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Maps include specific symbols, icons and small pictures to show the location of particular things, such as post offices, picnic tables, golf courses and more.

Symbols are explained in the legend of your map.

Who do you think would most need to look for symbols to show where youth hostels, parking facilites and scenic view points etc. are to be found?

There are lots of different symbols that appear on Ordnance Survey maps. These include

  • symbols for tourists (hostels, picnic tables)
  • symbols for services (post office, phone box)
  • symbols for sports (golf, sailing...)

While symbols don't tell you about the shape of the land or how to get from A to B, they help to give some idea of what you'll find when you get there.


Roll over the symbols to see what they represent

Roll over the symbols to see what they represent

Symbols for Tourists

Many symbols on maps show facilities and points of interest for tourists.

A car park is shown by a 'P' in a blue square.

A hostel is shown by a red triangle

A tourist office or infomation point is shown by an 'i' in blue or green square

A campsite is shown by a tent or a caravan

A beauty spot or viewpoint is shown by a collection of blue rays.

General Symbols

Maps also have symbols that are useful for everyone, including businesses, local people and travellers.

Some common general map symbols include:

Post office

Police Station