Public rights of way

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

Cornwall has 4,500 km of public rights of way. It also has the longest section of the South West Coast Path National Trail. 

What is a public right of way?

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.

Countryside Access Team Privacy Notice

Please view the following Countryside Access Team Privacy Notice for general enquiries to the Countryside Access Team about Public Rights of Way.

Report a problem

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

Report a public right of way issueIt 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. You can use the links in the document to be taken to the selected path on our interactive mapping.  There is also a parish reference number and name look up.

Report motorised vehicles

Motorised vehicles are banned on some rights of way.

Report motorised vehicles on a right of way

Types of public rights of way

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.  This includes horse-drawn carriage, motorcycle or other motor vehicle.

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

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