The Right to Roam – access to the land

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gives you, your friends and family the right to roam over great swathes of Scottish countryside.

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gives you, your friends and family the right to roam over great swathes of Scottish countryside.

In 2003 an Act of the Scottish Parliament established access rights for members of the public for the great bulk of the Scottish landscape. As a result you can walk, cycle, run or ride a horse over most Scotttish countryside, including most of Cowal, and not only on public roads and tracks.

Naturally, there are limits to this right (for example you cannot wander around people’s gardens, or through the middle crops growing in fields, or airfields, school playgrounds, military bases and so on) but you can walk around at will in places not excluded. These rights don’t include the right to drive a motorised vehicle, or to hunt and fish at will, and you must behave responsibly, keep your dog under control, cause no damage, clear up after yourself and so on).  But in general this represents a tremendous opening up of our land and a democratisation of space – and of the history that goes with it.  You can read more about it here.  It means that in addition to visiting the churches listed on this website, you can also feel free to visit the remoter chapels and wells in fields or on hillsides, and explore (and discover new things) all over Cowal.

 

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