Colouring in for adults: Ordnance Survey releases monochrome maps of UK cities

Colouring in books are a current craze among adults

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Once doomed to be left forgotten at the bottom of the children’s toy box, colouring books have found a new fan base in adults looking to unwind and unleash their creative side.

In light of the new craze, the Ordnance Survey has released a new set of black and white maps of major UK cities, ready to be coloured in.

The intricate patterns and symmetry produced in maps make them ideal for colouring for relaxation, a blog on the mapping agency’s website explains.

Maps of London, Southampton, Milton Keynes, Cardiff and Edinburgh are currently available to download for free from the Ordnance Survey website.

To optimise the maps for the popular past-time, the agency’s design team stripped street names and colour from the maps.

A colouring in map of Milton Keynes (Image: OS)

Read more: 12 best colouring books for adults

Adult colouring books have become hugely popular over the past few years, with the bookshop Waterstones reporting a 300 per cent rise in sale year-on-year between Christmas 2013-2014, according to The Telegraph.

However, some have cast doubt on the effectiveness of colouring in as therapy, as it is sometimes sold.

Donna Betts, president of the board of the American Art Therapy Association and an assistant professor at George Washington University recently told The Guardian that she has never used colouring books in a therapy sessions, and would not consider it.