What is a Public Right of Way?

Public rights of way are paths, tracks, ginnels, snickets etc which are open for everyone to use for recreation or for getting to school, shops or work.

There are several categories of public rights of way:

  • Footpaths – which you can use on foot only. These are often way-marked with yellow arrows. 
  • Bridleways – which you can use on foot or by horse or bicycle. These may be way-marked with blue arrows. 
  • Restricted Byways – which you can use on foot, horse or cycle or with non-mechanically propelled vehicles. These may be way-marked with purple arrows.

Routes which are not recorded as public rights of way may have private rights, for example for access to property only by specific landowners, occupiers and their visitors. Unfortunately the Rights of Way Team cannot advise on any problems associated with private rights.

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