The Right to Roam: Scotland’s Outdoor Access Code


The Scottish Outdoor Access Code also know as the “Right to Roam” is all about harmony. It is often an elusive ideal but it is essentially why we all want to explore the outdoors and the wild places. It’s about being an unobtrusive presence in grand and unspoilt landscapes, enjoying the silence and leaving it as we found it for those who’ll come after. The code is there to help us on the road to that ideal.

As Outdoor Adventure Tours operators, Intrepidus Outdoors and My Adventure (Edinburgh) spends every day exploring the Scottish Outdoors. All of our adventures keep within in the rules of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code to ensure we cause no damage and to allow everyone to have the same opportunity to adventure in Scotland. 

What is the Scottish Outdoor Access Code?

The Code is an attempt to reconcile all those people who seek exercise, adventure and uplifting experiences in the outdoors with the needs of those who work, own and manage the land. It runs to quite a few pages but here are the essentials.

private hillwalking booking in scotland

Why does the Code exist?

The Code came into being in 2005 to replace a mishmash of laws and traditions that asserted a de facto right-to-roam. Walkers, in particular, felt they had a moral right to climb Murnos and explore the wild corners of the country but unfortunately it was a privilege that was often arbitrarily obstructed, by unsympathetic landowners. Even Sir Hugh Munro, of Munro’s Tables fame, had to approach some mountains during the night to avoid irking certain landowners.

For more information about bagging Munro’s, check out our blog here

HILLWALKING IN SCOTLAND| Following the Scottish Outdoor Access Code

Who does the Code effect?

The code was created through negotiation between all interested parties to try to balance the sometimes competing needs of the canoeist wanting to shoot the rapids and the salmon fisherman or the Munro bagger and the gamekeeper. It imposes responsibilities on landowners to facilitate access and make reasonable allowances in their day to day management and on walkers, canoeists, cyclists and horse riders to avoid disrupting people’s lives and livelihoods.

For instance, there should be no intimidating or misleading signage erected and hill walkers should be ready to modify their plans to avoid disrupting deer stalking or lambing. The code if it works well should remove most of these clashes but some arise from time to time and it is the job of the local outdoor access committee to reconcile them. There is a basic assumption that the harmony with the landscape we all seek can only truly be enjoyed by non-motorised modes of transport.

The Scottish Outdoor Access code also allows for commercial companies to run adventurous activities in rural areas- providing they follow the code by taking measures to prevent damage to the land, and it is the companies responsibility to ensure their clients do so to. 

 More information on how you can follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code whilst participating in different activities here.

Canoeing Adventures from Edinburgh

Where does the Code apply?

The code applies more or less everywhere so it would be easier to mention where it doesn’t apply. If you think in terms of harmony its quite obvious really. No one should really be wandering into a private garden or walking across onto a green on a golf course (although you can walk by the fringes of fairways) or putting themselves at risk by venturing into a quarry or onto a railway line. Neither would you want to destroy crops or get in the way of the armed services on manoeuvres.

Avoid these situations and you should be good to go. Although the code doesn’t seek to restrict people to paths it does recognise that this is how most people want to explore the outdoors so the code encourages local authorities to create a database of core paths for people to enjoy.

Pentland Hills, near Edinburgh

What does the Code allow?

Some people refer to it as a right-to-roam and it is the envy of outdoor enthusiasts in other parts of the UK. However, in truth it stops just short of complete freedom.

It allows for non-motorised movement across public and private land and comes close to removing the notion of trespass. If you see a “No Trespassing” sign then it is almost certainly bogus.

So, walkers can, as along as the code is respected, climb every Munro, Corbett and hillock. Canoeists can launch their boats and shoot the rapids. Cyclists can explore the single and double tracks but must give way to walkers and horse riders. Horse riders can do the same and can expect land managers to leave gates unlocked.

It also recognises that wild camping is an intrinsic part of exploration of the remotest areas. It wasn’t really envisaged that folk would turn up in a car and camp by the roadside. Wild camping is allowed, again, as long as it is done responsibly – that is avoiding crops and livestock, only staying a couple of nights and leaving no trace whatever. After all who wants to be known as a dirty camper.

Scottish Outdoor Access Code | Right to Roam act
  • Stick to paths where possible
  • Walk around fields
  • Do not approach livestock
  • Close gates behind you
  • leave no trace

When does the code apply?

The code is in effect all year round. A land manager can however apply for a temporary suspension of access rights and the Forestry and Land Scotland  is perhaps the most likely to apply for such a suspension but diversions should be in place.

