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Visiting Ashclyst Forest with your dog

Two visitors walking a small dog in woodland at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge
Dogs love walking within Ashclyst Forest | © National Trust Images/John Millar

This woodland area is a great place to reconnect with nature, whether it's for a family ramble or dog walk. Dogs will love the natural woodland and commercial plantations that offer shade and plenty of leaves to sniff through.

Planning your visit

Ashclyst is just a few miles from Killerton. It is signposted from the main site and easy to find. There are lots of places to park around the forest, but the main car parks are Ashclyst Forest car park and Caddihoe.

Nearby Killerton has toilet facilities, dog water bowls and a dog friendly café for refreshments after a lengthy stomp through the forest.

Dog walking at Ashclyst Forest

There are acres of woodland where dogs can exercise off the lead whilst under close control, and enjoy all the smells, sights and sounds of the countryside. Dogs in doggy strollers and backpacks are also welcome.

When should I use a lead?

Please use a lead in the car parks to keep your dog safe - once you are in the forest they can be off the lead. Please ensure that your dog is under close control at all times and look out for seasonal signs advising you where livestock is present. Please keep dogs on a lead around any livestock.

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
Close-up view of a brown and white dog, held on a lead, with fallen leaves on the ground, at Clent Hills, Worcestershire
Dogs love the sights and smells of Ashclyst Forest | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

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.
Horse riding in the area around Eight Wantz Ways in Hatfield Forest, Essex

Discover Ashclyst Forest

Find out how to get to Ashclyst Forest, 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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