Outdoor access

Access rights

COVID-19 and Access Rights (updated 23 September 2020)

The public right of responsible access continues to apply during the Covid-19 situation, Phase 3 of the road map to coming out of the lockdown is underway. The Highland Council and Scottish Government acknowledge that such recreation is important to people's physical and mental wellbeing during the coronavirus crisis.

The current advice is:

  • You may meet outdoors with members of one other household, up to a maximum group size of 6, for exercise or activity. Children under the age of 12 do not need to follow this rule.
  • You can excercise and take part in non-contact outdoor leisure activities (such as angling, horse riding, golf, outdoor tennis, hiking, water sports etc.)
  • Travel to undertake excerise is permitted but please be aware of popular locations, especially at car parks and toilets, and adhere to physical distancing guidance
  • Avoid contact - take hygiene precautions when you are outside and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors.
  • Dogs need to be kept on a lead or under close control, do not let them approach others and as always pick up and remove all waste
  • You should use judgement and take part in any activity only if you can do so safely and not putting yourself or others at risk.

The full Scottish Government Guidance, published 23 September 2020.

Further guidance for access takers and land managers is availible on the Scottish Outdoor Access Code website.

Scottish Outdoor Access Code

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code has been produced by Scottish Natural Heritage to give guidance on your responsibilities when exercising access rights. It outlines the 3 key principles of responsible access:

  • Respect the interests of other people
  • Care for the environment
  • Take responsibility for your own actions

Our Access Team delivers services throughout the Highlands, with the exception of the area contained within the boundaries of the Cairngorm National Park.

For further information or advice contact the Access Team.

Outdoor Highlands

We provide information on paths and access opportunities in Highland, including Long Distance Routes through Outdoor Highlands.

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