The UK is home to some beautiful countryside and coastline and one of the best ways to explore it is walking or hiking. Modern technology has also helped make access to the most remote areas easier with apps where you can download Ordnance Survey maps as opposed to carrying a bulky map with you. If you enjoy going out walking in your local area or to specific destinations, take a look below at some of our app recommendations. Make sure when heading off on a walking adventure you have comfortable footwear and hardwearing clothes such as a tweed shooting jacket.
MapMyWalk – Free on Android and iOS
You can track and map every walk you take with MapMyWalk and also receive feedback to help improve your performance. An excellent app for long walkers, whether you are a beginner or a pro, it gives information about your pace, the calories burned, along with the route, distance and elevation. The app also offers suggestions on new paths to take and allows you to add walks to your favourites. MapMyWalk can also be synced to other apps and wearables such as Fitbit and MyFitnessPal and connects you to other users.
OutDoors GB – Free on Android, £1.99 on iOS
OutDoors GB, called OutDoors GPS on Android, offers the full range of Ordnance Survey maps in one app, with some additional costs. Used by hikers, ramblers, cyclists and outdoor instructors, OutDoors GB makes it a lot easier to enjoy the British countryside. You can navigate with a built-in compass and direction view, and you can also track the journey and save it to your favourite places. This app is also useful for photographers, as you can search through over 250,000 points of interest, and can plan your route using the distance markers and maps. OutDoors GP can be used offline, so you don’t need to connect to your data if you download maps before heading out.
Geocaching – Free on Android and iOS
Combine your walking with a treasure hunt by using the Geocaching app. All over the UK, and around the world, there are thousands of containers called geocaches hidden around towns and the countryside. To find these caches, you use the map, compass and directions on the app. You can enable the Live Search to get updates on geocaches nearby as you are out and about and can adjust the navigation and distance settings to your personal preference. You can access more caches with Geocaching Premium.
AlpineQuest Off-Road Explorer (Lite) – Free on Android
The AlpineQuest app is a solution for outdoor activities in your pocket. You can access online topographic maps and uses GPS and compasses to help you navigate. You can also save landmarks, track your route and get statistics on distance, journey time and more. A paid version is also available on Android for £6.99 which gives you access to more maps, allows you to store routes, waypoints and favourite places, and gives you the chance to share locations with other app users.
BackCountry Navigator TOPO GPS – £11.49 on Android
Using offline topographic maps and GPS, you can start exploring the outdoors in a new way using the BackCountry Navigator app. A free version is available if you want to trial the app before buying. By downloading Ordnance Survey maps of Britain in advance, you don’t need a connection when using it, and the maps are stored on your phone. The app is suitable for hiking both on and off-trail, camping trips, hunting game and long trail hiking.
Discover Exmoor National Park – Free on Android and iOS
Britain has several fantastic national parks, and apps are available to help you enjoy every inch of the parks. For Exmoor National Park in Devon and Somerset, you can download this app to find out information on key sites within Exmoor. It also uses GPS tracking to alert you to places of interest when out walking and has GPS walking routes to choose from if you want to explore somewhere different. The content available is also not reliant on a network signal so that it can be used offline.
New Forest National Park Walks – Free on Android and iOS
Another app for one of the National Parks in Britain, the New Forest National Park Walks app includes 27 walking routes around the beautiful region. The walks have been devised and tested by rangers, so you can guarantee a good route with plenty to see and do along the way. Each walk has GPS navigation to help you find your way and waypoints marked so you can learn more about the wildlife and history.
ViewRanger – Free on Android and iOS
Discover a variety of trails, download maps and navigate with confidence using the ViewRanger app on your next hike, bike ride or outdoor adventure. The award-winning app, which received the 2018 Android Excellence award in 2018 and Best New Outdoor Tech from Backpacker magazine, is perfect for exploring off the grid. There are free topographic maps, street maps and aerial and satellite images to use and the app uses GPS to give real-time locations. You can also record the route you followed and makes a note of any points of interest you passed.
Have you used any of these apps when out walking in the British countryside, or use any not mentioned? Let us know via our social channels! You can also take a look at some of our previous blog posts on our favourite apps for shooting and nature.