Public rights of way and access in Suffolk

Find out about access to the countryside in Suffolk, including commons and village greens, the definitive map and statement and reporting an issue.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) advice: If you are using Suffolk's public rights of way or open access network for your one form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk or cycle - alone or with members of your household, please stay local, stick to areas that you are familiar with, and make sure that you comply with government social distancing guidance to stay more than 2 metres from others at all times.

Notice for landowners / tenants / land managers: As more people are venturing outside to enjoy their daily exercise, we have produced an advisory notice (PDF, 111KB) for those who have a public right of way running through their garden or workplace. The notice can be downloaded and printed for placing at the entry points to a garden, farmyard, or other operational part of a farm where there may be other people around.

Public rights of way are paths which the public have a legal protected right to use. They provide a healthy, safe and sustainable way to access the countryside and other local services, are are used extensively, and generate investment in the Suffolk economy through tourism.

Suffolk has 3,500 miles of public rights of way and over 12,000 acres of open access land, providing car-free access throughout Suffolk, from bustling market towns to open heath land and other areas of outstanding natural beauty.

Public rights of way are categorised as follows:

  • Footpath (FP) - the public have the right to use footpaths on foot and with a powered mobility aid
  • Bridleway (BR) - the public have the same rights as with footpaths, plus they can use a bridleway on horseback, and on a bicycle
  • Restricted byway (RB) - the public have the same rights as with footpaths and bridleways, plus they can use a restricted byway with a horse drawn vehicle. All RUPPs were reclassified as restricted byways under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
  • Byway open to all traffic (BOAT or BY) - the public have the same rights as with footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways, plus they can use a byway open to all traffic in or on a motor vehicle but the route is mainly used by pedestrians, pedal cyclists and/or horses

Discover Suffolk is our countryside website where you can find information about places for walking, cycling and horse riding in Suffolk.

Our county offers a wealth of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, with miles of marked paths, two areas designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, long distance footpaths, and national cycle routes.

Within Discover Suffolk you will find inspiration on everything from a riverside stroll for all the family, to a day long hike along secluded valleys

All pages in this section

Commons and village greens

Find more information about commons and registered village greens in Suffolk.

View definitive maps of public rights of way

Find working copy definitive maps for a parish in Suffolk.

Report a public right of way issue

Instructions for how to report a public rights of way issue in Suffolk to us quickly and easily online.

Rights and responsibilities in relation to public rights of way

Find information about rights and responsibilities of the public, local authorities, and landowners and land managers in relation to public rights of way.

Definitive map and statement

Find information about Suffolk's definitive map and statement and how to apply to change them.

Open access land and the right to roam

Find out what open access land is, what you can do on open access land, information about excepted land and how to find open access land.

Green Access Strategy (Rights Of Way Improvement Plan)

The Green Access Strategy outlines our future plans for public rights of way in Suffolk.

Landowner deposits under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980

How we deal with landowner deposits under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 and the procedure for making a deposit.

Public rights of way and planning

Find information about the importance of public rights of way within the planning system.

Suffolk Local Access Forum (SLAF)

Learn about the Suffolk Local Access Forum, what they do, who they are and how to contact them.

Traffic regulation orders (TROs)

Learn about temporary and permanent traffic regulation orders in relation to public rights of way in Suffolk.

Suffolk Walking Festival

Find out about the annual Suffolk Walking Festival

Public rights of way contacts and links

Find contact details and further information about public rights of way and definitive maps in Suffolk.