It’s been a year since we launched our custom made maps, allowing you to create a bespoke OS Explorer Map or OS Landranger Map in just a few minutes, centring it on the area you choose and adding your own title and cover image. We know you like being able to personalise your own maps, but we didn’t know just how much, until we heard from Katy Moore. Read Katy’s guest post on her custom made experience.
Thanks to Ordnance Survey, I am now the centre of my (10 km radius) universe…
As I opened my present last Christmas, I was taken aback to find my own face looking at me…It was me! On an Ordnance Survey map! Of the Lake District! Oh, and centred on Derwentwater Youth Hostel, where I was about to start volunteering. Oh, and the title of the map was actually Katy Moore’s Lake District! I love maps, I love the Lake District, I love Derwentwater Youth Hostel, and I love the memory of the inter-hostel walking holiday that the photograph evokes.
Now working at Derwentwater Youth Hostel, it has become the centre of my life and my movements. I live in the staff flat on the top floor of the hostel and I spend my free time exploring the surrounding area: I have set off from the hostel in every direction and I have not fallen off the edge of the map yet.
So, branching from every angle of the pink triangle that denotes Derwentwater Youth Hostel on my 1:25 000 map, where have I been and what have I seen?
South east: From the Youth Hostel you can see a white plume falling through the woodland – so on my first day I explored the grounds in this direction and found a footpath twisting up the side of a splendid waterfall. Barrow House was built by the eccentric Joseph Pocklington and it is named after the beck which Pocklington diverted to create a waterfall in the grounds. So the hostel is perfectly positioned to explore Barrow Beck, from its source on Ashness Fell, along the dramatic falls of Barrow Cascade, to its entry in Barrow Bay on Derwent Water. From the footpath you can also see the hydro-electric plant that harnesses some of the energy from the tumbling waterfall.
South-south west: the little gate at the bottom of the front lawn is flanked on one side by a bright red letter box, set into a strong stone wall. A stroll to the letter box often ends a couple of hours later after an unplanned mini adventure as there are so many things to explore. This exit point from the hostel leads to the paths of the Borrowdale Valley, the spectacular Lodore Falls, the Chinese Bridge over the River Derwent (providing access to the western shores of Derwent Water), the pretty hamlet of Grange and its double stone bridge, and the Bowder Stone.
North-west: at the bottom of the driveway there is a bus stop, Barrow Bay, the road to Watendlath, and the lake-shore path and on into the lake itself! On very calm days I have plunged into the glassy water, on other occasions I have been content to walk or run along the enchanting lake-shore path to Friar’s Crag and Keswick (with the magnificent shoulder of Skiddaw in constant comforting view), or beneath Falcon Crag to Great Wood and the rewarding triangulation point at Castlehead Wood.
To the south east, somewhere (I must confess that my map-reading was imprecise at this point) on the craggy bowls that pockmark Grange Fell, I heard some soft rustling noises and saw two red deer bound through the uneven rock and gorse.
To the south west, at the edge of the hostel lawn, I have seen a red squirrel! I have been to many sites that are famed for red squirrels, but until this month I had never actually seen one. To summarise my 360 degree experience so far: there are red deer, red squirrels, and a red-haired Katy Moore to be spotted within a 10 km radius of Derwentwater Youth Hostel, and yet there is still much more to explore!
Images produced with thanks to Katy Moore.