE corner N of Carleton, and a small part rather W of Gargrave. Earby is shown.

Panel 5a: An almost full double rectangle, but only 12 km N--S. Malham YH is on. Airton IH is on.

Panel 5b: An almost full double rectangle, but only 6 km N--S. The Golden Lion IH (Horton) is on, marked as a pub.

Pennine Way Central

See pop-up from Harvey's catalogue for panels.

Panel 1: In the S part of this L (upside-down L, Γ)-shaped piece the full width is used, indeed taken into the margins. In the N part the NW corner is cut off NW of the Widdale road, and in the SE corner a small piece is cut off. It would be better if the B road up Ribbledale to Newby Head were completely shown; the escape route W from Cam End is not shown reaching the road. Hawes YH is on. Harris House group IH is on but not marked.

Panel 2: This reversed-L-shaped piece is complete except for the SE corner SE of Lovely Seat (the summit of which is just included). It would be better if a little more were shown W and N of Great Shunner Fell were included, perhaps as far as Great Sleddale. It would be better of NE of Tan Hill the track-and-road alternative via Brock's Hill and Cocker were shown.

Panel 3: In the S this double rectangle is full, in in the N only the western half is there. Both alternatives are shown, the Bowes route and the direct one by Ravock Castle. I do not know how dangerous the `danger areas' NNW of Bowes are, but they are not very conspicuous on the map, the words `Danger Area' being in pale green.

Panel 4a: Only the lower slopes N of the B6277 are shown; Langdon Beck YH is just on.

Panel 4b: From this rectangle a small piece N of Meldon Hill and W of the reservoir is missing, as is a small piece in the SE. Meldon Hill is included; Mickle Fell is not. The N edge in the E is extended to the minor road leading to Cow Green. I think that the words `Danger Area' here mark the edge of the danger area, which is not obvious.

Panel 4c: Almost all the rectangle is present; only a small piece in the NE. (Thus a detour over Meldon Hill would be awkward, since you have a gap in the map after 1 km W of the summit.) Dufton YH is on.

Panel 5: This double rectangle has pieces missing in the SE, NW and NE, making this have roughly the area of a single rectangle. Escape routes W from Cross Fell are not all there; it would be better if they were shown to the minor roads at the foot of the scarp. Alston YH is on. Nenthead Mines IH is off to the E.

Panel 6: This double rectangle is likewise narrowed to about 4--5 km. In South Tynedale only the valley and lower slopes are shown. Gilsand and Haltwhistle are on, but the southern part of Haltwhistle is cut off, including about 3 km of lower South Tynedale. Extra symbols are used for features of Hadrian's Wall. It would be better if a little more was shown W of Blenkinsop Common (the path is within 500 m of the edge of the mapped area). It would be better if all of South Tyndale and Haltwhistle were there. Greenhead IH is on.

Pennine Way North

See pop-up from Harvey's catalogue for panels.

Panel 1: The Hadrian's Wall section. An irregular piece, starting a roman mile W of Gilsand, to 1 km E of Housesteads. Halstwhistle (N part) is just on. Vindolanda and Bardon Mill station are on. Similar but not quite the same coverage as on their Hadrian's Wall map. Once Brewed YH is on. Gibbs Hill Farm IH is just on, marked Gibbs Hall (I think).

Panel 2: Most of a double rectangle 12 km N--S. Small pieces missing in the NW (forest), and E edge. Demesne Farm IH is on (unmarked, I think; there is a YH symbol which is where the old YH hostel used to be).

Panel 3: Only a little more than the E half of this ostensibly double rectangle is there. Between 2--4 km of the W edge is missing.

Panel 4: Although a double rectangle, only about a single rectangle's worth is there. Rochester is just on, but the E half north of it is missing. Forest View IH (=Byrness YH) is on.

