Outdoor Access and Core Paths

Core Paths Plan

Walkers with backpacks

Core Paths Plans were introduced by Part 1 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. The purpose of the Plan is to designate a system of paths to provide the basic framework of routes (which are) sufficient for the purpose of giving the public reasonable access throughout their area (and which will) link into and support wider networks of other paths and routes.

The core path plan comprises of many different types of paths, ranging from natural ground to constructed paths. Taken as a whole, the core paths system caters for all types of users - walkers, cyclists, horse riders, canoeists, people with disabilities, etc - but not all individual routes are designated for every type of user. The core paths are clearly shown on the Councils official core path maps.
GPX and KML files of the Core Paths can be downloaded from the Map Data webpage.

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This new statutory focus on making provision for non-motorised access to and in the outdoors has profound and wide-ranging ramifications. In addition to the obvious recreational aspects it is intended to: (i) support healthy lifestyles and health improvement initiatives; (ii) promote walking and cycling as sustainable transport modes for everyday trips to schools, shops, workplaces and leisure activities; (iii) contribute towards social inclusion and community safety, and (iv) promote economic development.

Disclaimer: We try to keep this information as up to date as possible, however there may be additions or amendments that have not been recorded yet.

Shetland Draft Core Paths plan and maps:

Core Paths Plan Explained

Amendments to the Core Path Plan

Diversion of Core Path CPPL01 - AHS West Path

Diversion of Core Path CPPL06 - Staney Hill Road

Diversion of Core Path CPPWS10 - Papa Stour

Diversion of Core Path CCPNL03 - Eswick

Stiles and walking photo


Outdoor Access Officer
Shetland Islands Council 
8 North Ness Business Park 
Lerwick, Shetland 

If you have any queries, please email the Outdoor Access Officer via outdooraccess@shetland.gov.uk or telephone 01595 744 169