Other than that the outdoor enthusiast should be aware of the seasonal needs of land managers. In the spring care should be taken during the lambing season especially when walking with a dog and in the autumn the shooting of game birds and stags can necessitate a change of plans. The hind shooting season throughout the winter is unlikely to be much of a problem. If in doubt just ask. There’s usually someone to phone. Look out for polite warning signs and assume in the first instance that they are reasonable.

Scottish Stag

Paul Lamarra is one of Intrepidus’ experienced guides. A qualified mountain leader he has climbed, cycled and explored extensively in Scotland. He is also an award-winning writer and author of several books on Scotland. His work has also appeared in many publications throughout the world.

Intrepidus Outdoors is an adventure tours and outdoor experience providers, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, that specialises in private and open canyoningcoasteeringmountain biking and hill walking tours.

My Adventure Edinburgh (Part of the Intrepidus Group) is an outdoor tours provider that specialises in canyoning, coasteering, canoeing and hillwalking tours. As well as delivering these adventurous experiences across Scotland, My Adventure is also a provider of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions where we run bronze, silver and gold level awards for young people.

If you are looking for additional information about adventures from Edinburgh, we have published a number of blogs:

  • Open Coasteering guide here
  • Adventures in Edinburgh here
  • A guide to Wild Swimming in Scotland here
  • Eight Scottish Wonders- by Paul Lamarra here
  • High and Mighty- Bouldering in Scotland here
  • Top tips for backpacking Scotland here
  • 6 steps to being happy like a Scot here 
  • You’ll never get bored in Edinburgh here 
  • Best Budget Hotels and Hostels Edinburgh here 
  • Hen Party Adventures Edinburgh: here
  • Stag Party Outdoor Adventures Edinburgh Essentials: here

If you haven’t already seen it, check out the our Trip Advisor, Youtube channeland check us out on Visit Scotland.

Intrepidus Outdoors – Adventures Edinburgh, Scotland!

Intrepidus Outdoors is based in Edinburgh, Scotland and specialises in Outdoor Activities. We are an adventure tourism and outdoor education provider based in Edinburgh. However, we also operate out of Glasgow, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, Tweed ValleyPerth, Fort William, Cairngorm National Park, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy and Loch Tay.

We specialise in canyoning, coasteering, mountain biking and hill walking, and deliver these adventurous experiences across Scotland. The experiences that we provide take clients into some of the most exquisite, incredible and extreme environments the UK has to offer. Through our MY Adventure (Edinburgh) brand we are also a provider of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions where we run bronze, silver and gold level awards for young people. These expeditions are through the disciplines of hill walking as well as canoeing. 


Mission Statment :

To deliver the highest quality adventurous experiences to entertain, thrill and inspire.


 

Outdoor Activities: Edinburgh & Scotland

Our values reflect those of a business started by a small group of rock climbers and mountain bikers. The experiences that we have had adventuring, and our passion for the outdoors, has led us to choose a lifestyle dedicated to sharing our love for the outdoors with others. The approach that we take to the experiences that we provide, and the business that we run, is that of sustainability, and an unapologetic quest for quality.

For us at Intrepidus Outdoors, we recognise that our experiences kayaking in clean rivers, surfing on unpolluted beaches and climbing frozen waterfalls have contributed to who we are as people. Therefore, protecting the planet so that the next generation of adventurers can have their own experiences, is hugely important for us. We believe that for people, communities and businesses to make the choice to minimise their impact on our planet, they must first value the planet that we have. We feel that the best way for people to value our blue planet, is to have first hand quality experiences in nature. They can then see the beauty of a forest, feel the power of an ocean and learn to love what is outside our towns and cities, so that they then fight to protect them. We strive to through the products that we deliver make a small difference to peoples understanding of the impact that they have on our world.

Our experiences adventuring have made us who we are and Intrepidus Outdoors is a reflection of us. We provide real adventurous experience that we hope you will cherish.


 

Adventure Activities: Edinburgh & Scotland

There are cities where stuff is happening all year round and where you will never get bored. Edinburgh is undoubtedly one of these cities. It’s an extraordinary place, full of history, festivals, impressive architecture and plenty of attractions you won’t find anywhere else. Not to mention that we are located on the door step of so many amazing adventures and outdoor experiences.

We would like to introduce you to this extraordinary city, giving you a full range of possibilities that can be found north of the wall! Edinburgh has a huge dose of beautiful history, world-famous festivals, fantastic attractions, adrenaline fuled expereinces and great food. Edinburgh is calling you and you simply cannot refuse its invitation.

