Publication data
First publishedJuly 1948
Last revised reprintSeptember 1999
Sheet data
Number of sheetstransient
Sheet sizevaries
Technical data
Geodetic datumOS GB 1936
EllipsoidAiry 1830
Projection typeTransverse Mercator
Projection origin49°N 2°W
Unit of measurementInternational metre
Meridional scale factor0.9996012717
Map gridOS GB National Grid
Map scalevaries

1948-1949: Post-war recovery

Virtually none of the District and Tourist sheets published before the Second World War were reprinted after 1945. This was mainly because they were mostly based on an old projection and did not carry the new National Grid (see 1-inch New Popular Edition).

Figure 1 (click to enlarge)
Figure 1
The Lake District Tourist Map
(pub. Jul 1948)
Figure 2 (click to enlarge)
Figure 2
The Trossachs & Loch Lomond
(pub. Nov 1949)

So it was that in July 1948 the first post-war Tourist sheet was published. The Lake District used mapping from the 1-inch New Popular Edition. The sheet was issued in a landscape-format cover with a full-face black and white photograph of Loweswater and Carling Knott. This was quite a departure in cover artwork design for Ordnance Survey. (Figure 1).

There appear to be at least three different versions of the Lake District cover, the variants concerning the depiction of two sheep in the lower middle of the cover:

1) The two sheep are ‘airbrushed out’ (although their outlines are faintly visible);
2) The two sheep appear almost covered by the “E” of “SURVEY”;
3) The two sheep appear between the “E” of “SURVEY” and the “R” of “DISTRICT”.

The Trossachs and Loch Lomond, the next post-war Tourist sheet to be published - in November 1949 - was based on mapping from the 1-inch Popular Edition of Scotland (Post War) although its sheet lines were based on the National Grid and the Grid was printed across its face. It was published in a cover reproduced from the pre-war sheet of the same name and very similar coverage. (Figure 2)

1957-1963: Expansion

Figure 3
Figure 3
Peak District Tourist Map
(pub. Jul 1957)
Figure 4 (click to enlarge)
Figure 4
The North York Moors
(pub. Jul 1958)
Figure 5 (click to enlarge)
Figure 5
Wales and the Marches
(pub. 1959)

No further new Tourist sheets were published until July 1957. Peak District was the first Tourist sheet to be derived from 1-inch Seventh Series mapping. It was issued in a cover which was obviously based on the Seventh Series design. (Figure 3)

Other 1-inch Tourist sheets followed soon after:

March 1958 - Lake District (updated to 1-inch Seventh Series mapping and new cover style)
July 1958 - North York Moors (at first published in a portrait-format cover (Figure 4) but re-published c.1961 in a landscape-format cover)
April 1959 - Lorn and Lochaber (renamed Ben Nevis & Glen Coe c.1964).

The next sheet in the Tourist series was at 1:250 000 (approximately Quarter-Inch) scale. Wales and the Marches used mapping from the ‘Quarter Inch’ Fifth Series and was first published in a blue variant of the now familiar landscape-format Tourist cover. (Figure 5)

Figure 6 (click to enlarge)
Figure 6
Wye Valley & Lower Severn Tourist Map
(pub. Apr 1961)
Figure 7 (click to enlarge)
Figure 7
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs Tourist Map
(pub. Apr 1961)

Wye Valley and Lower Severn, the next 1-inch Tourist map published - in April 1961 - was never revised after its initial issue and probably did not stay in print beyond 1965. (Figure 6)

Also in April 1961, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs was re-published using 1-inch Seventh Series mapping and in the updated cover style. (Figure 7)

Figure 8
Figure 8
Greater London Half-inch District Map
(pub. 1962)
Figure 9 (click to enlarge)
Figure 9
Wye Valley & Lower Severn

In 1962 the new Half-inch Series of Great Britain was abandoned, only four sheets having been published in the series up to that point (Snowdon, Birmingham, Norwich and Canterbury). A fifth sheet (Greater London) was in the final stages of development when the decision was taken to abandon the series and, rather than waste the effort spent on the maps already created, the five half-inch sheets were re-designated ‘District maps’.

The five Half-inch District maps were issued in a dark green variant of the Tourist map cover. (Figure 8). The marginalia on the map sheets themselves was left unchanged, and so still carried their sheet numbers from the Half-inch Series. The exception, of course, was Greater London which was only ever published as a District map.

