Newsletter > Newsletter archive > November 2020

November 2020

Zooming in on the free maps
For many of us walking has been a lifeline during these difficult times. We hope you are finding enjoyable walks not too far from home while this lockdown continues and that you will be able to get out over the Christmas holidays.

Back in March, and in recognition of the fact that many people were struggling financially, we made the free walks on the Walkingworld app easier to follow. We did this by allowing the app to zoom in further on the map to give more detail. It's not 'proper' Ordnance Survey Landranger and Explorer mapping - you need to be a subscriber to get that - but it is perfectly usable, especially with that extra zoom. In fact, because the map shows street names, individual buildings and other aspects of the built environment, it can actually be better for urban walks (which is why that is an option for subscribers).

We have decided to keep offering this better map detail for non-subscribing members over the coming holidays. So if you can think of anyone who might benefit from finding a local walk through the app, please let them know that they can download it and sign up for free. If you are feeling particularly generous you might consider a gift subscription, which they can activate at any time (perhaps when times get better in 2021 and they will be able to walk more widely).

Free walking map for London
Talking about urban routes, a new pedestrian map highlights a network of quiet and interesting streets in central London, ideal for short trips and longer commutes alike.

The folded paper map is being given away for free from several outlets around the capital, in a project sponsored by Transport for London (TfL) and London Living Streets. The clear and easily read design provides a wealth of new information about walking in the capital, as well as the map itself.

A firm eye on the future

Although 2020 has been a year to forget for most, it hasn't been all bad for Slow Holiday specialists, Inntravel - it's seen them launch a number of highly popular new UK walking breaks, and be named a Which? Recommended Provider for Self-Guided Tours. Nevertheless, the ongoing restrictions on travel mean that their thoughts are now very much on the year that lies ahead.

Their 2021 summer programme is ready to view on their website, and as ever offers a choice of rewarding ways to explore Europe's lesser-known corners. Inntravel's commitment to working only with hotels who can be relied on to take good care of guests, as well as their focus on self-guided, socially distanced activities such as walking and cycling mean that their trips should be every bit as enjoyable as before the pandemic. They have also put a range of measures in place to enable you to book and travel with confidence.

They have recently refined their Customer Promise, which offers the utmost in flexibility, as well as a guaranteed refund in the event that they cannot operate your holiday, and as a result of a new partnership with Campbell Irvine, they are able to recommend possibly the most comprehensive travel insurance including Covid-19 cover on the market.

Recent news suggests that we should all be able to enjoy a well-deserved holiday in 2021, and Inntravel are looking forward to discussing your next adventure with you - just as soon as you are ready.

For more details on Inntravel's self-guided holidays in the UK and Europe, visit or email their expert team at

Book with confidence
Amend your booking up to the day before travel
Speedy, no-quibble refunds if Inntravel cannot operate your holiday
No price rises: book for summer 2021 at 2020 prices
Bonded with ATOL and ABTA for your complete financial security

Another tool for armchair research
LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) has become a common tool for geographical and archaeological surveys and an increasing amount of data is being made available. LIDAR is a method for measuring distances by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection back with a sensor. For wider scale mapping it is done from an aircraft. Differences in laser return times and wavelengths can then be used to make digital 3D representations of the ground.

The data has to be interpreted using computer software to turn it into visual images. After this processing even quite small bumps and ditches in the ground become visible. It is great for tracing the paths of lost roads or the outlines of lost settlements. The National Library of Scotland has created a website with various LIDAR datasets covering Great Britain. The LIDAR data is still quite patchy so you have to look to see if the area you are interested in has been surveyed. The website allows you to bring up the LIDAR view side by side with a number of historical maps, with the earliest dating back to 1885. If you are into local history, hours of fun poring over maps beckons…

Wainwright Society calendar
Normally at this time of year we would be promoting the annual Wainwright Society calendar and we know that many members buy copies, both because it is a beautiful and interesting publication and because the profits always go to a good cause.

This year the Society has reluctantly decided not to print the calendar because many of the traditional outlets for selling it have been closed. However they have filled the gap with a digital Wainwright Society 2021 calendar, using a mixture of pictures from past years, which can be downloaded as a PDF. The Society plans to return to a printed calendar for 2020, with funds going to the Calvert Trust which would have been the beneficiary this year.