The walk to the summit of Snowdon in Wales is Britain’s most trodden path, according to Ordnance Survey (OS).
But the most popular area overall for ramblers and hikers is the Peak District, the mapping agency revealed.
It made the discovery by analysing almost 400,000 public routes created over the past year using its digital map and planning tool, OS Maps.
The walk to the summit of Snowdon in Wales is Britain’s most trodden path, according to Ordnance Survey (OS). But the most popular area overall for ramblers and hikers is the Peak District, the mapping agency revealed. It made the discovery by analysing almost 400,000 public routes created over the past year using its digital map and planning tool OS Maps
OS has used its huge database to reveal the eight most popular grid squares in Britain for walking (left). The image on the right shows routes planned through the outer districts of Sheffield
Hikers make their way to the summit of Snowdon – the most popular walking route in Britain
By breaking down the country down into square kilometres and counting the number of routes passing through each square, OS has produced a league table that sees the Edale area of the Peak District occupying six of the top ten spots, with Snowdon’s summit comfortably taking the top spot by some distance.
The Lake District’s Scafell Pike summit, England’s highest peak, and Ambleside appear at number three and five respectively.
Nick Giles, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, says: ‘It may be a relatively small island we live on, but it’s crammed with variation and beauty. I think this is reflected in these tables, there is a nice geographic spread – though it would be nice to see more routes being created in Scotland. The Peak District is up there with any place in the world, and Edale, its village and valley, is a vast and stunning part of the country.
THE MOST POPULAR WALKS IN BRITAIN REVEALED
SH6054 (grid square) Snowdon (summit) 3,779 routes
SK1285 Edale 3,590
NY2107 Scafell Pike (summit) 3,007
SK0786 Edale Cross 2,636
SK0886 Edale (Jacob’s Ladder) 2,632
NY3704 Ambleside 2,587
SH6154 Snowdon (Pyg Track) 2,581
SK1283 Edale (Mam Tor) 2,529
SK1384 Edale (Hollins Cross) 2,492
SK1185 Edale 2,452
SO0121 Pen y Fan 2,404
SH6455 Pen-y-pass 2,377
NY2806 Langdale Fell (Cumbria Way) 2,359
NY2208 Great End (Scafell Pike) 2,342
NY3307 Grasmere (Centre) 2,311
SK1085 Edale (Upper Booth) 2,298
SK1284 Edale (Cold Side) 2,288
NY2308 Allen Crags (Scafell Pike) 2,278
NY3415 Helvellyn (Summit) 2,271
NY2623 Keswick 2,244
The table was produced by analysing 1km grid squares and collating the number of routes going through that square. Source: OS
OS has created another league table to establish the most popular towns and cities to create routes in
The Lake District’s Scafell Pike summit (pictured) is the third most popular walking route in the UK
Edale, pictured, is the most popular area in the UK for rambling and hiking, according to OS data
‘With its easy access from Manchester and Sheffield, and it being either the start or end of the Pennine Way, depending on which way you’re walking it, it’s easy to see why it features so heavily in our league table with almost 21,000 routes.’
Assuming each of Edale’s routes takes an average of an hour, it would take one of its 353 residents 875 days, or 2.4 years, to complete every walk. It would take the entire village 846 years to do this.
Nick continues: ‘Over the past twelve months we have introduced some key features to OS Maps, such as 3D route planning, to make the outdoors enjoyable, accessible and safe for all, and we have some exciting things coming up in development. The app now contains almost 1.2million private and public routes, it is one of the largest databases of its kind in the world, and it’ll be interesting to see how much this league table changes next year.’
OS has created another league table to establish the most popular towns and cities to create routes in.
To conduct the analysis OS has looked at the full extent of the towns and cities rather than the square kilometre method, hence why Ambleside, which appears in both tables, has two different number of routes.
What stands out in this league table is London boroughs Richmond-upon-Thames appearing in third spot and Wandsworth in sixth. Though when cross-referenced with the recently added OS Open Greenspace data it may not be so surprising, as Richmond-upon-Thames, percentage wise, is by far the greenest of all London’s boroughs with 323 greenspaces, and Wandsworth is not too far behind with 294.
Nick continues: ‘As well as those two London boroughs, Guilford, Winchester, Sheffield and Bath also feature in the top ten. Is this reflective of increasing numbers of people exploring and adventuring closer to home? I hope so. Certainly, the greenspace map layer we launched earlier this year within OS Maps will help with that. Encouragingly though, what this all demonstrates is our nation’s never-ending love for being outside.’
Ambleside, pictured, is the most popular town in Britain for walking it has been revealed