Panel 5: This is a substantial quadruple rectangle (about 18 km x 19 km), with very little missing. Perhaps the map-makers felt that their homeland was a country more worth mapping, since at least a third of it is Scotland. Only about 1--2 km of the W edge (except at the south) is missing, as well as a small area of MOD range in the S. There is a large overlap between this map and Harvey's Cheviots map of the same scale (even though they list it under 1:25000-scale maps, it is in fact at 1:40000); the Cheviot Hills map adds a little NE of Kirk Yetholm (Longknowe Hill), and a substantial area E of Hedgehope Hill. This panel covers the core of the Cheviots map, and is wholly contained within the Cheviots sheet coverage. Kirk Yetholm (S)YH is on.

Forest of Bowland

See pop-up from Harvey's catalogue for outline coverage. This is not a route map, but is nevertheless somewhat unusual, and so worth a review which gives more information than Harvey's web site.

The map is double-sided, one side intended for walkers, the other for horse riders and cyclists. The walkers' is at 1:25000 and only covers the core. Points just within its edge, anticlockwise from NW, are Windy Clough, Abbeystead, Oakenclough, Parlick, Waddington Fell, the N tip of Gisburn Forest. I do not have a copy of the nearby map of Bentham in Wenningdale and so do not know whether they overlap slightly or have a gap; this Forest of Bowland 1:25000 has northing 616 as its northern edge. The other side is at the odd scale of 1:55000, and covers the whole of the AONB.

The 1:25000 map is very similar in style to most of Harvey's 1:25000 maps, and of similar high quality. There are a few small differences. Access points to access land are marked with a yellow star -- but access land itself is not marked, since Harvey's colour land according to its objective state rather than its legal state: they leave fell or moorland white. In most cases this coincides with access land, of course. Improved pasture is marked in pale green (paler than woodland); this is, I think, an improvement over the yellow Harvey's sometimes use, since it is easier to pick out right-of-way symbols. There are several places e.g. the northern end of the Hornby Road, or the southern end of Parlick, where the walker would naturally fall off the edge of the 1:25000 -- the 1:55000 is barely adequate to get you back to a car park.

The 1:55000 map is a slight disappointment. Though the scale is one adequate for walking (after all, for many years walkers used 1 in/mi maps), this map cannot really be used for walking. Perhaps it is unfair to criticize it thus, since it claims to be for horse riders and cyclists (though the puff describes it as `perfect for planning longer distance walks'); however, I should not be happy using it for off-road cycling, because of the lack of detail. Contours are at 75 m intervals, with layer colouring. Bridleways are marked, but not footpaths. Steep hills on roads are marked. Many touristical sites are marked. Isolated buildings are not marked (unlike O.S. 1:50000). Conventional colours are used for roads: motorways in blue, A-roads in red, minor roads in yellow -- it might have been better if they made the minor roads, more suitable for riders, more prominent. For road cycling it is good enough. Most curiously, there are bus symbols which are meant to mean `bus service'. I have never ridden a horse and so cannot comment on the map's suitability for horseriding. Overall, compared with the O.S. 1:50000 or the old 1-in it lacks a great deal of detail; its main advantage is that it doesn't split the Forest over 4 sheets as the O.S. 1:50000 does.

For walkers, it is a shame that Pendle Hill is only on the 1:55000 map; it would have been better if this popular area in particular was covered for walkers (perhaps with an inset at 1:40000 or 1:25000). (For Pendle Hill is there is a much better map, as far as I know only available locally, Paths around Pendle, Hurst Green, Hodder Bridges & Whalley Nab, published by Duncan Armstrong & Assocs of Padiham, at approximately 1:27000, based on old O.S. mapping with paths updated recently.) Later in 2008 Harvey's have published mapping of Pendle, as a separate A4 sheet especially designed for fellrunners -- so perhaps that will be incorporated into a revision of the Forest of Bowland map. Marilyn-baggers for Longridge Fell would be better advised to use the O.S. 1:25000, even tho' it's on the edge of the O.S. 1:25000 and completely within the 1:55000.

David Stone
Last modified: Wed Jan 7 19:05:48 GMT 2009