Rights of way and access land

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Open Access land

Open access signs and walkers on open access moorland

You can walk over any part of Open Access land, not just stick to a path. Cycling, horse riding and vehicles are usually not allowed. The access symbol is shown at the entrances to access land.

Any temporary restrictions to access will be explained by additional signs. You can walk your dog on access land, but between 1 March and 31 July, or if any livestock is nearby, dogs must be kept on a lead so they don't disturb ground-nesting birds or livestock.


Footpath signs with blank and yellow markers in the Lake District National Park

Footpaths are for walkers only, horse riding and cycling are not allowed. Footpath signs may have yellow markers, or may just say 'footpath'.


Bridleway signs with blue markers

Bridleways can be used by walkers, horse riders and pedal cyclists but cyclists should always give way to other users.

Bridleway signs have blue markers on them.

Public Byway

Byway sign and byway road

A ‘byway open to all traffic’  includes a right for vehicles but is used mainly for walking, horse riding and cycling.

Byway signs have red markers on them.

National Trails

National Trail sign posts

National Trails combine footpaths, bridleways and minor roads, and can be used by walkers along the whole route and by horse riders and cyclists along parts of the route where marked.

National Trail signs have acorn symbols on them.

More information

England and Wales

Interactive maps showing access land in England

Interactive maps showing access land in Wales


In Scotland everyone has the right to access most land and inland water, providing they act responsibly. Paths may not be signposted, but will be shown on OS maps.

Scottish Outdoor Access code for outdoor activities