At some point around 1963, the Tourist and District cover design changed slightly to incorporate the ‘coat of arms’ or the Scottish lion emblem inside a distinct black frame. (Figure 9)

The Half-inch District maps did not last for very long:

Snowdon was replaced in 1966 by a revamped version at the same scale (see below);
Canterbury and Birmingham were discontinued before Spring 1967;
Greater London was replaced in 1967 by a sheet at 1-inch scale (see below);
Norwich was available until at least mid-1967 but probably discontinued shortly afterwards.

1964-1967: Sixties styling

Figure 10 (click to enlarge)
Figure 10
The Cairngorms
(pub. 1964)
Figure 11 (click to enlarge)
Figure 11
(pub. 1965)
Figure 12 (click to enlarge)
Figure 12
Wales & The Marches
Figure 13 (click to enlarge)
Figure 13
North York Moors
Figure 14 (click to enlarge)
Figure 14
Snowdonia Nat’l Park

From 1964, Tourist and District sheets were given individually-styled portrait-format covers. The first Tourist sheet to receive the new style was The Cairngorms 1-inch Tourist Map, a new publication in July 1964. (Figure 10)

Cambridge, a 1-inch Tourist Map, was published in August 1965. (Figure 11). This sheet was not revised after its initial issue, and probably did not remain in print beyond 1969.

Between 1965 and 1968, the seven other Tourist sheets were re-issued in individually-styled new covers, printed in either two or three colours:

1965 -Wales & The Marches (Figure 12), London Half-inch District map
1966 -Lake District, North York Moors (Figure 13)
1967 -Peak District, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs
1968 -Ben Nevis & Glen Coe

All covers were laminated from c.1966.

In 1966 a revamped version of the Snowdon District map was re-published as Snowdonia National Park. At first this was referred to on the cover as a ‘Half-inch District map’ but later this was changed to simply ‘Half-inch map’. (Figure 14)

Figure 15 (click to enlarge)
Figure 15
New Forest
(pub. 1966)
Figure 16 (click to enlarge)
Figure 16
Greater London
(pub. 1967)
Figure 17 (click to enlarge)
Figure 17
(pub. 1967)
Figure 18 (click to enlarge)
Figure 18
(pub. 1967)
Figure 19 (click to enlarge)
Figure 19
Wales & The Marches

The next new additions to the Tourist Maps were:

April 1966 - New Forest, 1-inch scale (Figure 15)
March 1967 - Greater London, 1-inch scale (Figure 16) - replacing the Half-inch District map (see above)
August 1967 - Dartmoor, 1-inch scale (Figure 17); Exmoor, 1-inch scale (Figure 18)

The 1:250 000 Wales & The Marches sheet was given a more appropriately-coloured cover in 1967. (Figure 19)

1968-1981: Seventies utilitarianism

Figure 20 (click to enlarge)
Figure 20
Peak District
Figure 21 (click to enlarge)
Figure 21
Lake District
Figure 22 (click to enlarge)
Figure 22
Wales & The Marches
Figure 23 (click to enlarge)
Figure 23
Figure 24 (click to enlarge)
Figure 24
New Forest

The new Ordnance Survey logo and house style - designed by the Central Office of Information - were introduced from 1968. The variant created for the twelve Tourist maps was a black background with a brightly-coloured line-drawn illustration of a place or places covered by the map within. (Figures 20-23). The new covers were introduced to the series from 1970-1974.

Lake District’s original cover in this style was issued in 1970 with an illustration of Ashness Bridge, Derwent Water, which was somehow printed back to front! The blue-grey and yellow illustration was replaced the following year with a much more colourful drawing of Blea Tarn and Langdale Pikes. (Figure 21)

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, thoughts were turning to the metrication of Ordnance Survey’s mapping. Efforts were concentrated on introducing a new national 1:50 000 series. This meant that throughout the 1970s no new Tourist sheets were published and indeed three sheets were discontinued:

Discontinued 1973 -Greater London (1-inch scale)
Discontinued c.1978 -Wales & The Marches (1:250 000 scale) (Figure 22)
Discontinued 1980 -Cairngorms (1-inch scale) (Figure 23)

In June 1981 a version of the New Forest Tourist map was published with a detailed ‘Tourist Guide’ to the area printed on the reverse of the sheet. This was indicated by a bold note on the front cover. (Figure 24). All subsequent editions of New Forest carried a Tourist Guide until the sheet’s withdrawal eight years later.

