Best maps for cycling


Über Member

We are about to embark on a 4-day round trip from Winchester, then Chichester, Ventnor (Isle of Wight), Bournemouth and then back to Winchester.

I was going to purchase OS Landranger maps and reckon I'll need four in total - 185, 197, 196 and 195.

We want to do mainly small roads but perhaps some tracks - are these maps the best for this purpose or does anyone have any other map recommendations to cover this area?




Legendary Member
OS Landranger are the right scale. I borrow from my local library for areas I don't intend to return to.
1:50,000 ate good for picking your way along tracks and trails and exploration but on the open road you can ride off the map very quickly. I prefer 1:100,000 for country lane navigation but there isnt much choice at that scale.


May the winds be ever in your favour
With the Landrangers you can rely on all roads and tracks you might want to use being shown, and you get a good indication of whether they're likely to be a viable route or not. I'm not seen a smaller scale UK map series which does this. With the old Bartholomew's 1:100,000 and half-inch maps, for example, smaller roads were often omitted. In France, the IGN 1:100,000 Green Series (probably now superseded) produced comparable detail to the Landrangers in half the scale, so it can be done.

If you're not too fussy about how up-to-date your maps are, you can save a lot of money by finding the ones you need in charity shops and secondhand bookshops. I've covered a lot of the country that way, and for many purposes, an example from the 80s or 90s is perfectly adequate. I'd imagine that Winchester, if that's where you're based, would be a very good place to look.


Got loads of OS maps stores away. Don't use them now as prefer electronic maps which show my location. Shame in some ways perhaps I could ebay them.
I agree, Landranger are good. These days though I don't carry the paper versions. I use Quo on my pc to download any map squares I need and use the Quo android app to sync them to my phone. So I have the Landranger maps on my phone with a GPS location shown and if I want, the route I'm taking outlined.


Can you get Sustrans maps for those areas? They as are a good scale (as you'd expect from maps designed for cycling!)

For my next trip I might try a combination of pages torn from a road atlas with the OS app. Paper for the big picture and app for detail.


Legendary Member
The ideal scale for cycling is 1:70,000
However I dont know of any maps at this scale (except possibly the Sustrans ones)
It is the scale used by Dutch and German cycling maps

For longer distances I use
which you can print out
and then use OS maps on my phone for closer navigation as required.


Legendary Member
Landrangers are expensive and bulky and show far more area than you need. If not using Google Maps to take me directly to my destination I would be inclined to nip to my local budget bookshop and pick up a large AA road atlas for £2.99 then tear out the pages I want, noting anything I want to visit on the map and using that as even the biggest scale maps will show minor roads.

I once bought an AA map of the UK for 99 pence, thinking it was probably a bit out of date but then I discovered that it had been printed wrong and some pages were upside-down, not a problem.
Been said before I think but for an economic British cycle map good for cycling, nothing to beat the Philips road atlases. Often available "second hand".

I do have a rather large collection of OS 25:000 maps from my cycle ride leading days round lots of SE England but they are way too "big" - you are off the maps in no time on a bike.

I think 50:000 or 100:000 is fine for a bike. Detailed maps are good for tracks and for identifying furtive places for a kip. For the last, I find paper maps better than digital.
Top Bottom