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Know what to expect and what you can do

The outdoors is great for your wellbeing. It is a place for relaxation, peacefulness and activity. Whatever you like to do outdoors, you will enjoy it more if you prepare in advance.

Swimmers in lake - For Countryside Code use onlyCheck your route and local conditions

Make sure you know your route and have the maps you need. Refer to up-to-date maps, guides or websites before you set off.

You can find advice on specialist activities from outdoor recreation groups. Websites such as GetOutside, Visit England or Visit Britain can provide a list of these groups. Information centres can also give you local ideas and advice.

Check weather, tide and water conditions

Check weather forecasts before you set off. Conditions can change quickly on mountains and along the coast. Do not be afraid to turn back if conditions change when you’re out and about.

Look up tide times before you leave to reduce the risk of getting cut off by rising tides. Some rivers are affected by tidal change, it’s not just the sea. Take care on slippery rocks and seaweed.

Check the Environment Agency website for water quality and conditions if you want to paddle, swim or enjoy the water.

Plan your adventure – know what to expect and what you can do

Tell someone else where you are going and when you expect to be back. In rural areas you may not see anyone for hours and phone signals are unreliable in many places.

You are responsible for the safety of yourself, and others in your care. Make sure you have the skills and knowledge you need for your activity.

Prepare for natural hazards, including weather changes, to stay safe. Make sure you take the right clothing and equipment for your planned activities.

Remain flexible in case you need to change your plans if places are busy.

Rights and permissions

This code sets out information about the rights of different users. For some activities you may need to get permission from the landowner, including:

  • camping
  • freshwater swimming
  • freshwater fishing

Enjoy your visit, have fun, make a memory.