Rucksack Readers

Rucksack Readers => Kintyre Way, western Scotland => Topic started by: Stottie on September 21, 2007, 10:45:05 am

Title: OS Explorer mapping and route discrepancies
Post by: Stottie on September 21, 2007, 10:45:05 am
Hi everybody

I just walked the Way north to south and enjoyed it.

I'm sure a lot of people who are used to the manicured state of many National Trails in England will find some parts a shock. The Claonaig-Clachan section is wet, but I found the waymarking very good and the stream crossings fine. The roadside section south of Clachan isn't much fun, and I'd be inclined to get a ride as far as Ballochroy, walk to Tayinloan, and take a ride on the ferry to Gigha - this will give all the best views and none of the pain of roadside hiking.

The one thing that is a problem, and I've written to the official Kintyre Way web site about it, is the discrepancy between OS map and waymarks between Innean Glen and Largiebaan (south of Machrihanish). This has nothing to do with the well-publicised discrepancy further south between Largiebaan and Southend, but it's important to be aware of it, especially if visibility isn't great. What follows is what I told them, and I hope it helps.


"Having just walked the Kintyre Way and enjoyed it, I offer my observations re the route south of Machrihanish.
Because this section is heralded as the hardest to navigate, prudent walkers might use the OS Explorer map to prepare route cards with compass bearings and accompanying notes. They would be wasting their time.
From the web, they would probably know already that the route south of Largiebaan differs from the OS map, but they would be unaware of other discrepancies between the map and the waymarks.
I'm sure you're already aware of this, but I feel obliged to tell you anyway. On the descent to Innean Glen the map and the waymarks diverge about NGR 609 165. The waymarks descend on a line that runs south of the mapped route to approach the northern corner of a sheepfold at NGR 602 164. The bench here is a good thing for those who don't wish to descend to the sea!
From the western corner of the sheepfold the waymarks lead in a generally southerly direction across the steep, rough, vegetated slope towards the cliff top at Binnein Fithich at NGR 602 151. They are not particularly easy to follow, and the route is not distinct. From Binnein Fithich the waymarks lead southwest for 400-500m before contouring left (east-south-east) through a gate in a fenced enclosure, from where they head generally (but not straight-forwardly) east along the contour to Largiebaan.
I walked this section in good visibility and in full fitness, and I'm relieved to have done so. I can imagine people becoming frustrated and confused by the discrepancy between map and waymarks. Frustration and confusion do not help a walker in wild terrain. I urge you to publicise the difference, which is far more dangerous than the re-routing over Amod Hill, when the most challenging part of the (southbound) walk has been done."

Title: OS Explorer mapping and route discrepancies
Post by: Stottie on September 27, 2007, 03:36:44 pm
Further to my previous post, the man in charge of the Kintyre Way - Owen Paisley, - is getting to grips with his job and is putting extra waymarks south of Innean Glen. He intends to have more frequent strimming of bracken next year so that the waymarks are more easily visible. He will also refer the discrepancies between map and trail to the Ordnance Survey, but that will take time to get through to published maps.

Title: OS Explorer mapping and route discrepancies
Post by: Stottie on October 16, 2007, 05:13:00 pm
The Kintyre Way website was updated on 10th October 2007, and the route south of Machrihanish is now shown correctly on the site map.

Title: Re: OS Explorer mapping and route discrepancies
Post by: Jacquetta on November 14, 2007, 11:43:58 am
Sadly the post-October official website now shows only very small-scale OS mapping, no longer the 600% scrollable PDFs which were there before, so you can't use for navigation.  Anyway, it's great that Stottie draws attention to the major route discrepancy that the website omits.  It's also great to report that, according to Owen Paisley, the Route Manager, OS will revise their mapping to show the route correctly, though our map suppliers had no date for this, so I wouldn't hold my breath.  Not clear where the problem came from:  the cover of Explorer 356 shows the correct route at small scale, it's only their detailed mapping (which should be the useful bit) that gets it wrong :o

Meanwhile, the route is of course correct in our newly published Kintyre Way ( book, but at small-scale to fit its map flap.  To complement the book, we also offer a hand-amended OS Explorer map package, currently the only place in the universe you can obtain the correct route at 1:25,000 - and we even offer it at a discount.  As soon as OS brings out a new edition, we'll stop hand-amending with a huge sigh of relief :)

Please excuse this small plug for a Rucksack Readers service, but nobody else seems willing to do this time-consuming task, and we'd like to help people avoid getting lost!

Title: Re: OS Explorer mapping and route discrepancies
Post by: walkhighlands on April 23, 2009, 08:03:08 am
Apologies for the plug, but the route is correctly shown on online OS mapping (plus with detailed descriptions) on the Walkhighlands site here - (

To see an OS map, choose any stage, then click on 'View or print a map of this route'

You can also download each stage of the route to your GPS; the line is recorded from research on the ground.

Title: Re: OS Explorer mapping and route discrepancies
Post by: Loon Dod on May 08, 2009, 09:49:15 am
I ran from Tarbert to Campbeltown last Sat, 66 miles although it came out on my GPS at just on 68. I have to say the scenery is stunning and the waymarkers were very good. I had no real navigation problems even at the pace I was going. I did take one wrong turn but that was my fault as the correct route was well marked.

I did notice that some of the way maps on the sign boards were a bit misleading and ignored them, preferring to use the OS map.

Title: Re: OS Explorer mapping and route discrepancies
Post by: Jacquetta on May 09, 2009, 03:48:13 pm
Hello Loon
That is amazing 8) I'm not sure whether to be more surprised by only one wrong turning or by the 66 miles. ;D  I remember you mentioned your run of the Cateran Trail: are you working your way around all our routes?  If so brilliant, and I know somebody who would love to get access to your GPS trails. ;)  So please let us know where you intend to strike next, seriously!

Title: Re: OS Explorer mapping and route discrepancies
Post by: Jacquetta on April 23, 2012, 03:16:29 pm
In fairness, we should probably update this topic for the benefit of those who may visit long after OS updated their mapping. I am pleased to report that since 2008 we have been selling the updated version of Sheet 356 which shows the route correctly so we don't need to hand-amend: so far, so good.

Better still, since 2010 you've been able to refer to the online route map ( hosted on the Rucksack Readers Kintyre Way page.  This is not only much more detailed than any OS map – you can zoom it ten times successively until you can see individual stones on the ground – but it is also easily editable so we can promise to keep it permanently up to date.  There were major route changes in autumn 2011 (fully covered by the second edition of our guidebook (, and they were shown right away on the route map.