Rights of Way and Access - OS 25K map symbols

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright May 2010, David Hawgood; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.

Note: this article is being amended as the Ordnance Survey key has been reorganised to have separate sections for access in Scotland.

This is one of a series of articles which give photographs of features on the ground which have standard symbols on Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps, and also show the symbol. See OS 25K map symbols for introduction to the series, and links to other articles in it. Ordnance Survey have told us that although the symbols are copyright they allow them to be copied without charge or specific licence .

Click on a photo thumbnail to see a page with a larger photo, and other photo details. The photo page also has a section of the 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey map; click on that map to see an Ordnance Survey section of 1:25,000 scale map. The last column has a direct link to that section of map (depending on browser, you may need back button to return to article).

Rights of way and other public access route symbols on 25K maps have different colours from those used on 50 K maps, see Rights of way and access symbols on 50K maps for our examples of the latter. The 25K map for England and Wales has symbols for public access land. For Scotland there are symbols for other public access land.

Public Rights of Way

DescriptionSymbolPhotoMap link and notes
Footpath OS25K PROW public footpathSP9712 : Baby strollers on Ashridge footpath by David HawgoodMap link The footpath runs North-south. A bridleway crosses it running near East-west
Bridleway OS25K PROW public bridlewaySP9710 : Bridleway on Northchurch Common by David HawgoodMap link
Byway open to all traffic OS25K PROW Byway open to all trafficSP9809 : Public Byway sign by David HawgoodMap link
Restricted byway OS25K PROW Restricted bywaySU1332 : Restricted byway, Old Sarum by Maigheach-ghealMap link

Other Public Access

DescriptionSymbolPhotoMap link and notes
Other route with public access Os25K OPA Other route with public accessSS9146 : ORPA through Selworthy Farm by Phil ChampionMap link
Recreational route OS25K OPA Long distance route SD8868 : Winter on the Pennine Way by Chris HeatonThe name of a route appears at intervals beside the route
Recreational Route (alternative route) OS25K symbol - Alternative to recreational routeExample to be added
National Trail (England and Wales) OS25K OPA National Trail - England and WalesNT8716 : On the Pennine Way towards King's Seat by Walter BaxterA national trail can have an acorn symbol beside it Map link
Permissive footpath OS25K OPA Permissive pathSX7174 : Permissive path to Cockingford by Guy WarehamMap link
Permissive bridleway OS25K OPA Permissive bridlewaySE1739 : Permitted Bridleway 'Gate' at Ainsbury Avenue by Richard KayMap link
Traffic-free cycle route OS25K OPA Traffic-free cycle routeNZ4121 : Off-road cycle route from Harrowgate Lane by Philip BarkerMap link
National cycle network route number - traffic-free OS25K OPA National cycle route No off roadSO1192 : Riverside walk by Penny MayesMap link
National cycle network route number - on road OS25K OPA National cycle route No on roadSU1383 : railway bridge on National cycle route 45 by David CollinsMap link
Danger Area OS25K OPA Danger areaSN8836 : Near Bryn y Garn by Graham HornMap link; this link shows words on the map, the next shows boundary on the map.
Danger Area boundary OS25K OPA Danger areaSU9354 : Boundary of the Danger Area by Paul E SmithMap link
Managed Access land in MOD area OS25K Access managed in MoD landSK0262 : MOD training ground by John PoyserLink to Map; the map also has the web address www. access.mod.uk www.access.mod.ukExternal link. Choosing "Midlands" from this gives as one choice Leek and Upper HulmeExternal link which gives information about the managed access in this area.

Access Land (England and Wales)

Access information point OS25K Access information pointNZ0043 : Parkhead by Peter McDermottMap link
Access land boundary and tint OS25K Access land boundarySU7997 : Access land on Bledlow Ridge by David HawgoodMap link
Access land in woodland area - conifers  OS25K Access conifer woodlandTQ7233 : Conifer trees in National Pinetum by David AnstissMap link; the symbols column has a map extract showing an area of conifer woodland with access. Symbols for conifer, deciduous, coppice or a mixture can be shown within an access land boundary.
Access land in woodland area  OS25K Access deciduous woodlandSP9709 : Woodland "The Beeches", Berkhamsted by David HawgoodMap link; the symbols column has the tint as shown in the key to the map. The map example shows deciduous trees in an access area.|
Access land in woodland area - coppice OS25K Access woodland with coppiceSP9710 : Coppiced access woodland on Northchurch Common by David HawgoodMap link; the symbols column has a map example showing all three types of woodland symbol in a small area of access within an area of non-access woodland.
Ordinary woodland areas (to compare tint with above) OS25K Vegetation - treesSP9712 : Thunderdell Wood by David HawgoodOrdinary woodland; the three sets of symbols are conifers at the top, then deciduous, then coppice. The example has deciduous trees with no access on the left, with access on the right Link to Map
Access land within sand OS25K symbol - Access land with wooded and sandySY6879 : Weymouth Beach by Richard Slessorsymbol shows three types of Access land - example has sand
Coastal margin OS25K Coastal Access  OS25K symbol - Access - Coastal marginSY8180 : Coast Path to Durdle Door by Colin SmithMap link; See pdf page OS key to 25K map symbolsExternal link for information about access. Only limited areas of the England Coast Path have been added to the online maps - parts in Dorset, Durham, Cumbria and Norfolk first.

Public Access (Scotland

The symbols for Recreational Route, Alternative to Recreational Route, Traffic-free cycle route and cycle route numbers are as shown for "Other Public Access" above.
DescriptionSymbolPhotoMap link and notes
Scotland's Great Trails OS25K OPA Scotland's Great TrailsNN1168 : Stile on the West Highland Way by Iain ThompsonA Great trail can have a thistle symbol beside it Map link
Boundary of specified access area OS25K Access land boundaryNR7118 : Forestry Commission plantation on Beinn Ghuilean by David HawgoodMap link The purple line symbol as used around Forestry Commission and similar access land is not shown separately on the key, but is shown around the appropriate symbols as below.
National Trust for Scotland always open OS25K OPA Nat. Trust Scotland always openNT9168 : Wind-blown trees above Mire Loch by Oliver DixonMap link; on this and next four items, there is a symbol to show the organisation, and a purple boundary line to show the extent of the access area.
National Trust for Scotland limited opening OS25K OPA Nat. Trust Scotland limited openingNS5656 : Greenbank House, Clarkston by Elliott SimpsonMap link
Forestry Commission Land OS25K OPA Forestry CommissionNO4825 : Y-fork in the forest by James AllanMap link
Forestry Commission Land - boundary OS25K OPA Forestry CommissionNO4924 : Forestry Commission carpark, Tentsmuir. by Richard WebbMap link
Woodland Trust Land OS25K OPA Woodland TrustNT0668 : Woodland, South Village by Richard WebbMap link

Map symbol images are Crown Copyright

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