1982-1987: Photographic memories, cardinal rules

Figure 25 (click to enlarge)
Figure 25
North York Moors
Figure 26 (click to enlarge)
Figure 26
Peak District
Figure 27 (click to enlarge)
Figure 27
Snowdonia & Anglesey
Figure 28 (click to enlarge)
Figure 28
(pub. 1983)

After the successful introduction of full-colour photographs on the covers of the 1:250 000 Routemaster Series in 1978, a new design for the Tourist sheets’ covers was introduced from 1982. A full-face colour photograph was used as the background, with the sheet title in black. (Figures 25, 26)

Snowdonia National Park was renamed Snowdonia and Anglesey from 1983. (Figure 27)

The drought of new Tourist sheets was ended with the publication of Cotswold in 1983. (Figure 28). This was the first Tourist sheet to be derived from metric 1:50 000 Second Series material, reduced to 1:63 360 (1-inch) scale. (North York Moors (Figure 25) had been redrawn from 1:50 000 source material in 1982, but re-used imperial contours).

Figure 29 (click to enlarge)
Figure 29
The Broads (pub. 1984)
Figure 30 (click to enlarge)
Figure 30
New Forest (1985)
Figure 31 (click to enlarge)
Figure 31
The West Country (pub. 1986)
Figure 32 (click to enlarge)
Figure 32
Lake District (1987)

In 1983 the ten Tourist sheets which were current and in print were allocated sheet numbers, seemingly on an arbitrary basis. Initially, however, these appeared only on the rear-cover sheet indexes.

The following year saw the publication of Ordnance Survey’s first Tourist map at 1:50 000 scale. The Broads - designated sheet 11 from the outset (Figure 29) - almost exactly matched the coverage of Landranger sheet 134, but with plenty more information of interest to tourists and visitors to the area. Indeed an illustrated Tourist guide entitled ‘What to see on and around The Broads’ was printed on the rear of the map sheet. The Broads was another short-lived Tourist Map not revised after its initial issue; it lasted six years and was discontinued in 1990.

The previously-allocated sheet numbers began to appear on the covers of the other ten Tourist sheets from early 1985, along with a subtle change of layout. (Figure 30)

A special ‘Holiday Map & Guide’ to the West Country was created in 1986 by enlarging 1:250 000 mapping to approximately 1:208 000 scale. It was published in a red-coloured photographic cover (Figure 31), designed to match the 1985 ‘house style’ first seen on the 1:50 000 Landranger. This map was a one-off publication and not part of the numbered Touring Map series. Later however - around 1988 - it was shown on rear-cover indexes as sheet 13, although it is not believed to have carried this number itself at any time.

Lake District was re-published in 1987 as edition ‘A’, from reduced 1:50 000 Second Series mapping. (Figure 32). Quite why this sheet’s conversion justified a new line of editions when other sheets’ did not is as yet unknown.

1988-1995: Rebrand and restructure

Figure 33 (click to enlarge)
Figure 33
Scotland (pub. 1988)
Figure 34 (click to enlarge)
Figure 34
Cotswold (c.1989)
Figure 35 (click to enlarge)
Figure 35
Lake District (1989)

With the publication of sheet 12 Scotland in 1988, the series was renamed ‘Touring Maps’. Scotland was at 1:500 000 scale, using slightly enlarged 1:625 000 Route Planning mapping as the source. Like New Forest and The Broads it featured an illustrated ‘Tourist Guide’ printed on the rear of the sheet. This was indicated by a yellow flash on the tall and wide maroon-coloured front cover. (Figure 33)

Similar maroon-coloured covers were gradually rolled out to some of the rest of the series from 1988. (Figure 34). Sheets 6 New Forest, 7 Ben Nevis & Glen Coe, 9 Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, 10 Snowdonia & Anglesey and 11 The Broads are not believed to have been issued in this style.

Illustrated guides printed on the reverse of the map sheet were introduced to some of the rest of the Touring Maps in due course, beginning with sheet 3 Lake District in 1989 (Figure 35) (re-using edition ‘A’ originally published without a guide in 1987), sheets 4 Peak District and 1 Dartmoor in 1990, and sheet 8 Cotswold in 1991.

Figure 36 (click to enlarge)
Figure 36
(pub. 1989)
Figure 37 (click to enlarge)
Figure 37
(pub. 1990)
Figure 38 (click to enlarge)
Figure 38
Snowdonia & N. Wales
(pub. 1990)
Figure 39 (click to enlarge)
Figure 39
Yorkshire Dales
(pub. 1992)
Figure 40 (click to enlarge)
Figure 40
Devon & Cornwall
(pub. 1992)

Three more Touring sheets - produced by enlarging existing 1:250 000 mapping to 1:158 400 scale (1 inch to 2½ miles) - were published in 1989 and 1990:

1989 - Sheet 14 Northumbria (Figure 36)
July 1990 - Sheet 15 Wessex (Figure 37)
1990 - Sheet 10 Snowdonia & North Wales (Figure 38) - replacing Snowdonia & Anglesey (1:126 720)

Around the same time three of the Touring Maps at 1-inch scale were discontinued because their reproduction materials were worn out and sales too low to justify re-origination from new materials. Touring Map 9 Loch Lomond & The Trossachs was discontinued in 1989, while Touring Map & Guide 6 New Forest and Touring Map 7 Ben Nevis & Glen Coe were discontinued during 1990. Tourist Map & Guide 11 The Broads was also discontinued in 1990.

