Nick Thorne, Bodian Photography, Bluebells

Rights of Way and access

Rights of Way and Access in the Lake District National Park

There are 3,203 km of rights of way in the Lake District National Park. Footpaths, bridleways, byways and permitted paths are all rights of way, and can be used by different users.

How to report a problem on a Public Right of Way within the National Park (opens in a new window).

Who can go on footpaths, bridleways and other rights of way:

Public footpaths - Yellow arrows.

Yellow arrow footpath waymarker For people on foot only.

Public bridleway – blue arrows.

Blue arrow bridleway waymarker For people on foot, horse riders  and cyclists.

Restricted byways – purple arrows.

Victoria plum-coloured arrow restricted byway waymarker For people on foot, horse riders,cyclists and horse drawn vehicles.

Byways open to all traffic – red arrows.

Red arrow byway open to all traffic waymarker For all of the above plus cars and motorbikes.

Permitted path – white arrows

White arrow permissive path waymarker For people on foot unless specified otherwise

Advice for walkers

  • On bridleways and byways be aware of other users and listen for their approach.
  • If you can, move to the left and let others pass to the right.
  • On busy bridleways and byways, try to avoid walking in large groups across the path
  • If you have a dog, please keep it under close control or on a short lead as sudden movements can startle horses and surprise others.
  • Please clean up after your dog and take the poo bag with you! It's anto-social not to, and you could be fined.

Advice for horse-riders

  • Keep to a walking pace around others.
  • Ride at a pace appropriate to the path surface and local conditions.
  • Hi-viz clothing is recommended, both on  and off-road.
  • Be prepared to slow down and stop.
  • Try to move your horse off the route before it dungs.

Advice for cyclists

  • By law you must give way to walkers and horse-riders.
  • However if you let others know you are coming – use your bell or give a polite advance call – many people will be happy to let you pass.
  • Smile and say thank you as you pass.
  • Be in control and slow down around other users and livestock.
  • Give horses plenty of room.
  • Be aware of sudden movements around horses, families and dog walkers.
  • Cycle sensibly – rights of way are not always suitable for challenge apps or fitness training.

For information, guidance and advice clink on one of the links below: