Rights of way - information and advice
Maidstone Borough Council does not look after
public rights of way. These are all managed by the Countryside
The Countryside Access Service is responsible
- protection, maintenance and enhancement of
Kent's public rights of way network
- management of the public rights of way
Definitive Map and Statement
- the Village Greens and Commons Registration
- promotion of countryside access
- management of open access land.
You can view the entire network of public
rights of way and the location of all gates, stiles and bridges and
so on on the
What are public rights of way?
Public rights of way are mainly paths for
walkers, cyclists and horseriders. They allow people to explore and
enjoy the countryside at a leisurely pace. Or they can be used for
short journeys such as to school, to church, to work or even to the
Kent has more than 4,200 miles (6,700 km) of
public footpaths, bridleways and byways providing free access to
the Garden of England.
Like a public road, a public right of way is a
highway which anybody may use at any time. Public rights of way are
recorded on a Definitive Map and Statement (a legal record of
public rights of way). Each path is classified according to who is
allowed to use it and the public's rights along it.
Find out more about who can use the different
public rights of way.
How we manage and promote rights of way
Countryside Access Improvement Plan shows how Kent County
Council plans to improve the network over the next 10 years.
It also shows what projects are already underway.
Countryside Access Design Standards are now available to
download. The standards assist landowners and countryside agencies
in raising the quality of access furniture (for
example, gates, bridges and stiles) across the
For free walks and rides, ideas for great days
out and an excellent interactive map that shows all of the rights
of way in Kent, visit the
Explore Kent website.
Who can use public rights of way?
There are four categories of public right of
For walkers only. You are allowed to take a
pram, pushchair or wheelchair along a public footpath but please be
aware that many routes may not be physically suitable for that
purpose. Public footpaths are mostly waymarked with yellow
For walkers, horseriders and pedal cyclists.
Cyclists must give way to walkers and horseriders. Bridleways are
mostly waymarked with blue arrows.
Byways open to all
Often just referred to as byway, for vehicles,
cyclists, horseriders and walkers. Because of its nature, it is
used mainly as a footpath or bridleway. Byways open to all traffic
are mostly waymarked with red arrows.
For walkers, horseriders, cyclists and horse
drawn vehicles. Restricted byways are mostly waymarked with purple
- A permissive route is not a public right of
way. The public are allowed to use it with the kind permission of
- There is a difference between public and
private rights. Kent County Council does not hold records of
private rights of access - you should seek your own legal advice on
- When using public rights of way you should be
aware that there might also be additional landowner or other
private rights of access with vehicles
- Although footpaths, bridleways and restricted
byways exclude motor vehicles, this is without prejudice to any
higher public rights that may exist. For example, in certain cases
private access rights may exist.
Report a problem on a public right of way.