Top 7 GPS Apps for Your Smartphone


Mobile signal can be a nightmare at the best of times so relying on it while you are hiking iconic UK trails to help you find your way, can definitely be a challenge. Unpredictable weather, signal dead spots and suddenly realising you’ve run out of data can all be a recipe for disaster.

Luckily, if you have a smartphone there’s another solution out there you may not even realise exists - GPS. A Global Positioning System uses satellite information to track your position as opposed to an internet connection. It works almost everywhere, even in some of the most desolate areas. Specialist handheld GPS devices can be costly so knowing that you can download an app to help you find your way will give you that extra little peace of mind.

We’ve compiled a list of our favourite GPS apps making it easier for you to choose the best one. There plenty more GPS apps available your device's App Store, just try a few and see which ones you like.  

Komoot Cycling and Hiking Maps

IOS - 4.7/5
Android - 4.5/5

Komoot is very user-friendly and easy to set up. Simply make an account with your email address, password and account name and you’re ready to go. By selecting your favourite sports, you can receive personalised suggestions based on your activities, and the app can also be synced to your health app to record important data. Simply plan a new route by tapping points onto the map or record your route to view when you return home. It allows you to connect with friends also using the app so you can compare your recent activity. The statistics panel records the number of ‘tours’ you have completed, total time, distance and elevation with the option to break these totals down into different months, days and even sports.

Paid Options

Komoot provides a single regional map for free, however, to unlock certain features including turn-by-turn voice navigation, one-click offline maps and free map updates for life, you must purchase more maps. The region bundle costs £7.99 and the complete package costs £29.99. Once purchased the maps are yours forever, there’s no monthly or annual charge.

Map my Hike by Under Armour

IOS - 4.7/5
Android - 4.4/5

Map my Hike by Under Armour comes across as a great choice thanks to its association with the global sports brand. The sign-up process is quick, requiring a few more details than Komoot, including your gender and birthday. Luckily, if you’ve used other UA fitness apps in the past, such as My Fitness Pal or UA shop you can log in using the same account. There are a few extra checks to get through and even the chance to connect the app to your smart shoes before you can get started.

The app allows you to create playlists using music already on your mobile device and you can choose which type of activity you would like to record, including hiking, running, cycling and other workouts. You can share workouts with friends, comment on and like their achievements and keep up with the general UA community. Join a global challenge or compete against friends by creating your own. Although the app seems quite geared towards runners and those working out at the gym, it still has its uses as a GPS hiking app, allowing you to record routes without the need for the internet.

Paid Features

By signing up to the premium version of the app (MVP) you can access specific training plans including ones to help you lose weight, advice on how to speed up your 5km time, completing a marathon or customised plans for your own goals. Other MVP features include live tracking so your family and friends can see where you are, an ad-free experience and heart rate analysis.

ViewRanger Hike, Ride or Walk

IOS - 4.6/5
Android - 4.2/5

Signing up to ViewRanger is really simple. Type your email address and it will recommend a strong password for you to use or you can type your own. Confirm your first and last name to complete your profile and you’re ready to go. The app allows you to plan and track your route or follow a route you’ve previously downloaded (for a small charge). Using GPS, you can constantly see your location on the map so there’s no need to worry about your mobile data signal dropping off. For those looking for a simple app without all the fuss, ViewRanger is a great option.

Paid Features

You can upgrade your account to premium for a monthly fee of £3.99 or include maps for £4.99. Annually the +maps account costs £24.99. Benefits of upgrading include access to more OS maps and the ability to save them offline. You can access local walking routes, download maps straight to your phone and even use augmented reality to identify peaks and other points of interest with Skyline AR. Live-tracking for friends and family is also available however needs a data connection to work.


IOS - 4.7/5
Android - 4.5/5

Introducing Strava, a brilliant application that allows you to track and analyse your fitness, whether you like running, swimming or cycling. In addition, you can plot new routes and record your distance, speed, time, calories and more against your activity. Simply press record, start your ride or run and then complete the activity by pressing the 'stop recording button'. This will plot your route on a map alongside your stats. You can even share your activity on Twitter, Facebook! Your route is saved on your Strava profile allowing your in-app friends to give you Kudos and also offers you competition. See how you rank on different route segments, for example, hill climbing, then try and be the fastest to the top to get the 'King of the Mountain' trophy.

Paid Features

You can upgrade to Strava Summit: Pick a training package that works for you, should you be aiming for a specific goal or just wanting to keep your activity levels up and stay motivated! Each Summit Pack includes a collection of features focused on a purpose, whether it’s to improve your training, analyse your workout data or keep you safe during activities.

AllTrails: Hike, Run & Cycle
IOS - 4.9/5
Android - 4.4/5

Explore the outdoors with AllTrails! Hiking, biking or running around the world, this app allows you to explore 60,000+ hiking trails, running routes and mountain bike routes. AllTrails has the largest collection of GPS trail maps, topographic maps, and downloadable offline maps for trails in national parks or your own community. Find a hike, mountain bike ride, or trail run that is perfect for your fitness and experience. In addition, you can filter routes that are dog-friendly, kid-friendly and wheelchair-friendly. The app allows you to record your outdoor adventures thanks to its GPS Activity Tracker, turning your phone into a GPS so you don't get lost! View your hiking, running and cycling stats at a glance and share your outdoor activities with friends on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Save your favourite trails and follow hikers, cyclists and runners that inspire you.

Paid Features

Get more with AllTrails Pro:
The paid version of the app allows you to download offline maps so you can track your exact GPS location as you navigate the trail, even when you don’t have a signal. You can design and print stunning custom topo maps and always have a backup. Access more map layers to get the lay of the land and quickly toggle between premium map layers including Topo, Terrain, Open Street Maps, and more. You will always know what to expect with real-time map overlays including air quality and satellite weather and to top it off, you can experience AllTrails ad-free!

Walkmeter Walking & Hiking GPS

IOS - 4.3/5
Android - 3.6/5

Introducing Walkmeter, an advance application for walkers, hikers, runners and cyclists and built for mobile devices! You can view your continuous walking time, distance, calories burned and average pace. While you are walking, you can see your route on a map, and it can post updates of your progress to Twitter, Facebook, and email. You can get voice updates for your time and distance too! After your walk, you can see your stats and review and compare your activity (should it be your frequently walked route).

Paid Features

Go Walkmeter Elite adds in-app competition also known as 'ghost-racing'. Compete against others or against yourself for the ultimate thrill. You can export your routes and workout data – either as a CSV, GPX, or KML. You can import a route that you have created using a third-party route planner or a pre-set route from another enthusiast. 


IOS - 4.7/5
Android - 4.0/5

Map My Tracks transforms your mobile phone into a high-performance all-sport GPS tracker that is extremely easy and fun to use! Love walking, biking, running or hiking? Then try out this app that tracks your route, measures your performance and get a breakdown of your activity by day, week, month or year. Challenge yourself and stay motivated, follow friends and share your stories on social media. Looking for inspiration? Find nearby routes and use augmented reality to identify nearby peaks and places through your smartphone's camera. Never get lost with GPS by your side! Also ideal for finding new dog-walking routes.

Paid Features

Upgrade to PLUS for an ad-free experience! Track live so others can follow your progress online to help you stay motivated and on track with goals. PLUS also provides access to advanced heart rate analysis, data back-up, compare data and more.

Useful Equipment for Hiking

When you start to plan your next hike using one of the above apps, make sure you’re prepared. GPS can drain phone batteries quickly and a phone with no battery is not much use. However, with our Goal Zero product offering you can be sure your phone is by your side, allowing you to make calls out and accept incoming calls.

Charge a GoalZero Portable USB Phone Charger before you leave home. Should the time come, this will supply power to your phone's battery, offering battery 'life-support' and recharging functionality.

Never be without power. You can enhance your outdoor connectivity by pairing a Goal Zero Nomad Solar Panel with your USB Phone Charger. Use the Solar Panel to charge the Phone Charger, and then use the Phone Charge to supply back-up battery power to your phone!   

Our range of Walking Poles will also help you along your hike, especially if your route contains a lot of inclines, or rocky paths; designed to keep you steady on your feet, and feeling fresh when you finish.

For more information on anything within this article, get in touch with the Leisure Outlet team on 0115 784 5942 or speak to us on Live Chat!