Banner image for Lockdown adventures with OS Maps banner image

Lockdown adventures with OS Maps

GetOutside Champions • Walking • Feb 08, 2021 • 10 min read

There's always somewhere new to explore on your doorstep. Whether it's discovering new footpaths, trying a new activity for your daily exercise or uncovering hidden histories in your local area. Find out how OS Maps has helped our GetOutside Champions have new lockdown adventures below.
Sign up

Use OS Maps to find a new lockdown adventure near you. Enjoy a 7-day free trial on us.

Lockdown adventure with Charlotte Fowler

Walk or run from the doorstep

My best local adventure has been a 21km route I plotted back in lockdown 1.0. I was looking for a good few hours route to get me out of the house, but most importantly, one from the front door which meant I didn’t need to drive anywhere to start it. I opened OS Maps and looked for all the local trails I had yet to explore to make a nice big loop. It was a great four hours walk taking in local trails and through forests I hadn’t been to yet.

Part of the reason it’s my favourite local adventure is fast forward another two lockdowns and I actually ended up not just walking it, but running the whole route which was my first ever trail half marathon! A route I’ll be returning to on many occasions, and great to find less trodden trails than the more popular nearby New Forest ones, right on my front doorstep!

Charlotte running a route using OS Maps

Charlotte is a coffee loving, haribo eating, outdoor fanatic and camping addict! Find out more about Charlotte here.

Lockdown adventure with An Ordinary Family of 5

Family adventures and homeschooling outside

Lockdown has allowed us to spend a little bit more time at home. OS Maps has given us extra learning capabilities when it comes to lockdown schooling.

With three children, it is hard to keep their minds and bodies occupied and engaged while staying indoors. So we take them outside! We have used the OS Maps app to navigate around our local area, to hunt out greenspaces and playgrounds. We walked to our local woods and left the car at home, while litter picking along the way. The canal has been a great base for our walks to discover different types of wildlife while exploring new areas and their greenspaces too. All from our doorstep!

With the help of OS Maps, we have been encouraged to #getoutside and look at what we have around us. A hidden alleyway here, a new picnic area there, and a fresh outlook on an urban environment.

An Ordinary Family of 5 out adventuring

An Ordinary Family of 5 seek out Sunday adventures! Find out more about Mum Zoe and the family here.

Lockdown adventure with Lisa Wells

Exploring local footpaths

I’ve made a real effort during lockdown to explore more footpaths from my home. When I’m planning my day out, I load up my OS Maps app on my phone and press the ‘home location’ button. A red arrow immediately appears over my house, zooming out the map opens up and I can see so many public footpaths just waiting for my boots to explore.

I had a walk to a local hill called Moelfre Isaf recently. I plotted my route to get an idea of how long it would take me and downloaded the route to my phone. A few of the footpaths I came to were either knee high with mud or completely overgrown which wasn’t a problem, I simply loaded up my app and found an alternative path to take.

My OS Maps app has been invaluable during lockdown; both for planning adventures from my doorstep as well as discovering new places to explore.

Lisa on a snowy walking route

Lisa Wells is usually found on a mountain with a big smile and her two dogs. Find out more about Lisa here.

Lockdown adventure with Mel Nicholls

Uncovering the history around us

Learning more about where we live, the secrets held and tales told, I’ve found a real positive during lockdowns and more time spent at home. One of my favourite local routes, discovered using my OS Maps app is one filled with history and heritage, battle and beauty.

Beginning at Tewkesbury Abbey, my route takes foot on trail in 1471 at the Battle of Tewkesbury, where the Lancastrian army of 6000 men laid defence against advancing Yorkists, some 5000-6000 strong.

Initially bordering the battle fields and heading river-ward, joining the Severn Way at Lower Lode that leads to another secret of our past at Oddas Chapel; one of the most complete surviving Saxon churches in England. Returning north-east, where the House of Lancaster was ultimately defeated in Tewkesbury Park and via the ‘Bloody Meadow,’ finishing back at the Abbey where hundreds of soldiers sought sanctuary, and where many Lancastrians are buried, including Edward, Prince of Wales and Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset.

Image of Victor of Victor and Vanquished, representing the Yorkists victory over the Lancastrians

Mel Nicholls is a paralympian, outdoors lover and life adventurer. Find out more about Mel here.

Lockdown adventure with Rory Southworth


I'm inching myself forward with every stroke in this murky torrent. Dodging branches as they wash past me and head crashing over the Weir behind. It's only day three of my seven days of SwimRun's and I'm already questioning this project.

Feeling tremendously demotivated by the lockdowns and having had the longest time out of water since before I started outdoor swimming. February felt like the right time to get back to swimming.

As someone who predominantly swims in Mountain Lakes and Tarns. Not having access to the Lake District over the past months has meant that I'd put my swimming on hold. Waiting for the tiers and Lockdowns to lift to travel the 30 minutes out of my country to swim. But I could wait no longer and whilst there may not be any pristine Lakes or Tarns nearby to swim, but a quick scan of my OS Maps app reminded me that my local river was just a 20 minute run from my house.

Rory on a swim run adventure

I wanted to see what I would notice if I committed to swimming every day in the river for a week, experiencing the swelling and flows of the river over journey swims from point A to B. I set rules to this project, with the swim distance being a minimum of 250m and the run being a minimum of 8km, starting and finishing from my home. This provided structure to my route planning each day.

Checking Met Office weather warnings was key to the safety of my swims. Even minor changes in the weather created differences in the flow speed, the amount of debris coming downstream and my entry and exit points to the river. Whilst I've experienced many swims during winter in the Lakes, my neoprene suit and the classic "ice cream head" as I swam were vital.

I set out to force myself out every day for a week, to get myself back swimming after falling out of the habit and to experience the river every day for seven days. Whilst I didn't fully test out the theory that it may be possible to make journey swims every day throughout winter in the river, I don't think it's always sensible. The force and dangers of the river are real. However how it changes so drastically in just a week was incredible to see, from the water itself.

It's good to be back swimming. Locally.

Rory Southworth is a multi-sport, mountain runner and wild swimmer. Find out more about Rory here.

What new adventures have you had in lockdown? We'd love to see them - tag us on social media and discover what other hidden gems you can find on your doorstep using OS Maps.

Remember to take care of the great outdoors and follow the Countryside Code at all times.

Published: Feb 08, 2021 Edited: Feb 09, 2021

Sign up to get more content

Download the free GetOutside app for family-friendly things to do outside

Packed full of activities, destinations and free things to do outside, the new GetOutside app makes it easy to organise an outdoor activity or a day out that your family will love.

OS Maps

Never explore without one! Stay safe, and stay active with Britain’s most accurate outdoor maps.

Be inspired to do more and go further by equipping yourself with the best tools for the job. Our maps are built on 220 years of experience - we keep walkers, runners, cyclists and more safe in the great outdoors all year round.

Available from local outdoors retailers, bookshops and our online OS shop.

Go to the OS shop