Colouring Book Reviews · The Great British Colouring Map - Ordnance Survey

The Great British Colouring Map – Ordnance Survey


  • Type: Paperback
  • No of Pages: 96
  • Publisher: Laurence King
  • Release Date: 10 Oct 2016
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1780678597
  • Size: 34.9 x 1.8 x 26.8 cm

The Great British Colouring Map: A Colouring Journey around Britain  is a beautiful large sized book published in a collaboration between Ordnance Survey and Laurence King Books to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the Ordnance Survey. The book is very special and not only due to its size. The cover, although paperback is card covered with a map printed textured paper and lined with red-line paper on the inside. It has French flap extensions which make the cover even stronger. The paper is cream, thick and luscious, more a light card-stock and is both stitch and tape bound which helps the pages to lay flat. There are a few pages that need a little help but this is the best way of binding a book to get lay-flat pages without the pages falling out (a common problem with lay-flat bindings). The map designs are both single and double-page spreads and the printing is on both sides of the paper, so this is not one for alcohol markers although will take water-based markers very well.

There are a total of 55 illustrations in the book over a total of 96 pages. The maps are highly detailed and intricate and you will need sharp pencils or fine-liners to colour those; although you could also washes of watercolour or soft pastels to colour backgrounds and pick out the details you wish to if you don’t want to colour every detail. This is definitely a book for someone with good eyesight and manual dexterity and a lot of patience. It would also be a good book to colour as a family as the pages are large enough and it doesn’t matter too much if you are the one colouring upside-down.

There is also a stunning four-page map of London which folds out in the middle pages.


The Maps cover England, Scotland and Wales. Some of the map places are obvious – cities like London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Brighton, Portsmouth and Cardiff; although I found there were a few surprises with Mount Snowdon, Portmeirion and Loch Ness. There is a page just of seaside pier maps. I also found it strange that major cities like Liverpool and Manchester were not included, but I’m guessing most city maps will look similar so I suspect this was more to include variety.


I decided to colour the map of Stratford-upon-Avon and to add William Shakespeare as the famous playwright is synonymous with the town. For this picture I used a black Stabilo fineliner, Stabilo Power felt tip pens and a light peach Prismacolor Premier pencil. First I downloaded a portrait picture and traced the outline onto the map, then inked the roads and buildings on his clothes in black fine-liner and coloured the rest in grey, highlighting with white posca pen. For his hair and features I again inked in the details with black fine-liner and used brown to colour inking his eyes with the black fine-liner. For his face I inked in the details with peach and then used light peach Prismacolor premier pencil to colour the rest of his face.

The Great British Colouring Map is available to buy from Amazon., Amazon. com and  Book Depository, and The Wordery (both with free worldwide shipping).

I was kindly sent a copy from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and observations are my own.


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