There are a many outdoor and adventurous experiences to be had in Edinburgh. If you are a thrill seeker visiting Edinburgh and interested in a canyoning, coasteering or mountain biking adventure in Scotland, Get In Touch!


Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a fantastic destination with a rich history, stunning architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. Here are 11 reasons why Edinburgh is a great city to visit with friends:

  1. Historic Architecture: Edinburgh is known for its historic and impressive architecture. Explore the medieval Old Town, with its narrow alleys and the iconic Edinburgh Castle perched on Castle Rock. The contrasting Georgian New Town offers elegant streets and squares.

  2. Edinburgh Castle: Dominating the city’s skyline, Edinburgh Castle is a must-visit. Explore the various sections of the castle, learn about its history, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from its vantage points.

  3. Royal Mile: The Royal Mile is the main street of the Old Town, running from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. It’s lined with shops, pubs, and street performers, making it a lively and entertaining stroll.

  4. Festivals: Edinburgh is famous for its festivals, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival. If you visit during August, you’ll be treated to a vibrant atmosphere with countless performances, events, and shows.

  5. Scenic Views: Climb Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano located in Holyrood Park, for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. It’s a great place for a hike or a picnic with friends.

  6. Cultural Museums: Edinburgh boasts several excellent museums, including the National Museum of Scotland, the Museum of Edinburgh, and the Scottish National Gallery. These institutions offer a diverse range of exhibits, from art and history to science and technology.

  7. Whisky Tasting: Scotland is renowned for its whisky, and Edinburgh is a great place to sample some of the finest Scotch whiskies. Explore local pubs and whisky bars to experience the rich and varied world of Scottish spirits.

  8. Haunted History: Edinburgh is known for its haunted history, and there are various ghost tours that take you through the city’s spookiest spots. It’s a fun and eerie way to learn about the darker side of Edinburgh’s past.

  9. Dynamic Arts Scene: The city has a vibrant arts scene, with numerous theaters, galleries, and performance spaces. Whether you’re into traditional or contemporary arts, you’re likely to find something that suits your tastes.

  10. Friendly Atmosphere: Scots are known for their friendliness, and you’ll likely find the welcoming atmosphere extends to the city itself. The friendly locals and the convivial ambiance of Edinburgh make it an excellent destination for a memorable trip with friends.

  11. Outdoor Activities on your Doorstep: Edinburgh is on the edge of the Pentland Hills, Ochil Hills, East Lothian, the East Neuk of Fife and a hour and a half drive from the Cairngorm National Park. We deliver outdoor adventures, activities and exciting pursuits to all of these amazing locations. 

Outdoor Adventures Scotland.

We operate out of Edinburgh, Glasgow, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, Tweed ValleyPerth, Fort William, Cairngorm National Park, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy and Loch Tay.

It’s no secret that Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. From the rural coastlines to vast mountain ranges, we have it all. Whatever kind of experience you’re after you’re sure to find it here, so we’ve put together an adventurer’s guide to Scotland to help get you started. Our guide breaks down all the outdoor activities Edinburgh has to offer and many more adventures to keep you entertained on your holiday.

Scotland’s allure for outdoor adventures is rooted in its unparalleled natural beauty and diverse landscapes. From the rugged peaks of the Scottish Highlands to the tranquil shores of its countless lochs, the country provides a stunning backdrop for a myriad of outdoor activities. Hikers can traverse historic trails like the West Highland Way, while mountaineers are drawn to the challenge of scaling iconic peaks such as Ben Nevis. The expansive coastline and intricate network of rivers offer opportunities for water enthusiasts, from thrilling white-water rafting to peaceful kayaking. Scotland’s commitment to preserving its wilderness allows for accessible exploration, inviting both seasoned adventurers and casual nature lovers alike. With a rich cultural heritage woven into its landscapes, including ancient castles and historic sites, Scotland stands as an exceptional destination for those seeking not just outdoor excitement, but a profound connection with the untamed beauty of the natural world.

Moreover, Scotland’s outdoor appeal extends to its diverse range of activities, accommodating adventurers with varying interests and skill levels. Cyclists can navigate scenic routes, taking in the breathtaking views of rolling hills and coastal panoramas. As winter blankets the land, the Cairngorms and Glencoe transform into playgrounds for skiers and snowboarders, offering a thrilling winter sports experience. Wildlife enthusiasts find solace in the country’s natural habitats, where red deer roam freely, eagles soar overhead, and seals bask along the rugged shoreline. The proximity of Edinburgh, the capital city, further enhances the Scottish adventure, providing a seamless transition from urban exploration to the untamed wonders that lie just beyond its borders. In every season, Scotland’s outdoor wonders beckon, promising a tapestry of experiences that blend natural splendor with a rich tapestry of history and culture.

