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Ordnance Survey Books; Money Belt in UK

First question: What's the opinion on using a money belt in the UK? I lived there for a few years, and then traveled to London several times, in the 1990's. I never used a money belt and never ran into any of the scams that I read here are common elsewhere. I wasn't foolish. When I was in a touristed area, I kept wallet., etc., in a front pockets or in an inside zippered jacket pocket. I'll be in the UK this fall and wonder if the risk factor has increased in the last 10 years.

Second question: I made frequent use of a particular kind of Ordnance Survey map book. They were tall and narrow (roughy 9 inches by 4 inches), green, about two hundred pages. Each book covered a specific area (say southeast Wales) with maps and narrative pinpointing the smallest detail. A typical map would cover an area perhaps 5 miles on either side. Are these books still available? Can they be purchased in the U.S.?


Posted by
9079 posts

If your were a resident, like you say you were, your less likely to be targeted by a pickpocket. Thieves go after people carrying the most amount of cash: tourists. I don't think the risk factor has increased, but you should either wear a money belt or use your hotel's in-room safe. Spending an entire day canceling credit cards, filing police reports, and getting a replacement passport isn't fun.

Posted by
389 posts

J.C., I have never had a problem in the UK either (I might look too poor), but I just have gotten in the habit. I personally don't think anything will happen, but I agree that it is easier to be careful than to cancel credit cards and replace passports. I do think that since I began travel in 1988 the risk has increased for what that is worth.
On the map, you migh check in the UK. Most of my best ones came from there.

Posted by
970 posts

Well, when I lived there, I had a Barclays account and a Barclays card. I carried a little cash and used the card as much as possible. I didn't -- and won't have -- a backpack strapped to my back and a camera dangling from my neck. I guess I must have looked like I lived there because visiting Americans would ask me for directions.

Most of my time will be spent on B roads and in small towns, away from big cities and tourist spots. I'm unconvinced those places have become havens for pickpockets.

The deal with the Ordnance Survey books is that I'd like to do some pre-departure planning. I know where to get them in the UK..

Posted by
1455 posts

I can't help you with the 2nd question but I go to London all the time. I am a petite woman carrying a mini backpack as my purse (or handbag) and inside has my map and a journal/notepad which has my scribbles on what I want to do, where I want to visit.

I have a "taxi wallet" which consists of a day's worth of cash (30 to 50 pounds) 1 debit card and my ID. That's it. I put my little wallet inside the lining of my jacket, and zip up the jacket, which is easy since its usually cold in London! Laugh.

I've been going back for the past 4 years and knock on wood, nothing has happened. I'll be back in September and will do the same thing. Mini pack for my junk.. and junk means if someone takes it, who cares! Little wallet with 1 days worth of stuff and 1 card close to my heart.

Posted by
2 posts

I think the books you mention are the Pathfinder Guides published by Jarrold Publishing with the Ordnance Survey. There are about 25 of them and as far as I know still in print. Try calling Globe Corner Books in Boston or a hiking bookstore. I bet the bookstore at Duke will have a way to get them. The Explorer Series OS maps are also excellent.

Posted by
4 posts

Ordnance Survey maps are great. I got some by going to the website. It cost a little extra to get them mailed to the US, but it was worth it. I didn't check to see if they have the map books on the site, so have a look.