Information about Covid19:
Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.

Public Rights of Way

Cornwall has 4,500 km of public rights of way. It also has the longest section of the South West Coast Path. They remain open for the public to use:

  • to get to work
  • to get to medical appointments
  • as part of their daily exercise routine

Some people who are self-isolating have concerns about paths next to their homes. Unfortunately it is both impractical and a lengthy legal process to close or divert any section.

Cornwall Council emphasises that people must follow the Government’s guidelines about exercising. Exercise must only be taken locally and with social distancing in mind. Do not drive to locations. Large numbers of people using popular sections of the Coast Path or other public rights of way will risk spreading the virus. We strongly discourage anything other than local exercising and distancing yourself from other people. It is also important when you get home to wash your hands immediately.

Please see our Public Rights of Way and COVID-19 page for further information.

What is a public right of way?

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A public right of way is a route over land which the public has a legal right to use at any time. Rights of way can be found in towns, villages and the countryside. Some paths may be surfaced although most are tracks across countryside owned by landowners. Cornwall Council has a responsibility to maintain and protect 2,760 miles (4,442 km) of public right of way across Cornwall.

Whilst enjoying Cornwall's significant rights of way network we are aware that you may come across faults associated with some of the paths.

Report a public right of way issue

It also helps us to identify and locate the problem if you know the number of the path.

You can find the path number using the public rights of way layer on our interactive mapping. Zoom in on an area and select a public right of way. The path number will be displayed in an information window (e.g. Parish/path no./link no.223/12/2).

We have also provided a list of all public path reference numbers where you can use the links in the document to be taken to the selected path on our interactive mappping and a parish reference number and name look up.

Public Footpath

Yellow waymarker

The public have a right of way on foot only. Prams, pushchairs, wheelchairs and invalid carriages are allowed along public footpaths, however not all paths may be suitable particularly in the countryside

We have 2,216 miles (3,567 km) of public footpath across Cornwall.

Public Bridleway

Blue waymarker

The public have a right of way on foot, horseback or bicycle.

We have 415 miles (668 km) of public bridleway across Cornwall.

Restricted Byway

Plum waymarker

The public have a right of way on foot, horseback, bicycle or horse-drawn carriage.

We have 1.7 miles (2.7 km) of restricted byway across Cornwall.

Public Byway

Red waymaker

The public have a right of way on foot, horseback, bicycle or vehicle including horse-drawn carriage, motorcycle or other motor vehicle.

We have 127 miles (204 km) of public byway across Cornwall.