The way to be certain is to consult the Definitive Rights of Way map. This is maintained by the Highway Authority (in our case, Kent County Council) and must be kept available for free public inspection. It is accompanied by a document which describes each path, and which may mention special factors concerning that path (e.g. width). The map must be to a scale of not less than (i.e. not smaller then) 1:25,000. Kent's is 1:10,000. It shows each path in a unique manner:
- Footpaths are shown as dashes.
- Bridleways are shown as dashes with a line across each gap.
- Byways Open to all Traffic are shown as a solid line with arrow-heads on alternate sides.
Each path is given a number which identifies it. In Kent, this is preceded by an alphabetic code which identifies where it is. For example, paths around Westerham are prefixed with "SR", for "Sevenoaks Rural". The paths themselves are marked "on the ground" with waymark arrows, which are yellow for Footpaths, blue for Bridleways and brick red for Byways. These arrows will sometimes have the path number written on them.
The Explorer range of Ordnance Survey maps (1:25,000) shows paths in a slightly different way, but remember that it is the Definitive Map which takes precedence, as this may have changed since the O/S map was printed.