This map covers the North East Lake District at an excellent scale for walkers, cyclists, and for other outdoor pursuits. Okay, it's a map, but that's not the important part. These active maps by the OS were a great idea! For a long time the only way to stop maps being destroyed by bad weather was to use a plastic wallet, but these had one clear disadvantage - what if you needed to look at a different part of the map? Either risk destroying it by refolding it whilst exposing it to the full force of the wind and rain, or try to do it in your bag. With these laminated maps, you can leave them out in the rain all day, and still they're completely undamaged by the weather. They're a little more unwieldy than the non-laminated maps, but are currently the best all-weather maps available.
The OS Explorer series works at 1:25000 which is 4cm to the kilometer or 2.5 inch to the mile. That's as tight a scale as you'll get from the OS (their Landranger series are less fine at 2cm to the kilometer) and it's easily enough for casual rambling or more serious hiking. To give you an idea of the scale, it takes four of these Explorer maps to cover the English Lake District (OL4, 5, 6 and 7 - for my holiday there this year I'll be taking three maps) or two (OL26 and 27). I would suggest that if you're driving or cycling on good roads and paths you may be better off with the more manageable Landrangers.
These maps are printed both sides, and they also fold out pretty big, so if your route takes you over the page, maneouvring these beasts can be a little cumbersome. Note also that the key is only printed on one side, across a boundary and that can cause some difficulties. So, some serious map folding is needed - when I was in the Territorial Army, we even had a lesson on the subject.
This is the "Active" version it's waterproofed which costs a few pounds more than the plain paper map but it is even bulkier. I prefer to use the paper map and stuff it in a map case or even a clear plakky bag. Horses for courses.
If you're sticking to roads, paths or decent tracks, or are going to be within sight of plenty of obvious landmarks, you can operate without a compass. If your walk is a little more adventurous, you'd be wise to carry one with you, but bear in mind that effective compass usage doesn't come without a little training and practise.
Final tip: before you leave the car park, "orient the map". In other words, make sure you know where you are on the map and where you're going. Line up your route on the map with the route on the ground and be aware that this might require you to hold the map upside down or on it's side. Try and maintain a reference between the map and reality as you go, matching landmarks on the ground with those on the map, and you'll never get lost.
Away from the practical aspects, I love OS maps and I can spend hours poring over them. It's almost as good as actually going to the places they depict.
The maps done by Ordinance Survey are brilliant maps, full of detail and full off information and last for ages. Especally the fully waterproof one's like this which helps keep dry especally if your like me and liable to drop it some where damp. The explorer maps are a nice scale for walking and you are able to pin point your position exactly with it's detail. Only downside with laminated maps if you fold them the wrong way (which you have to do sometimes to see the other side) it does damage eventually (but that is eventually and last a lot longer than with out it). But they are very durable and the best out there. As for the area. The lakes are the most breath taking areas in the country. But you proply know that and if you probably plan on going there if you where looking at this map, It's just deciding which a case of deciding what area your going to in the Lakes, because there's four and picking the one/ones for you. So simple as, these are the best maps you can find, so walkers, explorers, climbers etc. it's a must. But like most of the Lakes this area is beatiful so go and enjoy.
Buying a weather proof map is definitely the best choice for any out of doors activity. It works out much more economical due to paper maps getting wet and needing replacing. Even when maps are in waterproof holders they can at times let some rain in. I have replaced all my maps to active maps.
It's what you expect from an OS map but it doesn't crumble in the rain! I love these maps, cost a little more to buy but they last much longer than the paper versions - if it rains, a paper map will get wet to some degree.