Natural England - Types of public rights of way

Types of public rights of way

England has about 190,000 km (118,000 miles) of public rights of way, providing many opportunities to enjoy the natural environment.

Waymarks are widely used symbols to identify and mark public rights of way on the ground. Markings may vary locally.

footpath-yellowFootpath - open to walkers, waymarked with a yellow arrow

bridleway-blueBridleway - open to walkers, horseriders and cyclists waymarked with a blue arrow

restricted-purpleRestricted byway - open to walkers, cyclists, horse riders and horse drawn vehicles. Waymarked with a plum coloured arrow.

boat-redByway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) - open to walkers, cyclists, horse-riders, horse-drawn vehicles and motor vehicles, waymarked with a red arrow.

Note: Other access rights may exist over a route including unrecorded higher rights for other users and/or private access rights to land and property.


Composition of England's rights of way network

TypeLength (miles)Length (km)%
Restricted Byways3,7006,0003