Visiting The Firs with your dog

Walking the dog past Elgar mural

Following Elgar's great love of dogs, The Firs welcomes you and your four legged for a dog walk with a difference. Stroll in the cottage garden and woodland area as well as indoor exhibitions in the visitor centre.

Where can my dog go?

We love dogs at The Firs and they are welcome in the Visitor Centre, cottage garden. Please keep your dog on a short lead so as not to disturb wildlife.

Where can't my dog go?

Assistance dogs only in the cottage and cafe.  

What do I need to be aware of at The Firs?

To make sure all our visitors, with or without a dog, have an enjoyable day, please follow our Canine Code. By doing this you’ll be helping us to look after the gardens and wildlife.

Canine Code:

  • Take the lead: help reduce the chance of your pup disturbing wildlife by keeping them on a short lead.
  • Scoop that poop: bag it and bin it to keep your favourite places beautiful. Dog waste bins are marked on the map. Spare bags are available at visitor reception if you’ve forgotten them.
  • Paws for thought: look out for information signs and take extra care around livestock.
  • Be on the ball: not everyone loves dogs, so keep them close by.

Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times unless you are on a public footpath, where they must be under effective and close control. Our definition of effective control is:

  • Being able to recall your dogs in any situation at the first call.
  • Being able to clearly see you dog (not just knowing they have gone into the undergrowth or over the crest of a hill). In practice this means keeping them on a footpath if the surrounding vegetation is too dense for your dog to be visible.
  • Not allowing them to approach other visitors without their consent.
  • Having a lead with you to use if you encounter livestock, wildlife or you are asked to use one.

Facilities available for my dog

There are water bowls outside the Visitor Centre. There are 2 dog waste bins on site.