Outdoor access

Public rights of way

The Countryside (Scotland) Act 1967 gives us a statutory duty to protect, assert and keep open and free from obstruction or encorachment public rights of way in its area (including that covered by the Cairngorm National Park Authority).

There is no definitive map of public rights of way in Highland but a catalogue of routes is maintained by ScotWays (the Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society). Read their latest newsletter.

To be a public right of way, a route must meet all the following conditions:

  • It must join two public places
  • It must follow a more or less defined route
  • It must have been used by the general public, as a matter of right (not just with the permission of the landowner)
  • It must have been used without substantial interruption for at least 20 years