Public Rights of Way

Walking in the countryside is a great way to discover new places and enjoy the beauty of the British landscape.

Walks and trails

The Public Rights of Way

Public rights of way

There is over 1,000 miles of footpaths, bridleways and byways in South Somerset. As a member of the public, you are entitled to use any of these pathways for leisure, work or convenience.

All pathways are clearly marked with coloured arrows to show how they can be used:

  • Footpath - yellow arrow: open to walkers only
  • Bridleway - blue arrow: open to cyclists, horse riders and walkers
  • Byway - red arrow: open to all walkers, cyclists, horse riders and motor vehicles

From 1 April 2010, the responsibility for Rights of Way maintenance returned to Somerset County Council. All vegetation cuts and maintenance works are now administered by Somerset County Council.

Somerset County Council carries out maintenance on unsurfaced public footpaths and also bridleways, restricted byway and BOAT (byway open to all traffic). This maintenance includes repairs and replacement of stiles and gates on behalf of landowners; vegetation clearance and removal of obstructions.

For more information, please go to the Somerset County Council website. 

You can contact Somerset County Council Rights of Way team by calling 0845 345 9155 or emailing

Don't forget to follow the countryside code!

Ham Hill bins

Following the countryside code helps to protect and preserve rural areas now and for the future. You can find full details of the Countryside Code on the Natural England website, but here are some of the key points in summary:

  • Place your litter in bins provided or take it with you
  • Be safe - plan ahead and follow any signs
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under close control
  • Consider other people