Rights of Way

Types of Rights of Way and who can use them

Rights of way are paths and tracks which you can use to cross private land. If a member of public strays off a right of way onto land which they have no other rights of public access they will be committing a trespass against the landowner.

There are four types of path on which you are allowed to do different things. Look out for waymarks for guidance.

It is a criminal offence to prevent the public exercising these rights.

Where can I go?

Walkers and Mobility vehicles

  • All Rights of Way

Horse riders

  • Bridleway
  • Restricted Byway
  • Byway Open to All Traffic

Cyclists

  • Bridleway
  • Restricted Byway
  • Byway Open to All Traffic
  • Cycle Track

Horse-drawn vehicles

  • Restricted Byway
  • Byway Open to All Traffic

Motor vehicles

  • Byway Open to All Traffic

 

Footpath

Footpath sign
A footpath is a highway over which the public has a right of way on foot only.

 

Bridleway

Bridleway sign
A bridleway is a highway over which the public has a right of way on foot, horseback and on a pedal cycle (including mountain-bikes).

There may also be a right to drive animals along a bridleway

 

Restricted byway

Restricted Byway sign
A restricted byway is a highway over which the public is entitled to travel on foot, horseback and with non-mechanically propelled vehicles (such as pedal cycles and horsedrawn vehicles).

There may also be a right to drive animals along a restricted byway.

 

Byway Open to All Traffic

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A Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) is a highway over which the public is entitled to travel on foot, horseback or pedal cycle and by wheeled vehicle of all kinds, including horse-drawn vehicles, but which is used by the public mainly for walking or for riding.

Most of these highways do not have a surface suitable for ordinary motor traffic.

 
 

Please be responsible when using these paths

The Finding Your Way leaflet 396kb pdf give more information on where you can go in the countryside.

More information about Ordnance Survey maps