Our Guide to Open Access Land in England and Wales
What is "Open Access land"?
However, despite being labelled as a "right to roam", it isn't really - not like in Scotland. It is a right to roam on land which has been designated Open Access, and not any land. Even in Open Access land, there are exceptions - and temporary restrictions may apply at certain times of the year.
What you can and can’t do on Open Access land
- ride a horse
- ride a bicycle
- camp - including wild camping
- take any animal on the land other than dogs
- drive a vehicle - except mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs
- undertake water sports
- On Bank Holidays, Christmas Day or Good Friday
- On more than four weekend days
- On any Saturday between 1 June and 11 August
- On any Sunday between 1 June and 30 September
- For reasons of land management
- To avoid the risk of fire
- To avoid danger to the public
If Open Access land is temporarily restricted , it will be clearly signposted at the boundary of that area of land with signs.
Such restrictions are also available to be searched in advance on the web.
In England, use Natural England's search function here. Natural Resources Wales are working on a new system to show where Open Access restrictions are, and so this information isn't available online at the moment, but should eventually be available here.
- houses, buildings and the land they’re on (such as courtyards)
- land used to grow crops
- building sites and land that’s being developed
- parks and gardens
- golf courses and racecourses
- railways and tramways
- working quarries
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act makes it clear dogs are allowed in general on Open Access land, but there might be restrictions at certain times of the year due to wildlife issues - and some areas of access land may be closed entirely at dogs.
How to find Open Access land