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Maps and Grid references



A map is essential to help you ramble.  We recommend the maps published by the Ordnance Survey, which are available from libraries and many book shops.  There are two main series:


Explorer maps:  These are 1/25,000 scale and are probably the best for route finding.  But you will need quite a few to cover Sussex.


Landranger maps: These are 1/50,000 scale and have less detail.  But they cover a greater area.


In this guide we sometimes use some very old maps from the seventh series of Ordnance Survey maps.  These are over 30 years old and show the country as it was some time ago.  We do this because copyright rules mean that we cannot use newer maps without paying Ordnance Survey a large sum of money.  These maps will show you where the walk is, but we recommend that you get hold of more recent maps.


Grid references


Maps are divided into grid squares which allow you to pinpoint any location. 


Every reference starts with two letters which tells you which 100 kilometre square in the country the place is in.  For most of Sussex the letters are TQ, although in West Sussex west of Littlehampton the letters are SU.


Then you take the left edge of the square in which the location you want to describe sits. Read the large figures at the top or bottom of the line, in the margin of the map.  This will give you two figures (say 56).  Then estimate how far your point is across the square in 10ths.  For example if you think that the point is half way across the square it would be 5/10ths.  This gives you the third figure- in this case 5.  In my example the figure so far might be 565.

 Finally take the bottom edge of the square in which the location you want to describe sits.  Read the large figures at the side of the line, in the margin.  This will give you the fourth and fith figures (say 12).  Then estimate how far your point is up the square in 10ths.  This will give you the final figure (say 2)

 So your total reference might be TQ566122.

 We use grid references to describe the start and finish of walks and also some points in between.

 In many on-line mapping sites you can type in the grid references and the map will take you to the point pinpointed by the reference.- although sometimes they are not entirely accurate.