Established in 1845, ScotWays is the UK’s oldest outdoor access group.

The group works to protect and develop access to the Scottish countryside for all and are home to the Heritage Paths Project.


ScotWays, the Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society, has been working to safeguard rights of way for over 170 years. It is probably the oldest organisation in the world dedicated to improving countryside access.

The group’s objectives are the preservation, defence, restoration and acquisition of public rights of access for the public benefit in Scotland, including public rights of way, and related amenity.

The Heritage Paths Project

The Heritage Paths Project aims to identify, research and record Scotland’s old paths and roads. They have already discovered hundreds of old ways from Roman Roads to Pilgrim Paths. The Heritage Path website can be found at:

Rights of way

The group deal with over a thousand enquiries every year about problems with individual rights of way and other access matters.  These come from the public, local and national government, landowners both in Scotland and further afield. They also set up and maintain the National Catalogue of Rights of Way. This records all the rights of way known in Scotland.

 Along with publishing books and leaflets on access rights and responsibilities, ScotWays are the acknowledged experts in rights of way law.

The group have signposted many rights of way across Scotland with their easily recognised green and white signs and have been involved in making and maintaining a number of bridges too.

Scottish Hill Tracks

ScotWays publish Scottish Hill Tracks, a unique resource for walkers, cyclists, riders and runners wishing to explore the network of paths, old roads and rights of way which criss-cross Scotland’s hill country, from the Borders to Caithness. They’ve also published leaflets on paths and areas of Scotland including the Cairngorms, Campsie Fells and Lammermuirs.

Find out more

To find out more about public access to the outdoors in Scotland, how it developed, the Society’s history and what you can do to support the group, please visit their website:

Follow ScotWays on Twitter: @ScotWays
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