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Access varies widely across the British Isles although the "Right to Roam" act has much improved access in the UK. Access has always been easiest in Scotland except during the stalking and shooting seasons. Strictly speaking, there is now a right to access all the year round but do try to avoid walking in deer sensitive areas during the stalking season which is usually August to October but dates vary. Much of the easy access to the hills by path or track has been created by the estates so, in recognition of this, try not to upset their sporting activities although Sundays are fine to walk all year round.
Previously closed areas in England and Wales have recently been opened up but do remember that restrictions can sometimes be imposed in environmentally and wildlife sensitive areas.
Ireland is very mixed for access as there is no right to roam. In the popular areas, there are no problems although the Wicklow Mountains contain a military firing range which can mean some access routes are closed on certain days. Check on the internet where a phone number is available for contacting the military who are happy to advise. In less popular parts of Ireland, some landowners do not encourage walkers and there is extensive use of barbed wire. Some Irish landowners actually charge to walk up their hills!
At all times, be sensitive to the land being walked over and avoid any damage to gates and fences. Most landowners welcome responsible walkers. We should all condemn irresponsible walkers.
Many estate roads and tracks can be cycled, considerably reducing access times to the hills, but bear in mind that cycling can damage footpaths so responsible cyclists should stay on tracks and roads. Vehicles are not normally allowed on estate roads and tracks but a polite request may lead to access being granted but this is a previlege not a right.