As you might expect, there are a plethora of smartphone apps available to help you make the most of your visit to the Lake District. And as you’d also expect, some of them are brilliant and a great many of them are terrible!
If you’re a hiker or biker, you’ll probably already have Strava to log and share your activities; and if you’re looking for the best visitor attractions, places to eat or places to stay, then you can’t go far wrong with TripAdvisor.
But beyond these ‘giants’ of the App Store, there are a few other lesser-known apps which we think you might find useful during your stay.
Topo GPS (Topographic maps for iPhone and Android)
There are, of course, thousands of navigation apps out there. But one which we particularly like is Topo GPS. This is a really user-friendly app with 1:25000 scale mapping which looks exactly the same as your paper Ordnance Survey map (which you absolutely must have with you as a back up). It pinpoints where you are and which way you’re facing, so it’s really handy at those confusing footpath junctions. And of course it allows you to plan and track your route, just like any other decent navigation app.
What we really like about it, though, is that you’re able to buy just the map sections that you actually want, with a 16 square kilometre map ‘tile’ costing a mere 20 pence. Once you’ve chosen and downloaded the tiles you’re going to need, they’re all stored offline on your phone so there’s no problem using the app in areas where there’s no reception.
And of course it doesn’t just cover the Lake District. Wherever your travels take you next, just use the same app to download detailed Ordnance Survey maps of the area and you’re ready to go!
WeatherPro (Live Weather Information)
There’s certainly no shortage of weather apps available, but one which you’ll find particularly useful is WeatherPro. What sets this app apart is it’s weather tracking radar feature, which shows live information on a map so you can literally watch a band of rain (or snow, or hail) moving in real time. You can see how heavy it is, which way it’s heading, and precisely when it’s going to hit you!
The free version lets you track weather from a few hours previously up to the present time – so you can pretty easily work out what’s going to happen in the next half an hour or so – while the paid version also predicts how things will unfold for 2 hours ahead, and it’s remarkably accurate too.
Perfect for dodging those Lake District showers!
Lake District Looksee AR (Explore with Augmented Reality)
And finally, how about a bit of augmented reality? The Lake District Looksee AR app is quite a geeky creation, but also very handy for finding out what’s around you.
Point your phone in any direction and it’ll show you a whole host of places to go and things to see and do around your immediate area.
It’s pretty whacky, but also very useful for generating those ‘oh how about going there’ ideas.