Countryside Rules

Open fields

Certain unwritten rules of behaviour, observed in the British countryside for many centuries, will ensure that you don't enrage landowners, or endanger yourself or any wildlife during your visit to the UK. 

There's an age-old way of doing things in rural Britain, so go prepared, and be aware that it's still the norm to greet people you encounter with a friendly "Hello".

Stick to designated paths, especially in crop fields. When walking on a country lane or rural road, walk on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic. When rounding a bend or blind corner, move to the other side of the road to avoid head-on collisions, then move back to the other side on a straight stretch.

If you are driving in the countryside be patient. Accept that country driving is slow, so sit back and enjoy the scenery. Keep to your side of the road, and don't let reduced visibility tempt you into wandering into the oncoming lane. If you are stuck behind slow-moving tractors or agricultural machinery, resign yourself to moving slowly, and resist the temptation to flash your headlights or swing out from behind. If you see a horse and rider ahead, slow down to a crawl and creep behind. When it is completely safe to overtake, pull out, giving the horse a wide berth, and drive very slowly.

Leave gates as you find them - they will be open or closed for a reason.

Take litter home with you if you can't find a bin.

Wild or farmland animals shouldn't be approached, and even friendly-looking dogs on leads should be given a wide berth, unless the owner invites you  to pet them.

Debrett's Recommends

Debrett's Recommends