We have arranged for the tiniest rental car possible for our week in Penzance and we have the big 2017 AA Road Atlas. My question is do we need to hire a GPS/ sat nav to get around? TIA
No you don’t need a Sat Nav to get around providing you can read a map confidently. A Sat Nav can sometimes take you down those tiny windy roads when there is a better route.
I agree with Kernewes.
Our own Satnav is pretty reliable but often tries to lead us down inaccessible roads. Friends' Satnavs are even more wilful and we generally advise them to set the journey in stages to avoid being directed to inappropriate ferries or down hazardous lanes. Without an element of human input I think you might be better served using a detailed paper map and a second human map reader.
I think you will do better without a satnav provided you can read a map for all the reasons above.
I travel extensively around Cornwall and know my way around well, but on occasions when I use my sat nav to find obscure places, I am amazed at some of the roads/tracks it tries to send me down, which I know to be unsuitable or most certainly not the easiest route. So I agree with the other comments, a decent map and ability to read it will serve you well.
probably not. A map is actually better most of the time as it allows you to opt for main roads rather than the narrow lanes. My wife runs the free ap navmii on a tablet.and that is useful in cities or when you have to use lanes and the signposts have all gone missing - the AA map can be a bit too large scale then. I'm told navmii will also run on phones. You download the maps when you have free wifi as they can be a bit slow to download. The ap will often say "navmii has stopped" when loading, you just close it down and start again.
There are other free gps aps, that one was recommended for Costa Rica and we've used it ever since. It's a bit annoying at times but free.
I do not think you need Sat Nav to get around if you have a decent map.
We do quite a few trips a year to Devon and Cornwall and Mrs k r does the navigating, mostly using the excellent AZ Devon Cornwall and West Somerset visitors atlas and guide. We have seldom gone wrong and even when hunting down remote NT properties or beaches, where there is grass growing down the middle of the lane, we soon spot an identifiable landmark to find our way.
Also when using the map we sometimes become aware of other nearby locations or attractions that may be worth a visit, to me it is part of the fun.
Once on foot we us the AZ coast path books or OS Explorer maps to get about.
People managed perfectly well before SatNav, so,given that you can read a map, and that the map is up to date, you'll have no problem.
GPS is useful for pinpointing where you are if you get lost and do not have a good map or are not able to read a map properly.
In my opinion it is not necessary providing you're confident with reading maps. A lot of the major routes / attractions are also well sign posted.
I concur that a GPS isn't a necessity, and could even be a hindrance. I've alwyas found that a little local knowledge is still very useful when you have a satnav.
However, I'd recommend that you take a look at the Ordnance Survey (OS) 1:50000 map series. They're not cheap (at £8.99), but the best in the market. Sheet 203 covers Redruth and Helston and all places west to Land's End. They can be a little cumbersome, though, if you're not used to them as they unfold to about a metre square. You can usually fold them to the section you want though.
OS also provide a number of online maps and maps for mobiles these days too.