You are here: Home | Access | Access in Scotland

Access in Scotland

Recreational Access rights in Highland and Scotland

Scotland's legislation for public access to the outdoors has seen a transformation under the Scottish Parliament, with the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 establishing a statutory framework of public access rights to most land and inland water.

These legal rights are based on the principle of responsible access, with obligations both on the access users and on the managers of the land.  Guidance on these responsibilities is set out in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Walking with dogs

Exercising and walking with a dog is permitted where access rights are exercisable with the understanding the owner is acting responsibly - specifically around livestock and picking up their dogs mess.

Access with Dogs
Camping

Camping is permitted with the intention it is away from houses or roads and is transient in nature, “wild camping”. Access rights do not extend to driving a vehicle off the public road or sleeping overnight in a vehicle.

Camping
Horse riding

Horse riding and pony trekking is available all around the Highlands, for locals doing a regular hack or visitor undertaking multiday treks. Prior knowledge of the terrain to be ridden is always recommended.

Horse Riding
Cycling

From long days touring roads around the north, gnarly downhill or multi day cross country rides Scotland is often labelled as one of the best places in the world to cycle. Highland has some of the best in Scotland to offer.

Cycling
Safety

Some essential information for those getting out and about in the countryside, forests and hills.

Safety
Mountaineering

From sea stacks at John O’ Groats to the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis by Fort William, the Highlands has enough hills, crags and cliffs for a lifetime of adventure.

Mountaineering
Watersports

Most people will paddle in the sea or take a dip in a loch on a summers day at some point but for others there is so much more to do, be it on a board, in a boat or anything in-between.

Watersports