Visiting Lyme with your dog
Enjoy some fantastic walks with your four-legged friend at Lyme. We've beautiful ancient parkland, moorland and woodland to explore and stretch your legs.
Lyme has always been a place where dogs can enjoy themselves. Dogs lived alongside the Legh family who left Lyme to the National Trust, and we continue the tradition of welcoming responsible dog owners.
Welcoming dogs to Lyme
Lyme is visited by over 450,000 people a year, and many of those come with their dog to enjoy walking in our outdoors spaces. We ask visitors with their dogs to follow our dog policy and the National Trust Canine Code to ensure that everyone who comes to Lyme is able to enjoy their time here. This webpage will give you more information on visiting with your four-legged friend.
What do I need to know when visiting Lyme with my dog?
Dog walking at Lyme is split into two seasons, ground nesting bird season (April – July) and the rest of the year (August – March). There’s a helpful map for each below.
To make sure everyone has an enjoyable day please follow our Canine Code:
- 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 around livestock and on tricky terrain.
- Be on the ball: not everyone loves dogs, so keep them close by.
Assistance dogs are welcome inside the House, Garden, restaurants and shops.
All other dogs are welcome in the Garden on a short lead every day.
Facilities for dog walkers
Water bowls are located at the House, Car Park and Timber Yard.
There are seven dog waste bins located around the site, you can find their locations on the dog walking map of Lyme. Please clear up after your dog and dispose of the waste responsibly. Please support us by taking your dog waste home if you can – this protects our charitable funds which in turn helps us to look after Lyme.
- Treats are available from our shops and cafés.
- Did you know that dogs on a short lead are welcome in the Garden at Lyme every day?
All creatures great and small
Lyme is made up of several unique habitats that are home to a huge range of wildlife. Some of these are here year round, like the Red Deer, other travel for thousands of miles to breed at Lyme.
During ground nesting bird season, from April to July, we ask that dogs are kept on a lead in most areas of the estate. For the rest of the year, dogs are welcome off lead, under close control, in many areas of the estate, but always on a lead around livestock and wildlife. Find out more about how this helps our conservation work below.
What is nesting season?
Each year the arrival of spring means that Lyme is once again alive with the sound of birdsong. Our resident songsters are joined by those returning from spending the winter in warmer climes, travelling thousands of miles back to Lyme to breed. Usually the first of the returning crowd to make themselves known is the Chiffchaff, its distinctive call being heard for the first time at Lyme around 20th March each year.
Many of the returning birds make use of the upland grassland and moorland to nest directly on the ground using the long grasses for cover, whilst others prefer bushy scrub that can be found in Lyme’s woodlands. The beautiful song of the Skylarks can often be heard over the grasslands, look up high to catch a glimpse of them!
A Meadow Pipit on Lyme's moorland, May 2021. Image © Derek Hatton
Skylark taking food to its nest on Lyme's moorland, June 2021. Image © Derek Hatton
Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) perched on a Bramble bush. Image © National Trust Images / Nick Upton.
Why do we have livestock at Lyme and what is conservation grazing?
The animals that graze the land at Lyme do so in a selective process, which helps to create a healthier landscape that supports a wide range of habitats and creatures. You can find out more about the conservation grazing at Lyme by clicking the link below.