Do you love maps? I just LOVE them. Old, new, made-up, real, treasure maps, map books, posters, globes, star maps, all of ’em!

I love encouraging kids to love maps, one of the suggestions in my article how to motivate children on family walks.

I love finding quirky places to visit with the family and unusual events to try, but sometimes it’s hard to know the best map to buy for a particular adventure or exploration.

Image of short haired child in cream jumper holding open OS map in front of tall reed bed

I love maps almost as much as I love my camper van.

Cartography Challenge

As does my (map enthusiast) sister, who came up with the idea of somehow using a map as a table top for the camper van. Ingenious but challenging. I commenced extensive cartographic research.

The Great British Adventure Map sounded perfect for the job if I could come up with a way of water- and heat-proofing it, so when it plopped through the letterbox I was highly excited.

And then a tiny bit disappointed đŸ€” It seemed more words than map. But read on… these are not just any old words.

Image of Great British Adventure Map front and back

What is The Great British Adventure Map?

Made by S T & G (the exquisitely named Strumpshaw, Tingleton & Giggleswick) it’s the ultimate adventure map of Britain.

At 100 cm x 89 cm it’s a folded, full colour map and guide to Britain’s wild places, from mountains to mole hills.

‘Joyously busy’

And lots of writing, all quite small and difficult to decipher. Too much to take in at one viewing and a little hard to find something specific one might be looking for. Although it was described as ‘joyously busy’… Hmm.

With an upcoming week-long international Cub camp involving a road trip from Northumberland to Newbury it seemed an ideal map to show the Cubs the immensity of our journey down there.

Wife Carrying or Toe Wrestling anyone?

That’s when the trouble started. I spotted a place on the map where a wife carrying contest occurs, amongst other things.

Image of close-up section of map with circle and arrows highlighting toe wrestling championships and hand written note visit here

My interest was piqued!

I quickly discovered the location of the UK’s National Nettle Eating Competition, a snorkel trail (in the UK?!), even shipwreck locations. And that was that. In fact I ended up extremely behind in my Cub camp packing!!

How To Use Your Great British Adventure Map

  • Keep it close at hand!
  • Use it in conjunction with an OS map
  • Do online research on anything on the map that looks intriguing

After my initial disappointment, I can now confirm that the best way to use the map is to get it out every time you plan a visit, day trip or holiday. To anywhere. Whether on your own, with friends, the family and kids, even the Cubs.

Image of 2 girls in red top and cap lying on ground looking at large paper map

We spent a fortnight in Cornwall after Cub camp and the map was an excellent addition to our planning, showing beaches, places of interest and even the Padstow Obby Oss (a North Cornwall May Day festival).

On the reverse of the map is more info and facts about top British adventure locations, space for writing your own planning notes and much more.

Mad Maps and British-men

Blimey I love Britain. We’re really a complete bunch of nutters and eccentrics. Adventurous eccentrics but eccentrics all the same.

And I love maps even more than I did before!

And I love the eccentric nutter who dreamt up the contents of this map and researched it all – that must have been one fun project. I wonder if they tried wife carrying..?

Table-top Map Project

It turns out the Great British Adventure Map is too large to adapt as a table-top for my specific camper van (which I’m glad about since I now love it so much!) and even if it was the right size there’s too much info on the back that would be lost.

Image of fully opened paper map spread on table top in camper van
Too big for the camper table

Dennis Maps have sent me some other OS map samples to try for the project so look out for a future post when we’ve worked out a heat-proofing solution.

In the meantime, if you’re even half an adventuring map buff, get your hands on a Great British Adventure Map today!!

Wild wishes to you for happy map-reading and wild British adventures galore!!

Get The Gear

Buy your copy of the Great British Adventure Map now – click the image to find the best price on Amazon.

For a chance to get your own Great British Adventure Map along with a Lifestraw Play kids filtering water bottle look out for my upcoming giveaway.

For more outdoor gear and book reviews browse Kids of the Wild’s reviews section

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NB Kids of the Wild received a Great British Adventure Map for the purposes of this review. All views and observations are my own.