Best places for dog walking
Are you wondering where to take your dog next? Dog walking in the open countryside and along the rugged coastlines we care for is special for many reasons.
Watch your pup chase a ball, paddle in the sea, and explore quiet woodland. Spending time in nature is good for you too.
Our partner, Devon-based natural pet food maker Forthglade, has also come up with some top tips on mindful walking so you and dog can get even more out of your visit.
This three-year partnership is based on our shared love of open spaces and the special relationships between dogs and their owners.
In this article:
A moment of peace
From acres of lush parkland to mysterious ruins surrounded by quiet countryside, we look after some incredible landscapes that you and your dog can explore.
Take a moment of peace. Listen to the sounds of busy wildlife, admire a spider's web sparkling with frost, and feel the wind on your face.
Get the most out of dog walking
We want to make sure you and your dog get the most out of the woodlands, fields, parkland, and beaches we look after. From improving dog-friendly trails to providing more waste bins and water bowls, we're taking steps to make sure you and your pup feel welcome.
In return, we ask you to keep the countryside a safe, healthy and enjoyable place for everyone.
We’ve teamed up with Forthglade to create the canine code, so you and your four-legged friend can help care for the places you love.
Take the lead: help reduce the chance of your pup disturbing wildlife by keeping them on a lead.
Scoop that poop: bag it and bin it to keep your favourite places beautiful.
Paws for thought: look out for information signs and take extra care on cliff paths.
Be on the ball: not everyone loves dogs, so keep them close by.
Many National Trust places offer:
- Water, drinking bowls and leads
- Dog-friendly cafes
- Maps and dog-walking trails
Assistance dogs are welcome inside all our houses, gardens, restaurants and shops.
Walking with your four-legged friend is the perfect time to switch off, relax and notice the beauty of the natural world around you. But research from our partner, natural petfood maker Forthglade, shows that many of us are not as relaxed as we might like to be when out dog walking.
Almost two thirds of dog owners (63%) can’t switch off from screen time during their daily dog walk. And a large proportion (68%) of those surveyed experienced the stress of their dog pulling on the lead or barking at other dogs (48%).
Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to turn dog walking into the most mindful part of your day.
- Let your dog potter and sniff around the hedgerows, rather than get them to chase a ball over and over again. Sniffing can reduce your dog's stress, giving you time to take in the fresh air and look at your surroundings.
- Talking too much to dogs can get them hyped up. When walking your dog, try to use cues consistently and keep a calm, happy, tone of voice.
- Engage with your dog while they are on the lead instead of rushing to the spot where you can let them off. Slow things down a bit by scattering little pieces of food in the grass, and regain control by stroking up and down along a small section of the lead. Take a few deep breaths to increase your sense of calm.
- Leave your phone at home, notice nature as you walk and enjoy chatting with other dog lovers.
- Engage your five senses to appreciate what’s happening in the present all around you. Can you describe your surroundings in detail? This gentle curiosity will help you become more mindful.