Access and Rights of Way


The Steyning Downland Scheme is very popular with walkers, riders, picnickers and anyone who enjoys a good view! There is almost always someone enjoying the land. In this section you can find more information about access, Rights of Way and a few ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ to ensure everyone is able to freely experience this great local resource.

The Steyning Downland Scheme has five Public Bridleways, one Public Footpath and one Permitted Path. Steyning Coombe and Pepperscoombe Bank are statutory Access Land. Some of the land in the Rifle Range is also open access land (by permission only). :


Right of Way Map v2

(with thanks to Kate Sigournay for the RoW annotations)

CRoW land

(from the Natural England Open Access web site)

Public Bridleways

Bridleways give a legal Right of Way for walkers and people using mobility vehicles (for example powered wheelchairs), horse riders and bicyclists. Under the Countryside Act 1968, bicyclists are legally required to give way to other users.

Public Footpaths

The Public Footpath, known as the Lower Horseshoe Path which runs up the hill from Mill Road, across Steyning Coombe and along the bottom of the Horseshoe Woods is a right of way for walkers and people using manual or powered mobility aids. Cyclists and horse riders are not permitted to use this path.

Permitted Path

There is no legal right of access for the public along Nightingale Lane which connects Mouse Lane to the Rifle Range. Walkers and people using manual or powered mobility aids are permitted to use it but not cyclists or horse riders.

Statutory Access Land

This is land which is designated for open access under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. You can use access land for walking, running and watching wildlife. Please note that horse riding, cycling and camping is not permitted without specific permission from the Steyning Downland Scheme.

Dogs on Open Access land

You must keep your dog on a lead no more than 2 metres long on open access land:

  • between 1 March and 31 July – to protect ground-nesting birds
  • at all times around livestock

A dog on the Downland

Sharing Rights of Way

The Steyning Downland is an area which many people want to enjoy in different ways. Our aim is to ensure a wide range of people can enjoy the land. Please consider the needs of other users as well as enjoying the area for your own recreation.

Dogs: We’re pleased to welcome people and their dogs to the site, and to encourage responsible dog ownership.

Dog mess is a serious health hazard for young children and we have a ‘no tolerance’ policy for it on the Steyning Downland. Please make sure you clear up and remove your dog’s mess, wherever it is on the downland, not just on footpaths. Please take poo bags with you and take it home with you for disposal.

Please keep your dogs under control. Dogs off the lead are a disaster for ground-nesting birds and can worry our conservation heard of cattle, sensitising them to dogs looked after by responsible owners. Please take a look at the Kennel Club sponsored leaflet: You & Your Dog in the Countryside.

Please note that there is no legal right of access for people to the Rifle Range and no right to walk a dog off the lead there. In the interests of nature conservation and to protect the welfare of our grazing animals, please do not allow your dog off the lead in the Rifle Range.

People riding horses

Horses have a blind spot behind them and can be easily startled by other users of the area, which can cause them to suddenly flee. When approaching a horse from behind, slow down and speak to the rider to alert them to your presence.

If you are near but not on the bridleway, horses could still be startled by your presence, so still alert the rider you are there and go slow. Horse Riders – consider using safety stirrups in this well used area which will reduce the likelihood of injury if your horse is startled.

Cyclists – do not go at high speed on or near Public Bridleways where other users may be walking or riding. You are legally required to slow down for other people on Public Bridleways.