Why is this the UK’s WORST-SELLING map?

Why is this the UK’s WORST-SELLING map? The Scottish landscape charted by Ordnance Survey No.440 is jaw-dropping… but is bafflingly unpopular with tourists

  • The map covering Glen Cassley and Glen Oykel in Scotland sold the least copies
  • Ordnance Survey says the neglected area is its top ‘hidden treasure’  
  • OS Explorer OL17 Snowdonia and Conwy Valley is the UK’s top-selling map

The worst-selling map in the UK has been revealed as one covering some of Britain’s most mesmerising scenery.

According to Ordnance Survey, its OS Explorer 440, which charts Glen Cassley and Glen Oykel in Scotland, is the least-purchased item in the entire OS Explorer map series. In fact, the top 10 worst-selling are all in Scotland.

Glen Cassley and Glen Oykel are both very remote, with less than 200 people living in the area. But still, many may wonder why so few ramblers are interested in it, given its outstanding natural beauty.

The worst-selling map in the UK has been revealed as one covering the area of Glen Cassley and Glen Oykel in Scotland - despite it being home to some of Britain's most beautiful scenery. Above, the gushing Achness Falls at Glen Cassley

The worst-selling map in the UK has been revealed as one covering the area of Glen Cassley and Glen Oykel in Scotland – despite it being home to some of Britain’s most beautiful scenery. Above, the gushing Achness Falls at Glen Cassley

Unloved: According to Ordnance Survey, its OS Explorer 440 is the least-purchased item in the entire OS Explorer map series

Unloved: According to Ordnance Survey, its OS Explorer 440 is the least-purchased item in the entire OS Explorer map series

The visual rewards for travelling to Glen Cassley are huge. It's home to golden eagles and beautiful lochs

The visual rewards for travelling to Glen Cassley are huge. It’s home to golden eagles and beautiful lochs

OS deems the area a ‘hidden treasure’, with mirror-like lochs, golden eagles and wild salmon adding to the allure.

OS’s map covering the two coastal Scottish fishing towns of Peterhead & Fraserburgh (OS Explorer 427) is the second worst-selling, while Kilmarnock & Irvine (OS Explorer 333), which covers the Ayrshire Coast Path, is ranked No3 in the list of unloved maps.

Hopping over Hadrian’s Wall into England, the part of the country that garnered the least attention from map-buying travellers is the east, with Lincolnshire and the surrounding area particularly neglected.

Eight out of the ten least-popular maps chart this region.

Commenting on the findings, OS said: ‘Something of a surprise, when you consider how ideal the flat landscape is for cycling.’

It also pointed out that there are some ‘wonderful walks to be enjoyed around the low-lying fenlands, alongside rivers and streams in this part of the world’. 

Glen Cassley and Glen Oykel are both very remote, with less than 200 people living in the area

Glen Cassley and Glen Oykel are both very remote, with less than 200 people living in the area

Fishing boats on the shore of Scottish Loch Shin, which is mapped out in OS Explorer 440

Fishing boats on the shore of Scottish Loch Shin, which is mapped out in OS Explorer 440

The worst-selling OS maps in the UK revealed

Explorer 440 Glen Cassley & Glen Oykel

2 Explorer 427 Peterhead & Fraserburgh

3 Explorer 333 Kilmarnock & Irvine

4 Explorer 417 Monadhliath Mountains North & Strathdearn

5 Explorer 327 Cumnock & Dalmellington

6 Explorer 449 Strath Halladale & Strathy Point

7 Explorer 443 Ben Klibreck & Ben Armine

8 Explorer 343 Motherwell & Coatbridge

9 Explorer 334 East Kilbride, Galston & Darvel

10 Explorer 335 Lanark & Tinto Hills

Moving into Wales, there is a whole treasure trove of interesting places that map buyers are unaware of, it would seem, dotted around the west, south and centre of the country. 

The most neglected map is OS Explorer 185 Newcastle Emlyn, Llandysul & Cynwyl Elfed, followed by OS Explorer 178 Llanelli & Ammanford and OS Explorer 199 Lampeter, Tregaron & Llan-non. 

The company’s three top-selling maps were revealed as OS Explorer OL17 Snowdonia and Conwy Valley (which sells 180 times more than 440), OS Explorer OL7 the Lake District, South Eastern section and OS Explorer OL24 the Peak District. 

During the 2017/18 financial year, sales of OS paper maps grew by seven per cent, with 1.73 million maps sold. 

Glen Cassley is one of Britain's most stunning areas - but few people know about it. During the 2017/18 financial year, sales of OS paper maps grew by seven per cent, with 1.73 million maps sold

Glen Cassley is one of Britain’s most stunning areas – but few people know about it. During the 2017/18 financial year, sales of OS paper maps grew by seven per cent, with 1.73 million maps sold

Commenting on the upward trend, OS Managing Director of Leisure Nick Giles said: ‘You can never 100 per cent rely on technology. Phones run out of battery, or even end up being dropped in puddles.

‘By having a paper map with you as well as OS Maps on your phone, wherever you are in Great Britain you can be sure you won’t be lost.’

The OS is currently encouraging families to venture out and explore the UK with its OS GetOutside campaign, backed by adventurers including Ben Fogle and Kenton Cool.  

The worst-selling maps for England and Wales 

ENGLAND

1 Explorer 248 Bourne & Heckington 

2 Explorer 280 Isle of Axholme, Scunthorpe & Gainsborough 

3 Explorer 249 Spalding & Holbeach 

4  Explorer 235 Wisbech & Peterborough North 

5 Explorer 284 Grimsby, Cleethorpes & Immingham 

6 Explorer 322 Annandale 

7 Explorer 314 Solway Firth 

8 Explorer 228 March & Ely 

9 Explorer 291 Goole & Gilberdyke 

10 Explorer 281 Ancholme Valley

 WALES

1 Explorer 185 Newcastle Emlyn, Llandysul & Cynwyl Elfed

2 Explorer 178 Llanelli & ammanford

3 Explorer 199 Lampeter, Tregaron & Llan-non

4 Explorer 186 Llandeilo & Brechfa Forest / Fforest Brechfa

5 Explorer 188 Builth Wells, Painscastle & Talgarth

6 Explorer 239 Lake Vyrnwy & Llanfyllin, Tanat Valley

7 Explorer 187 Llandovery, Llanwrtyd Wells & Llyn Brianne

8 Explorer 165 Swansea, Neath & Port Talbot

9 Explorer 166 Rhondda & Merthyr Tydfil

10 Explorer 215 Newtown, Llanfair Caereinion

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