Ramsbury’s Ancient Rights of Way are a Jewel in Wiltshire’s Crown
Wiltshire is jam packed with public rights of way. Unlike in some counties such as Devon, many of Wiltshire’s historic tracks have not been adopted as modern highways and so are generally safe and pleasant for non-motor traffic.
In England & Wales, rights of way can be:
– Footpaths: for pedestrian traffic only, although bicycles can usually be wheeled and horses can be led
– Bridleways: as for footpaths and also for use by cyclists or horse-riders – and sometime includes a right to drive animals! NB cyclists must give way to other users.
– Byways: as for bridleways and also for use by non- mechanically-propelled vehicles e.g. horse-drawn carriages. Byways come in three classes: Byways Open to All Traffic – BOATs, Roads Used as Public Paths – RUPPs, and Restricted Byways – RBs. There are technical differences between the three, and some byways include a right to drive motor vehicles.
As befits its historic importance, Ramsbury sits at the centre of a network of ancient rights of way which connect it to neighbouring towns and villages. These make for interesting and scenic longer walks, while there are also plenty of shorter “circular” routes in and around the village.