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Visiting Alderley Edge with your dog

Visitors walking through the sheltered valley at Lockeridge Dene and Piggledene, near Marlborough, Wiltshire
Visitor dog walking through the sheltered valley | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

You're welcome to bring your dog to all Cheshire and Wirral countryside sites. Find out how you can help keep dogs, as well as sheep and cattle, wildlife, and the environment safe when walking around Alderley Edge and the Cheshire countryside with this guide for dog walkers.

Our pawprint rating system

We’ve been working on making it easier for you to find out how dog-friendly your visit will be before you and your four-legged-friend arrive. To help with this, we've created a new pawprint rating system and given all the places in our care a rating. You can find this information in the National Trust members’ handbook.

Alderley Edge is a one pawprint rated place.

Dogs are welcome here, but facilities are limited. They’ll be able to stretch their legs in the car park and walk in the nearby open spaces, depending on the season. If there’s a food and beverage outlet then you can have a cup of tea with them, but probably outside. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.

How to walk your dog safely around livestock

Many areas of the countryside tended to by the National Trust include, or are surrounded by, farmland. Please help us to keep you, your dog and farmers’ livestock safe by keeping your dog on a lead when walking near or across farmland.

Even small dogs can unintentionally scare sheep, which can have serious or even fatal consequences. When you're crossing fields with sheep in them, keep your dog on a lead at all times.

There are areas at Alderley Edge where sheep are close by, although they cannot be seen from the paths. We've put signs in these areas to help you navigate the most suitable paths with your pets.

If you think you are in danger from cattle, release your dog so you can both escape separately, and please always leave gates as you found them. Click here to learn more about the Countryside Code and for more information please visit:

Dogs and wildlife at Alderley Edge and the Cheshire countryside

Some of the countryside sites we care for are designated for the significance of their wildlife. Many species live within woodlands, heathland, in ponds, across the fields and hedgerows. Several of these species are on the endangered list and we know that as animal lovers, dog-walking visitors are keen to help us protect them.

The best way to do this is to keep dogs on short leads between 1 March and 31 July during bird ground-nesting season. This is particularly important at rare heathland sites such as Bickerton Hill, Thurstaston Common and on the Cloud near Congleton, where other species including invertebrates and reptiles will also be breeding.

Dog Fouling and Dog Control Public Spaces Protection Order

A Dog Fouling and Dog Control Public Spaces Protection Order is in effect within the borough of Cheshire East. Several National Trust places, including Hare Hill, Alderley Edge, Maggoty Wood, Mobberley and parts of Bickerton Hill, Mow Cop and the Cloud are in Cheshire East, and the order is enforceable within them.

Please help us keep the countryside a beautiful, healthy and pleasant place for everyone to walk by bagging up any dog mess and taking it away to dispose of at home.

Anyone failing to remove their dog's mess, or anyone who has not put their dog on a lead when asked to do so by the landowner, will be subject to an ‘on the spot’ Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100.

You can find out more about the order from the Cheshire East Council website.

Thank you for helping keep Cheshire and Wirral countryside an enjoyable place to visit, and livestock and nesting wildlife safe, as you and your dog enjoy your walk.

Visitors walking their dogs in the garden at Sizergh, Cumbria
Visitors walking their dogs in the garden at Sizergh, Cumbria | © National Trust Images/John Millar

The Canine Code

We’ve worked with our partner Forthglade to come up with this Canine Code, which helps to make sure everyone can enjoy their day:

  • Keep them close: using a short lead helps to keep your dog from disturbing ground-nesting birds and farm animals. It's essential to use a short lead around sheep. But if cattle approach you, it's best to let your dog off the lead, and call them back when it's safe to do so.
  • Pick up the poo: please always clear up after your dog. If you can't find a bin nearby, take the poo bags home with you.
  • Watch the signs: keep an eye on local signs and notices wherever you're walking. They'll tell you if a beach has a dog ban, for instance, or if a path has been diverted, or if you're in an area where dogs can run off-lead.
  • Stay on the ball: remember that not everyone loves dogs, and some people fear them. So make sure your dog doesn't run up to other people, especially children.

Keeping control of your dog

Our definition of close or effective control is: ​

  • Being able to recall your dogs in any situation at the first call
  • Being able to clearly see your dog at all times (not just knowing they have gone into the undergrowth or over the crest of the 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 or wildlife, or if you are asked to use one
The view across the countryside from the sandstone escarpment of Alderley Edge, Cheshire. There are rocks and trees at the edge of a steep descent, and countryside stretches ahead towards the horizon.

Discover more at Alderley Edge and the Cheshire Countryside

Find out how to get to Alderley Edge and the Cheshire Countryside, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

Our partners


We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade so that you and your dog can get even more out of the special places we care for.

Visit website 

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