A new Touring Map Yorkshire Dales was published in 1992, using 1:50 000 mapping reduced to 1-inch (1:63 360) scale. This inherited sheet number 6, from the discontinued New Forest sheet. Yorkshire Dales was the very last new map to be published by Ordnance Survey at the scale of 1 inch to 1 mile. This was also the first Touring map to be issued in a slightly-tweaked cover with the Ordnance Survey logo in magenta inside a box. (Figure 39)

The West Country - which, despite being shown as sheet 13 on some indexes, was never published with a sheet number itself - was replaced in 1992 by a new sheet called Devon & Cornwall. This used 1:250 000 Routemaster mapping enlarged to 1:207 070 scale and was numbered as part of the Touring Map series. (Figure 40). It was published at first without an illustrated guide printed on the rear of the sheet, but one was provided on its next edition in June 1994. Touring Map 2 North York Moors was the last sheet to receive such a guide, in January 1995.

1996-2003: Winding down and moving on

After 1995 the guides printed on the reverse of most of the Touring maps were phased out, Exmoor being the only sheet in print at the time which was never published with a ‘Tourist Guide’.

Figure 41 (click to enlarge)
Figure 41
The Cotswolds (1997)
Figure 42 (click to enlarge)
Figure 42
Scotland (1999)
Figure 43 (click to enlarge)
Figure 43
Peak District (1999)

The Touring map cover was redesigned c.1996 to incorporate the new Ordnance Survey logo and house style. (Figure 41)

In August 1999, edition B of Touring map 12 Scotland was published, still at 1:500 000 scale (based on 1:625 000 and 1:250 000 digital data) with mapping identical in style to the 1:625 000 Travelmaster sheet 1. Its front cover artwork was a radically different design to those of the previous 15 years and in fact gave a foretaste of the early sheets in the forthcoming ‘all-new’ Touring Map series. (Figure 42). However early the following month edition D of Touring map 4 Peak District was published in the standard cover style. (Figure 43). As far as is known, this was the last revised reprint in this Touring Map series.

Touring map number,
title and date of
Immediate replacement
& publication date
Red = Touring    Blue = ‘Tour’
1DartmoorMar 2000Devon


Mar 2000

Mar 2000

5ExmoorMar 2000
13Devon & CornwallMar 2000
3Lake DistrictMay 2001Lake District & CumbriaJun 2001
10Snowdonia & N. WalesMay 2001WalesJun 2001
15WessexMay 2001No immediate replacement
See ‘Tour’ maps:
 Hampshire & the IoW
 Dorset, Somerset East...

(Jul 2002)
(Jul 2002)
(Feb 2004)
4Peak DistrictJun 2001Peak District & DerbyshireJul 2001
6Yorkshire DalesJun 2001Yorkshire DalesJul 2001
2North York MoorsJan 2002North York MoorsFeb 2002
8The CotswoldsJan 2002The CotswoldsFeb 2002
14NorthumbriaJun 2002NorthumberlandJun 2002
12ScotlandJun 2003ScotlandJun 2003

As the 1990s drew to a close, twelve Touring maps were current and in print. Three of these (sheets 1, 5 & 13) were discontinued in March 2000 when the ‘new style’ Touring map series was launched, using simplistic enlarged 1:250 000 mapping. As further sheets in the ‘new’ series were published, the ‘old’ Touring maps were gradually discontinued. (See table, right)

The withdrawal of the very last two 1-inch scale maps produced by Ordnance Survey took place early in 2002: North York Moors and The Cotswolds were replaced by Touring Maps at 1:100 000 scale.

The launch of the ‘OS Select’ service in April 2002, allowing consumers to order custom-coverage maps (initially only from 1:50 000 scale mapping), was perhaps intended as a replacement for the detailed 1‑inch Touring maps; at £11.99, however, ‘OS Select’ was three times the price of a Touring map!

The ‘old’ Touring maps were finally replaced in June 2003 when Scotland was published in the new series.

Page last updated: 14 April 2012