Note these down as places to avoid on the next Bank Holiday weekend

Ordnance Survey have released heatmaps of where people have been route plotting walking and cycling routes for the past ten years.

>>> Check out all our best mountain bike routes

The maps are bit like the ones you can find on Strava but it’s interesting to see the OS’s versions.

Top 20 locations

  1. OSGB GridRef: NY2107 ­ Scafell Pike Summit
  2. OSGB GridRef: SH6054 ­ Snowdon Summit
  3. OSGB GridRef: NY2308 ­ Allen Crags (Near Scafell Pike)
  4. OSGB GridRef: NY2208 ­ Great End (Near Scafell Pike)
  5. OSGB GridRef: NY2806 ­ Langdale Fell (Cumbria Way)
  6. OSGB GridRef: NY3415 ­ Helvellyn Summit
  7. OSGB GridRef: SD8072 ­ Horton in Ribblesdale
  8. OSGB GridRef: NY2514 ­ Rosthwaite
  9. OSGB GridRef: NY3308 ­ Grasmere (North)
  10. OSGB GridRef: NY1807 ­ Wast Water (North)
  11. OSGB GridRef: NY2623 ­ Keswick
  12. OSGB GridRef: NY2407 ­ Rossett Pike (Near Scafell Pike)
  13. OSGB GridRef: NY3414 ­ Nethermost Pike (Near Helvellyn)
  14. OSGB GridRef: NY3704 ­ Ambleside
  15. OSGB GridRef: NY3816 ­ Glenridding
  16. OSGB GridRef: NY2209 ­ Great Slack (Near Scafell Pike)
  17. OSGB GridRef: NY2906 ­ Langdale Fell (Cumbria Way)
  18. OSGB GridRef: NY3511 ­ Fairfield Summit
  19. OSGB GridRef: NY3307 ­ Grasmere (Centre)
  20. OSGB GridRef: NY2109 ­ Sty Head (Near Scafell Pike)


They’ve analysed more than half a million routes that have been drawn up by the public who have used Ordnance Survey’s their “digital outdoor products” (phone apps mainly).

>>> Check out our massive collection of FREE route guides

So yes it’s data that is biased toward Ordnance Survey customers – and the ‘league table’ does not include user’s privately stored routes – but it’s still a good indication of the British public in general.

The prime honeypots are – surprise surprise – in the Lake District. A whopping 18 out of the top 20 most popular places to create a route are in the Lake District National Park.

The other two hotspots are in Snowdonia and the Yorkshire Dales.

Nick Giles, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, says: “We weren’t expecting the Lake District to dominate so strongly.” Nick has obviously never been to Ambleside on an August Bank Holiday.

The 500,000 plus routes have also been illustrated in a series of cool data visualisations created by OS cartographer Charley Glynn.

>>> Five routes to only do when it’s quiet

Update 22/12/16: OS reveal 2016’s top walking destinations

Ordance Survey: “With the year coming to an end we’ve taken a look back at the most popular destinations searched by walkers on our popular OS Maps online service.

“An amazing 1.4 million destination searches were carried out via our online version of OS Maps in 2016. So, where were people hoping to explore?

“National Parks in England and Wales are well represented, and are stunning parts of the country to visit. Sadly, no Scottish destinations quite made the top 10, with Aviemore (1551) and Glencoe (1473) just missing out.”

  1. Snowdon 4388 searches
  2. Keswick, Cumbria 3374
  3. Edale, Derbyshire 2750
  4. London 2185
  5. Ambleside, Cumbria 2165
  6. Brecon 1892
  7. Castleton, Derbyshire 1892
  8. Coniston, Cumbria 1814
  9. Malham, N Yorkshire 1726
  10. Patterdale, Cumbria 1590