Definitive maps online
Published: 24 January 2009Rights of Way shown on Ordnance Survey maps aren't necessarily exhaustive, and they may not always be accurate as changes to the Right of Way network made between map editions don't make it on the map. In England and Wales, the local authorities (unitary authorities or counties) are required to maintain a Definitive Map and Statement on paper, which is both definitive and up to date and must be publicly accessible. In National Parks, this may be delegated to the relevant National Park Authority. The rules in the other four jurisdictions covered by Geograph Britain and Ireland are different, and the above doesn't apply there.
In addition to the Definitive Map and Statement on paper, many local councils offer an online version of their Rights of Way map. These online versions aren't definitive in the legal sense but are meant to reflect what is shown on the Definitive Maps. In many cases, these also show temporary closures and diversions. Some also show rights of way furniture, such as gates, stiles and bridges. Online maps may also include 'list of streets' data, which should identify which minor roads or green lanes are public highways (see the discussion on ORPA for more information).
Below is a list of links to online versions of Definitive Maps of local councils in England and Wales. In some cases it is necessary to accept terms, but no registration or payment is necessary in any case. A few councils have also made copies of the Definitive Statement online.
A number of local councils have made their data available to the public, and the website rowmaps provides a tool to view these data in several different mapping media.
The list is based on posts on the Geograph forum. If you would like to add information, please either edit this article directly, or can post to the relevant forum thread. Similarly, if you find that a map link no longer works or the menus have been changed, please drop us a line.
- Bedford (select ‘Rights of Way’ from map layer control)
- Bracknell Forest
- Calderdale (select ‘Rights of Way’ from map layer control)
- Central Bedfordshire
- Cheshire East
- Cheshire West and Chester
- Coventry (Definitive map not online, but links to public register)
- Cumbria - Cumberland and Westmorland & Furness on same map
- Derby (Definitive map not yet online; 7 pdf files by former parish, dated 2017)
- Derbyshire (select ‘Public Rights of Way’ in map layer control)
- Dorset (Click on 3rd icon down on the right, then on 'Countryside': includes minor highways)
- East Sussex
- South Gloucestershire
- Hartlepool poor quality official map, no footpath ID designations
- Herefordshire (includes minor highways)
- Isle of Wight (pdf files for 86 tiles covering the whole island)
- Kirklees (correct site, but online mapping not functional 21-Jul-22)
- Kingston upon Hull(6 pdf files by path number)
- Lancashire PRoW Lancashire Bolton
- Milton Keynes ("Redways" are routes for cyclists & pedestrians - not horse-riders)
- Norfolk (includes other highways)
- Northamptonshire (RoW are in 'Add Feature/Place' and then 'Transport and Streets'; includes minor highways)
- West Northamptonshire (RoW disappear at close zoom)
- North Lincolnshire (pdf files by parish)
- North Yorkshire (includes minor highways)
- Nottingham City (RoWs are in 'Highways' layer)
- Nottinghamshire (Health warning - This online copy is over two years out of date)
- Oxfordshire (142 pdf files for each 5K by 5K square) Oxfordshire's PRoW Map
- Poole (pdf file, 1.1MB)
- Portsmouth (pdf files for 9 tiles covering the city)
- Salford (RoW are in 'Map Layers' - 'Misc')
- Bath & NE Somerset
- Staffordshire (RoW are in 'View Map Layers'/'Leisure and Culture'; click on 'Public Rights of Way' and then click 'Display on map')
- Surrey (RoWs and highways are in 'Roads and Transport' layer)
- West Berkshire
- West Sussex
- Windsor & Maidenhead (RoW are under 'Transport and Streets')
- Ceredigion (not the definitive map (which can be visited by appointment), but better than nothing)
- Sir Benfro / Pembrokeshire
- Gwynedd (select Public Rights of Way in Popular Layers on leaflet, then zoom in)
- Powys (not available online) "the Definitive Map (in paper format) is held at our offices at The Gwalia, Llandrindod Wells; it is available for any member of the public to inspect, free of charge, during normal office hours BY APPOINTMENT ONLY."
- try - Dinas Powys (Barry to Caerphilly excluding Cardiff) - Rowmaps, & see below)
- Bridgend County BC - list of maps
- Rhondda Cynon Taf (Click My maps, then Public rights of way (3/3) in side panel and zoom in)
- Wrexham (separate adopted roads map)
- Monmouthshire UA (map)
- Newport UA ( map)
- Blaenau Gwent (rowmaps) ( map)
- Flintshire ( map)
Acknowledgement. Hugh C, Keith Edkins, Bob Embleton, Ben Gamble, ceridwen, Richard Greenwood, Derek Harper, Andrew Henry, Dave Hitchborne, David Lally, David Martin, Alan Murray-Rust, Nigel Mykura, Ian Rutson, Kevin Beeden, Evelyn Simak, Adrian Cable, Amy Malcolm and Mr Red supplied various map links.
This article is now open for collaborative editing. Please add or update any local authority RoW mapping sites that you come across.