Way back I mentioned that my daughter, Heather, and I went to Scotland in late August of 2012. One of the most intriguing customs in Scotland is the idea of "public rights of way" hiking. Public rights of way are open to everyone. They can be roads, paths or tracks, and can run through towns, countryside or private property.
trail near Inverness
In Scotland, a right of way:
is any route that people have been able to walk on for at least 20 years
must link 2 public places, eg a village, church or road
There are fences, but stiles work well to take one over them and as long as the "walker" is respectful and a good steward to the property - think "Leave no Trace" - no one thinks a thing of cutting through a field or estate to get from one place to another.
stile on Isle of Skye
Of course, there are plenty of marked trails on public property as well. Still it was nice not to see "Private Property-No Trespassing" everywhere we went! There was even a fishing hole that having been used for years(maybe centuries) and despite being on a very beautiful estate had access given and a bench to sit on as well. I don't think it will ever catch on in America, but it is an intriguing way of looking at the activity.