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Outdoor access

Trail signs

Scotland's access law (Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003) means that you can visit most land and inland water provided you act responsibly by respecting people's privacy, safety and livelihoods and the environment. Equally, land managers have to manage their land and water responsibly in relation to access rights.

The Land Reform Act does not replace existing law and legislation relating to litter, fires and dogs etc.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) provides a source of information about all aspects of access.
The code is based on 3 broad principles:

  • take responsibility for your own actions
  • respect the interests of other people
  • care for the environment.

Access rights are not an excuse to justify behaviour that may be an offence under other laws. For example - consumption of alcohol in a public place, vandalism and threatening of abusive behaviour. Criminal or antisocial behaviour should be reported to the police.