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Visiting Dunham Massey with your dog

A parent and child with a balance bike and a large black dog, on an estate pathway, with red brick buildings in the distance
Enjoy a family dog walk on the estate at Dunham Massey, Cheshire | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

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.

Visitor dog walking at Ickworth, Suffolk
Dogs on leads are welcome at Dunham Massey | © National Trust Images/Rob Stothard

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

Forthglade

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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