The Ordnance Survey Map Quiz!

This is a scheduled post. I am currently walking the Wales Coast Path to raise money for the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team. (Update: I completed the Wales Coast Path on 7th February 2022 and raised £1,300)

Whilst I am making my way around Wales, I’ve scheduled some posts to entertain you, and hope you don’t forget me, within the next couple months. Right now I should be making my way off of Holyhead Island (Edit: Uh, was delayed by this thing called Storm Barra and am only just walking onto Holyhead Island) and I’ve made up this super fun, totally great quiz for you.

Didn’t get sick of online pub quizzes over all the lockdowns? Well, the festive season is here again and what better way to connect with all your friends and family than yet another quiz! This time you’ll all be together in person so you can actually throw things when you argue about the answers… actually maybe this one’s better done alone.

Think you know your byways from your bridleways? Think our National Parks are our true National Treasures? Keep a trig-bagging list on hand at all times? Do you have a basket of OS Explorer and Landranger maps overflowing and need to upgrade to a chest? Have several of those fetching map cases that dangle from your neck? Put all those miles of navigation to the test then and see what you know.

Answers at the end

What do the following symbols and signs indicate?


a, Duckpond

b, Nature Reserve

c, Hunting Estate

d, Affectionate Midlanders


a, Potholes

b, Opium Den

c, Scree

d, Swamp


a, Triangulation Point

b, Fabulous Glamping

c, Monument

d, Youth Hostel


a, High Voltage

b, Firing Range

c, Coastal Erosion

d, Cows


a, Stalagmites

b, Viewpoint

c, Light Pollution

d, Warehouse Raves


a, Footpath

b, Bridleway

c, Traffic Jams

d, Byway


a, Cess Pits

b, Middlesborough

c, Mud

d, Arable Land


a, Avalanche Zone

b, Brutalist Architecture

c, Dry Riverbed

d, Cliff


a, Bus Station

b, Cycle Parking

c, Sunbathing

d, Town Hall


a, Optimists Only

b, Public House

c, Petrol Station

d, Reservoir


a, Marsh

b, Bowling Green

c, Hedgehogs

d, Common Land

What do the following abbreviations mean?



a, Monolith

b, Mountain

c, Monsters

d, Monument



a, Bullshit

b, Bus Stop

c, Boundary Stone

d, Boy Scouts



a, Flood Barrier

b, Frequent Boulders

c, Fence Boundary

d, Footbridge



a, Windmill

b, Well

c, Walls

d, Wrong Way



a, Never Turn Left

b, Normal Tidal Limit

c, No Trails Level

d, National Tram Lines

Ordnance Survey History

17, What event lead to the formation of the Ordnance Survey?

a, After Sir Walter Raleigh’s adventures in the New World, he became embarrassed by his comparative lack of knowledge of the English countryside.

b, When the Butcher Duke of Cumberland was tracking down the dissenters after the Jacobite Uprising, he noted his frustration with the inadequate mapping of the Scottish Highlands.

c, Queen Victoria was most unimpressed and thoroughly outraged after her court got lost in Pembrokeshire for two days and decided to do something about it.

d, As cars became more popular, and people travelled further more frequently, it was a promise of the first Labour government that a high standard of cartography should be established and accessible.

18, What area did the first published OS map cover?

a, Kent

b, Norfolk

c, Aberdeenshire

d, Anglesey

19, The name of which mountain, now in universal use, is due to a spelling mistake on an original OS map?

a, Cheviot (Originally ‘Sheveot’)

b, Kinder Scout (Originally ‘Kinter Scout’)

c, Scafell Pike (Originally ‘Skawfell Pike’)

d, Tryfan (Originally ‘Triffin’)

20, After a fire in the Tower of London, the OS Headquarters were moved. In which city are they now based?

a, Glasgow

b, Penrith

c, Belfast

d, Southampton

21, In 1995, the OS finished digitising all of their maps made to that point. How many maps was this?

a, 55,000

b, 143,000

c, 195,000

d, 230,000

Name the National Park:







Trig Points

28, Which was the first trig point placed in the UK?

a, Box Hill

b, Portknockie

c, Cold Ashby

d, Ballylumford

29, Roughly how many trig points have been built in the UK?

a, 6,557

b, 3,272

c, 10,625

d, 4,111

30, What is the purpose of a trig point?

a, To mark the tops of hills and mountains so they can be noted from the sky

b, As a surveying tool so the angle between highest points could be measured

c, As navigational aids, originally for the army but now for hikers and cyclists

d, It’s a superstitious thing. The Gods must be appeased.

31, Each trig point is in view of how many other trig points?

a, 5

b, 1

c, 9

d, 3

32, In 2016, Rob Woodall became the first person recorded to have bagged all the trig points of the UK. How long did it take him?

a, 6 years

b, 14 years

c, 10 years

d, 21 years


33, What even is a tumulus?



1a, 2c, 3d, 4b, 5b, 6a, 7c, 8d, 9a, 10b, 11a, 12d, 13c, 14d, 15b, 17b (1791), 18a, 19b, 20d, 21d, 22 Dartmoor, 23 Loch Lomand and the Trossachs, 24 Brecon Beacons, 25 Lake District, 26 Cairngorms, 27 Norfolk Broads, 28c (1938), 29a (not all remain), 30b, 31d, 32b, 33 a mound of earth built over graves, more usually called a barrow

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