The definitive guide to rights of way law

An expert guide published by the Ramblers and the Open Spaces Society

Rights Of Way: A Guide to Law and Practice (or 'The Blue Book' as it is unofficially known) is the definitive guide to rights of way law in England and Wales.  It was published jointly by the Ramblers and the  Open Spaces Society in 2007. 


A valuable reference document 

Now in its fourth edition, the book was revised and updated by John Riddall and John Trevelyan, two of the leading experts on rights of way law in England and Wales. It is essential reading for anyone involved in rights of way work as well as a fascinating record of the historical and contemporary use of the footpath network. 

George Laurence KC of New Square Chambers says “The Blue Book’s famed reputation for even-handedness in this complex and controversial field makes it the first port of call for anyone concerned with a dispute concerning public rights of way.  I commend it without reservation”. 

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Keeping the book up to date 

Complementing the printed book, the Blue Book Extra is an online resource regularly updated by the authors.  It includes website links referenced in the book, downloadable documents and supplementary material for each chapter to keep the book up to date. 

A 5th edition is in development but there is not yet a confirmed publication date. 

DLYW map

Prioritising lost rights of way

Our Don’t Lose Your Way campaign found over 49,000 miles of paths which could be lost rights of way. Help us prioritise saving those with the greatest benefits.

traditional countryside path

A brief history of public rights of way

How our network of public rights of way came to be and why it is so important we protect these ancient routes.

An arrow nailed to a rustic wooden gatepost indicates a public bridleway in Worcestershire, UK. Focus is firmly on the sign, with the tree-lined, horse-trodden path leading into the distance.

Understanding public rights of way

Discover where you can walk on paths and other rights of way across England, Wales and Scotland by following our guide.