When your work makes you proud – Ordnance Survey’s new Walk London map

I freely admit that my freelance business makes me feel good about myself. Started three years ago at a time when my former career had taken a dive, Fi Darby Freelance has gone from strength to strength. From technical writing to my first love outdoor writing I enjoy the challenge, the planning and, most of all, the creativity.

When freelance writing makes you proud

I have recently been writing for an Ordnance Survey project that has made me feel even more proud of what I do. The Walk London map is the sort of publication I know will get people outside and enjoying London in a completely new way. A step away from traditional mapping but with all the detail you would expect from Ordnance Survey, the Walk London map combines pictures, maps and words in a unique and utterly useable way.

From route planning to writing

I shared the writing aspect of this project with the fabulous Belinda Dixon. It was a joy to work with Bel from the start and we had a great time getting to grips with routes along the Thames Path and around four of London’s Royal Parks. Route finding isn’t new to me, I am a natural explorer. However route finding around a bustling city is and, at the start of the project, I found myself wishing there was a map available which would give me a few pictorial clues and explain what I was looking at. Now of course, with Walk London, there is exactly that map available to anyone who wants to explore our fantastic capital city.

What pride comes before

Of course, with my business head on I have to hope that my pride in this product comes before more work of a similar kind. In reality however, what I am really hoping for is that future would-be London explorers will pick up the map and find themselves with renewed confidence to swap scurrying for intrepidity, and really get a feel for their surroundings. I have come away from this project with a new sense of respect for our cities and the people who live in them. It is easy for me, living in Devon, to find spaces both green and blue in which to play. It’s not so easy in the city. Maybe city dwellers are the best explorers after all.

How to become a freelance outdoor writer


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