Is there any record of rights of way in Scotland?

Where’s the Definitive Map? #

Unlike in England and Wales, there is no definitive map for Scotland. The National Park and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 created definitive maps – maps of rights of way for England and Wales, but the legislation never applied to Scotland. You can find out more about definitive maps over on the Ramblers website.

No Record of Rights of Way in Scotland Then? #

There may be no definitive map or legislative requirement for a record of rights of way to be kept, but there is a record of rights of way in Scotland. ScotWays maintains the National Catalogue of Rights of Way (CROW). Local authorities also have their own records.

Any route that meets the conditions to be a right of way is a right of way.  No further action is necessary, which means CROW does not include all rights of way many of which are known only to local people and come to the notice of ScotWays when a problem arises. However, ScotWays continues to add rights of way to CROW as they hear about them.

Why are Rights of Way Not Shown on OS Maps in Scotland? #

Although rights of way are not highlighted as such on Ordnance Survey maps, unlike England and Wales, they may still be shown as paths or tracks on them. They are not highlighted as rights of way because as there is no definitive map and rights of way in Scotland can be lost through non-use for 20 years or more.

Is Information About Particular Rights of Way Available on the Internet? #

There is no single place on the web where you can find out about rights of way. You will find information on some of the more historic rights of way on our Heritage Paths page and can find out about particular routes, or particular areas, by contacting the ScotWays office. We offer a paid service is for solicitors, developers or consultants wanting to know whether our records show any rights of way running across a piece of land.

I just want to know where I can go. #

Sometimes people ask about rights of way when they are really looking for somewhere to go. If that’s you, have a look at our places to visit page.

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