MY Adventure and Intrepidus Outdoors are adventure tours and outdoor experience providers, both based in Edinburgh, Scotland. We specialise in private and open canyoningcoasteeringmountain biking and hill walking tours, and deliver these adventurous experiences across Scotland. We are also a provider of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions where we run bronze, silver and gold level awards for young people.

If you are looking for additional information about adventures from Edinburgh, we have published a number of blogs:

  • Welcome to Edinburgh- A guide to the Scottish Capital: here
  • 6 steps to being happy like a Scot: here 
  • Adventures guide to Scotland: here
  • You’ll never get bored in Edinburgh: here 
  • Best Budget Hotels and Hostels Edinburgh: here 
  • Hen Party Adventures Edinburgh: here
  • Stag Party Outdoor Adventures Edinburgh Essentials: here
  • Best Restaurants in Edinburgh: here

If you haven’t already seen it, check out the our  Trip AdvisorYoutube channelVisit Scotland page and blog to hear about how others found their outdoor adventures with us! Equally, if there is any gear that you would like us to review, drop us a DM.

Here is a list of our Frequently Asked Questions about Outdoor Adventures from Edinburgh!

What are the best outdoor activities in and around Edinburgh?

Canyoning, Coasteering, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Canoeing and Rock Climbing!

Is Edinburgh a good venue for adventures?

Edinburgh is on the doorstep of incredible locations for outdoor adventures. Only a short minibus ride and you are in world class venues for coasteering, canyoning, mountain biking and hiking.

Are your adventures suitable for beginners?

Yes. Our outdoor adventures are great for everyone!

Do you provide all the equipment?

We provide all technical equipment for your outdoor adventures with us. This includes canyoning and coasteering boots!

Is Edinburgh good to visit?

Yes. Edinburgh is a fantastic city to visit, offering a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Is Edinburgh expensive?

If you live in the south of England, No. If you live in the Midlands or the North of England, Yes.

How much is a pint in Edinburgh?

Between £4 and £6

Do you collect us from our hotel for adventure tours?

Yes. On our private adventure tours we collect clients from their hotels.

Where do you collect open group tours from?

Edinburgh Waverley Train Station – The Market Street Entrance.

What is the age range of your adventures?

Open groups 14+. Private groups all ages!

How extreme are your outdoor adventure tours?

Canyoning and coasteering has jumps up to 10meters and the canyoning has waterfall abseiling uptimes 17 meters. So you tell us?!

How much are your adventure tours?

Days trips from £95 per person including transport.

What is the most popular outdoor adventure from Edinburgh?

Canyoning. People LOVE canyoning. We also love canyoning!

Do you take pictures?

Yes. All instructors will take pictures with their iPhones and GoPro’s. They will send them to you after the adventure.

What is your favourite outdoor activity?

Our team like lots of different adventures! Some like the extreme trips like canoeing while others like the more mellow tours like canoeing.

How are your trip advisor review so good?

We aim the exceed the expectations of our clients on all our outdoor adventure tours from Edinburgh!

Where do you run adventure tours from?

We operate out of Edinburgh, Glasgow, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, Tweed Valley, Perth, Fort William, Bruar, Dollar, Alva, Cairngorm National Park, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy and Loch Tay.  .

What are your group sizes for private outdoor adventure tours?

Between 8 and 80!

Do you provide transport for your outdoors experiences?

Yes! We have a National Operators License to operate our own fleet of 17 seater minibuses.

Who is the best adventure tour provider in Edinburgh?

With over 350 5star TripAdvisor reviews the Intrepidus team aims to exceed our customers expectations in every trip!

What provider runs the best outdoor experiences in Scotland?

Intrepidus Outdoors run canyoning, coasteering and hiking almost every day and we have over 350 5star TripAdvisor reviews!

Location


Unit 2/2
Edlin Industrial Estate
Edgefield Road
Loanhead
EH20 9QX

Contact


Phone: 0131 357 1990
Email: info@intrepidusoutdoors.co.uk

Opening hours


Mon - Fri
8:00 to 18:30
Sat & Sun
8.30 to 19.30