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Visiting Parke with your dog

Dog walking by the river at Parke
Dog walking by the river at Parke | © National Trust Images/Helen Yazhekov

Dogs are welcome all year round at Parke and there are plenty of places to explore. Please keep Parke enjoyable for everyone by keeping your dog on a short lead in certain areas, cleaning up after them, and following the guidance below.

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.

Parke is a one pawprint rated place.

Dogs are welcome here but there are some things you should keep in mind. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.

Where can my dog go at Parke?

Dogs are welcome across the estate under effective control.

During bird nesting season from 1 March to 31 July please keep Paws on the Path and give wildlife and livestock the space they need to thrive. We encourage the use of a short lead if your dog needs help staying close by.

For your dog’s safety, please keep them on a short lead in the car park. Dogs are welcome on a short lead into the Walled Garden and in the Long Room in Home Farm Café, accessible via the café side door.

If you’d like your dog to be able to run off the lead, you can use Parke’s new off-lead area between the river and disused railway line. Follow the directions in the section below.

There are great walks around the Parke estate that are ideal to explore with your dog all year round. You can take a walk along the river and return either along the disused railway track or the wooded hillside. You can also explore the expansive low parkland or the top fields by the orchard, though be aware of livestock grazing in these areas.

What facilities are available for dogs?

Dog water bowls

You will find these in the café courtyard and at the Welcome van when it is open.

Dog tether points

Tether points are provided on the café's outdoor tables, the picnic tables in the old tennis court area (near the carpark) and in the toilet courtyard.

Dog poo bins

These are located between the Parke entrance and cattle grid, by the car park opposite the orchard, near Home Farm Café, near the barn at the bottom of the main path to the river, and at the east end of the disused railway line. See the Parke map for the exact locations.

Dog off-lead area

A great place for your dog to run and play. The field is enclosed but please keep an eye on your dog. Follow the directions below or use the what3words location.

From the Parke car park:

Walk past the Welcome van down the path to Home Farm Café. Continue walking down the hill to Parke bridge. Go over the bridge then up the path to the disused railway line and turn right towards Bovey Tracey. After a short distance turn right down towards the river. You will see the access gate on the left.

what3words: ///acted.headlight.lunge

From Bovey Tracey via Mill Marsh Park path:

On entry to Parke, walk along the disused railway line taking the first left after the Bovey Parke Gauging Station. Walk down the steps, the access gate is on the right.

what3words: ///hoops.stunt.inhaler

What do I need to be aware of?

During bird nesting and lambing season from 1 March to 31 July please keep Paws on the Path and give wildlife and livestock the space they need to thrive.

Cattle and sheep are used for conservation grazing across the Parke estate all year round. Look out for seasonal signage and keep dogs on the lead when around livestock. The Countryside Code recommends you let your dog off the lead if you feel threatened by livestock so that you can both reach safety more easily.

You are also advised not to leave your pet in the car, as the car park has limited shade.

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
Painted lady butterfly on a strawflower

Discover more at Parke

Find out when Parke 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 

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