Best Atlas

As the title says. I have been looking for a decent atlas that is less then 3 miles per inch . I have the AA atlas but find that a lot of the better driving roads are not shown. Thanks in advance for any help. Chris.

Atlas, now that does seem to date you to a period some way in the past, and one I relate to having arrived in the world in 1950.

I mainly use the AA Road Maps both in the 2.5 miles to 1 inch and 4 miles to the inch and find both have all the ‘smaller’ roads that I need so am a little surprised you can not see the ones you are interested in. If you let me know a specific route you are looking at I will check my copies and see what they show, or not.

I know in built up areas detail has to be sacrificed for ease of use but even the back route round Darlington for instance is on both versions.

I didn’t know they did a 2.5 miles to an inch. I will have to look for one of those. I suppose I should have said a book of road maps with tourist spots and info about the area on each page.

My co-driver is so unimpressed by the ND satnav that she bought an Atlas the other day for the car.

I’m currently using an AA 4 miles to 1 inch atlas from 2014. Find the scale reasonable to read with enough detail. Also a nice size to slip down behind the seat.

One feature that until recently I didn’t realise was marked is the ‘Scenic Route’. Along the side of the roads on these routes is a green shading. Nice to be able to pick a less boring route with some decent views. Here’s an example.

I use the above,  I have the 2017 edition (large scale) 3 miles to 1 inch with scenic routes. You can usually pick them up maybe this years for less than £5 from The Works shops.

AA 2019 edition 4 miles to 1 inch being sold at Home Bargains for £0.79p. Marked on the cover at £7.99p. The Wife bought me one during the week, very thoughtful of her.

That is amazingly inexpensive  I shall be having a look in Home Bargains next time I’m in the town! I must admit, my copy is woefully out of date. What I do like, is if your fortunate to have your route across two pages side by side, it’s amazing what can be seen in one go, rather than a very small sat nav screen. As said, easy to store behind the seat too!



I’ve tried most of them, at least that’s what it feels like.

The cheap AA ones at 4m/inch are good enough and cheap enough to have one in every car and replace them every couple of years.  All the 3m/inch ones I’ve tried seem to have the same maps just enlarged a bit, with no extra detail so a waste of time unless you find the the 4" maps hard to read.

The best though is probably this one.  £16 but does have more detail.

1.75 miles to the inch except the sparser bits of Scotland at c. 3 miles/inch.

This edition a bit smaller format than the cheap AA ones.  The trade off for this and the scale is more joins - it’s over 300 pages. 




I have replaced my 2015 AA Big Easy Read Britain Atlas 2.5 miles to the inch with the 2020 edition.

Amazon not Prime £10.27 delivered.

I plan routes using an atlas but use a basic Tom Tom for precision.  Which I am told is easier to use

than any Mazda sat nav?





Settled for this one in the end.


I  always end up using a large AA atlas in spite of having a satnav, as I like to see the whole route and not just a bit of it, and it outlines the scenic routes, which is helpful, or the satanic routes if your in Essex.

The only downside is I have to stop and put my bloody reading glasses on



When touring in Scotland , I make it a point of honour to rely solely on my OH’s 1974 Shell Road Atlas; not too much has changed really …

The best detailed Atlas I have used is the Ordnance Survey one I bought in the 80s - I like the contours , and also the named peaks , rivers and lochs .

In busy towns here I do use Sat Nav but in the country it tends to turn one into an incurious clod , interested only in destination and not the journey .

Funny for you to say that as I actually have a 1960’s road atlas of Scotland and have often wondered how accurate it would be.


I tend to set the destination and then go through the interactive map on our SatNav (TomTom) adding in tons of waypoints. It really is amazing the places you discover by doing this, and you still have the knowledge that you will reach your destination (albeit about 6 days later than had you just gone direct ).


I’m not that clever with sat navs adding way points, I prefer to just get the map out and use it in conjunction with a notebook with my list of must see places. Scotland is a wonderful destination, going again next spring, trouble is it’s so far away, that can be an adventure in itself getting there.