Skip to content

Visiting Dunham Massey with your dog

Family walk at Dunham Massey
Enjoy a walk on the estate at Dunham Massey, Cheshire - National Trust Images/James Dobson | © James Dobson

Enjoy some fantastic walks with your dog at Dunham Massey. There’s over 300 acres of ancient parkland in which to stretch your legs.

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.

Dunham Massey is a three pawprint rated place.

Three pawprints shows the very best places you can visit for a day with your dog. You’ll be able to take your dog to most areas, including indoors for a cup of tea and a treat. There’ll be clearly signed dog zones and dog-friendly experiences. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.

Dogs love Dunham Massey

With water bowls, dog bins and plenty of dog-friendly space to walk, dogs love a day out at Dunham Massey.

Dogs are welcome on a short lead in the deerpark. Keeping dogs on leads helps us to protect our wildlife, including ground-nesting birds, rabbits and a herd of fallow deer.

In the gardens, dogs are welcome from 12 noon on a short lead, across the paths and lawn.

If you'd like your dog to have an energetic run-around, there's lots of space in the North Park. Check the map outside the Visitor Centre for directions on arrival, or ask one of our friendly Welcome Team.

Where else can my dog go?

Welcome across the deerpark, North Park and gardens (from 12noon), dogs are frequent visitors to Dunham Massey.

For a frozen treat or warm drink, you can order and sit with your dog in the Ice Cream Parlour. The Stables Restaurant has a dog-friendly area as you enter to the right. Or, enjoy outdoor refreshments on the Cafe terrace with your furry friend.

Assistance Dogs only in the historic buildings, larger Stables Restaurant space, and in the gardens in the mornings.

What do I need to be aware of at Dunham Massey?

As well as following the Canine Code, be sure to keep an eye out for any signs or notices on the estate while you're out walking your dog.

Dog on a lead at Nostell Priory in West Yorkshire
Dogs on leads are welcome at Dunham Massey | © National Trust Images/John Miller

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
Deer resting on the lawn at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

Discover more at Dunham Massey

Find out when Dunham Massey is open, how to get here, 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 

You might also be interested in

Two walkers with dogs on a grassy area next to a stone bridge, crossing a broad, shallow river

Dog-friendly places to visit 

Discover the best places for a dog walk, from coastal adventures and dramatic mountains to more leisurely walks near you. Plus find information on dog-friendly cafés and read our Canine Code.

Two people leaning against a wall, with a fluffy golden-brown dog looking at a packet of treats

Visiting National Trust places with your dog 

If you’re bringing your dog to the places we care for, here’s information on the Canine Code and pawprint rating system to plan your visit.

A man sitting at a cafe table with two large dogs

Best walks with dog-friendly cafés 

After a good dog walk in the fresh air, find a place to sit and relax with your dog in a dog-friendly café.

Dog enjoying a Forthglade treat at Attingham Park, Shropshire

How we're working with Forthglade for dog-friendly visits 

We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade to create the Dogs Welcome project, helping you and your dog to get the most out of the places in our care.

Rhododendron in full bloom, Dunham Massey, Cheshire.

Things to do in the garden at Dunham Massey 

There’s nothing like a garden full of summer flowers to lift your spirits and reawaken your senses. See the garden come to life with an array of vibrant colours. From roses to giant lilies, there's something new to see every time you visit through summer.

A family in the medieval deer park at Dunham Massey, with two young fallow deer in the foreground

Visiting the deer park at Dunham Massey 

Dunham Massey's deer park is an historic parkland and naturally spacious place to visit. Walk along the leafy avenues and admire the far-reaching views while getting a breath of fresh air.

A cup of coconut hot chocolate with a topping of whipped cream is positioned bottom-right on a wooden surface with yellow lights out of focus in the background.

Eating and shopping at Dunham Massey 

There's a great choice of food and drink at Dunham Massey, with options to sit inside or outside. Afterwards, visit the shops and discover a treasure trove of goodies, ideal for a gift or souvenir.

A dog enjoying a winter walk in the grounds at Trelissick, Cornwall

Dog-friendly places in Cheshire and Greater Manchester 

With dog-friendly gardens, countryside and ancient woodland to choose from in Cheshire and Greater Manchester, you're spoilt for choice for your next adventure with your dog.