UK Bridleways Safe Riding in the Countryside

UK Bridleways - Safe Local Riding

UK Bridleways provide a unique view of the English countryside and an excellent location to ride your horse or pony.

However it is up to members of the public, horse owners and riders, to maintain those bridleways.

To help make sure that UK bridleways remain open for all horse owners to enjoy … Check Out Ride UK

Unfortunately every year more countryside is developed and land is farmed more intensively.

So, it is important that every hore rider does their utmost to keep existing bridleways open and if possible, to create new ones.

Public Bridleway Signage in the UK

You can help by following the country code, be courteous and considerate. Behaving politely encourages farmers to keep bridleways open.

You should always shut gates behind you, ride slowly past livestock and keep to your path unless it is blocked.

  • Always follow the country code when out hacking
  • Enjoy the countryside and respect its life and work
  • Guard against all risk of fire
  • Fasten all gates after going through them to keep livestock from escaping
  • Keep to the bridleway when going across farmland
  • Do not tamper with livestock, crops or machinery on farmland
  • Do not drop litter
  • Help to keep all water clean
  • Protect wildlife, plants and trees
  • Take special care on country roads
  • Do not make unnecessary noise

The more you help, and the more you use UK bridleways, the longer they’ll be open for all who enjoy the countryside.

Local Horse Riding Icon

Some UK bridleways are in a poor state and are in desperate need of modernisation.

A lot of bridleways are virtually impassable and if you do manage to ride them you are constantly ducking and diving to avoid low branches and extended hedges.

Improved drainage is needed on many UK bridleways to help prevent the track getting too bogged down.

Before you hack out in the country you need to know where you are allowed to ride and what your rights are. If you are unfamiliar with the area you can find out where all the bridleways are by looking in an ordnance survey map.

Some UK Local authority projects are making significant contributions to the National Bridleroute Network.

Peterborough City Council and the Peterborough Environment City Trust have Millennium Commission funding of £5,500,000 for the Peterborough Green Wheel. This will be a brand new network of cycleways, footpaths and bridleways encircling the entire City of Peterborough.

Local Horse Riding Icon

What Type of UK Bridleways and other riding routes can you use safely

In the countryside there are three route categories or rights of way.

Public rights of way
Are paths that any member of the public can travel. Collectively known as highways, only some are open to horse riders so you need to know how each one is classified.

Country Footpaths
Are highways where you can only walk on foot, unless you have consent from landowners to ride on them.

Byways are open to all, although in practice they are used mainly for walking or riding. Local landowners and farmers may also give permission
for riding over their property and the National Trust and Forestry Commission usually allow riders on their land

UK Landowners should keep UK bridleways clear, but it is also up to horse riders and walkers to clear natural obstructions such as fallen trees and undergrowth. Pitch in and make sure we can all enjoy UK Bridleways for years and years.