Family feeding ducks in park

Enjoy Scotland's Outdoors!

In Scotland, you can enjoy the outdoors on most land and inland water - as long as you act responsibly and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Your rights of responsible access include things like:

  • walking and cycling

  • sightseeing and picnicking

  • dog walking - provided your dog is under proper control

  • swimming

  • watching wildlife

but do not include:

  • access with motor vehicles;

  • hunting

  • shooting

  • fishing

Responsible Access can be enjoyed over most of Scotland including:

  • parks
  • hills and woods
  • beaches and the coast
  • lochs, rivers and canals

Exceptions include:

  • houses and gardens
  • other buildings
  • school grounds
  • most land where crops are growing
  • places which charge for entry

How to follow the code

The three key principles are:

Care for the environment

Kids hugging a tree

Respect the interests of others

Dog walker with jobbie bags

Be responsible for your own actions

Hiker looking down a mountain

When you're out and about

Paths are shared with others. Be prepared to slow down or stop to let others pass.

Paths are shared with others - let people know you're coming so you don't alarm them. Slow down, stop or stand aside if needed. 

Many people work in the outdoors. Respect all reasonable requests to avoid busy working areas.

Respect the needs of others enjoying or working in the outdoors. Follow any reasonable advice from land managers.

Don't allow your dog to approach animals or people uninvited. Don't linger if wildlife is disturbed by your presence.

Don’t disturb or damage wildlife or historic places.


Be kind to nature and each other. Take all of your litter away with you.

Park sensibly and do not create an obstruction

Take your rubbish home.

Walking your dog

  • Do not let your dog approach animals or people uninvited - where possible avoid animals.
  • Always keep your dog in sight and under control – if in doubt use a lead
  • Always bag and bin dog poo, or take it home



Dog walkers using leads

On farmland

  • Access rights don't usually apply to farmyards, but if a well-used path goes through a farmyard, you can follow this.

  • Leave gates as you find them.

  • Keep to unsown ground, field edges or paths.

  • Never let your dog worry or attack farm animals. 

  • Keep a safe distance from cattle. If they act aggressively, take the shortest safest route out of the field. If you have a dog, release it and let it find its own way to safety.

Be a responsible camper


Access rights in Scotland include responsible lightweight camping in tents, in small numbers and for two or three nights in any one place. Keep well away from buildings and roads.

  • Leave no trace of your campsite.

  • Carry a trowel and bury your own waste. Urinate well away from open water, rivers and burns.

  • Use a camping stove. Never light open fires, barbeques or fire bowls in dry periods or near to forests, moorland, farmland, buildings or historic sites. Never cut down or damage trees.

  • Follow all local advice at high risk times and places.

Use a stove instead of a fire. Carry a trowel to bury your poo; and take all your litter away with you.