Rights of Way and National Trails
For guests interested in hiking The Cotswold Way National Trail, we thought it would be useful to explain to all our ‘rights of way’ across England. Many people from all over the world, including England, are not aware of ‘rights of way’. Many more do not know about national trails, including The Cotswold Way National Trail.
So, what are ‘rights of way’? Well, they are paths or areas of land that are open to public use. They will often cross privately owned land but are open to all members of the general public. Users must stick to the paths and are not allowed to wander over private land. Users can walk over ‘open access land’ which will not be privately owned. There are different types of ‘Rights of Way’. Some restrict use by types of transport. Here is a general guide. ‘Rights of way’ are divided into these categories:
Open Access Land – you can freely walk over open access land.
Footpaths – walkers only, no cycling or horse riding. Footpaths are usually signed with yellow markers.
Bridleways – open to walkers, cyclists and horse riding. Bridleways are signed with blue markers.
Public Byways – open to walkers, cyclists, horse riding & vehicles. Signed with red markers.
National Trails – such as The Cotswold Way National Trail combine footpaths, bridleways and minor roads. Walkers can use the whole route and horse riders and cyclists parts of the route where marked. National Trail signs have acorn symbols on them.