Islay Maps

Yesterday I wrote about walking and exploring Islay. When you go out and about you will certainly need a good Islay map unless you’re out for an afternoon stroll in the Bridgend woods. When you are even further away from civilization and heading out to Islay’s remote areas a compass might come in handy as well. A compass together with a detailed map can keep you on the right track when the weather is deteriorating or visibility is getting worse due to low clouds or mist.

But what map to buy? There are two series from Ordnance Survey who provide excellent and detailed quality maps:

First there is a map covering the whole of Islay with a 1:50.000 scale where you have 2cm to 1km.This map is from the OS Landranger Series (pink cover). This is typically the map every visitor should have. This map shows every road and track, villages, monuments, mountains etc. with very good detail and is very useful for the average walker.

There is an other more detailed series of maps from the OS Explorer series (orange cover) with a 1:25.000 scale where you have 4cm to 1km. There are two maps covering Islay, a map for Islay north and one for Islay south. These maps are better suitable for walks, they provide even more detail than the Landranger maps, giving a better idea of where you are during a walk, which is as important as to know where you want to go!

There used to be even more detailed maps with a green cover, called the pathfinder series, but they are no longer available and are integrated into the Explorer maps.

Under some circumstances heading out with only a map can be dangerous and a compass together with a map is recommended in the more remote areas of Islay. The experienced walkers should know how to use a compass and map to stay on track, for those who are unsure there is an excellent explanation of how to use a compass and/or map on the following website: How to use a compass and map

Useful links and information:

  • Islay Bookshop selling Islay Books as well as maps.
  • Islay map. High Resolution Islay map.
  • Islay Community Access Group offering useful tips and tracks.
  • How to use a compass and map, an excellent learning resource.

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