Outdoor Access in Argyll and Bute

Where to go in Argyll and Bute, and how to enjoy it responsibly

Whether you are a local resident or a visitor to Argyll & Bute there is lots to do out of doors in Argyll & Bute.  With 1,167 miles of designated Core Paths and large areas of countryside where there is a right of access there is plenty to explore.  These pages will help you to find out where you can go using our interactive map and how to do this responsibly.

Our interactive Argyll & Bute Paths Map has information about many of the paths, you can download leaflets and visit external websites with lots more information.  Use the map of the path network in Argyll & Bute to plan your next visit.

You can catch a bus to or from either end of all the routes, perfect for a short-ish walk. 

Where do you go? Please let us know...are there any promoted routes in your area, if there's a leaflet we'd like to see it and, promote it here too.
Find more leaflets and more info on outdoor activities
Our contact details are also listed below.

Know your rights & responsibilities

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gives you a right of responsible non-motorised access to most land and inland water as well as the foreshore in Scotland.  You can use this right to walk, cycle, ride a horse, paddle a canoe, sail a dinghy or camp provided that you do so responsibly.  If you have a disability you may be able to use a motorised scooter or similar vehicle to exercise these rights.

Explore Argyll & Bute’s Long Distance Routes

  • Walk over 200 miles of Scotland’s Great Trails in Argyll & Bute.
  • Cycle 180 miles of the National Cycle Network which links communities across the Argyll & Bute
  • Paddle the 93 mile Argyll Sea Kayak Trail from Oban to Helensburgh

Core Paths

The Council has designated 1,200 miles of Core Paths to give sufficient access for the public throughout Argyll & Bute.  These paths cater for all types of users, walkers, cyclists, horse riders, and canoeists, of all abilities.  A Core Path can be a trod path through long grass, a Public Right of Way, farm or forestry track, an old drove road, a minor road, anywhere there is a route on the ground. 

Public Rights of Way

These are paths that link two public places, follow a defined line and have been used by the public for a period of at least 20 years without permission or any attempt to stop this use.  Local Authorities have a legal duty to keep them open and free from obstruction. 

Assistance and advice for Land Managers

As a land manger you have rights and responsibilities under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.  The Access Team are here to help you and can provide you with the advice you need to manage some of the problems that you may encounter. This section also has information for landowners on difficulties with irresponsible wild camping.

Assistance and Advice for Communities & Volunteers

The Access Team is working with ACT (Argyll & the Isles Coast & Countryside Trust) to support communities seeking to improve their local path networks.  Whether you want to produce simple information sheets to encourage people to use your local paths or need help to raise funding to improve local paths we are here to help

Planning a Car Rally, Agricultural Show or Other Outdoor Event?
View Current Section 11 Orders

If you are planning a Car Rally, Agricultural Show or other outdoor event you may need to exclude the public for safety or in order to charge people for entry.  In order to do this you may require a Section 11 Order.  To find out if you will need a Section 11 Order and how to apply for one, this is the page for you.

The Access Team

Our Access Team provides assistance to the public, land managers and communities throughout Argyll & Bute, with the exception of the area within Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park.  The Team can offer assistance with the following;

  • Blocked paths, locked gates etc.
  • Irresponsible access
  • Do the public have a right of access?
  • Access Rights
  • Public Rights of Way
  • Managing Events
  • Supporting communities to improve local path networks
  • Support the Access Forum

Argyll and Bute Local Access Forum

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 requires every Access Authority to establish a Forum which has a statutory duty to advise the Council and any other interested party on matters relating to outdoor access within its area of operation.  This can include advice regarding the exercise of access rights, responsible behaviour and it is open to any individual or organisation to seek their advice.

Active Travel

Active travel is the term used to describe physically active journeys. Active travel includes walking, wheeling, cycling and scooting as a means to get about. Active travel choices can improve your health and wellbeing, help reduce your carbon footprint and save you money.

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