Bring your dog to Dunster Castle

Dog walking on a lead

Dogs are welcome throughout the year and there are some great spots to stretch your legs, whether you have two or four.

The gardens are open every weekend and closed during the week. The parkland, shop and Watermill Tearoom are open daily. For February half-term (19 - 27 Feb) and from Monday 21 March, the gardens will be open daily. We have plenty of goodies in the shop, including tasty treats for your four-legged friends!


Are dogs welcome inside?

Dogs on leads are allowed everywhere except inside the castle.

The Watermill Tearoom is dog friendly.


The parkland

Take a circular stroll through our parkland following the River Avill. 

Less formal than the garden, it’s a great place to spot wildlife including otters and kingfishers or even the salmon using the salmon trap to get upstream. You can also extend your walk into the garden or join the permissive path whitch leads to the wider estate and deer park taking you past Iron Age forts and England’s tallest tree.

There are plenty of walks to be had via the parkland. Why not trek up to Conygar Tower, complete a circular walk around the perimeter of the castle's grounds and into the village, head further afield and up the deer park and to the heights of Bats Castle or Grabbist Hill? You can always stop in for refreshment at our Watermill Tearoom and for seasonal treats in our shop, both open 10am-4pm daily.


The River Garden

A flat, wooded garden with the River Avill cutting through it, the river garden is home to giant redwoods, giant rhubarb and a handkerchief tree.  The working watermill is dog friendly and when open you can see the wheels turning and perhaps milling in progress. 


The South Terrace  

The South Terrace is a little bit of the Mediterranean dropped into Somerset, with its palm trees and far reaching views across the Bristol Channel. Created in 1820 the formal Victorian planting in spring fills the air with the scent of hyacinths and in summer the tall banana plants and dahlias fill the boarder with colour. You might even spot a herd of Exmoor ponies on the surrounding hills.


The Keep

The original location of the motte castle, the Keep was levelled out in the 18th century to create a bowling green. Winding your way up the hill there’s plenty of different paths to explore, some taking you to the Victorian reservoir, another to Aunt May's Garden; a small lawned area where the Luttrell children used to play but all eventually leading up to the Keep.  A walk around its perimeter gives views out across the countryside and on a clear day Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor can be spotted.


Please note: Dog bins are located across the site and noted on the welcome map.