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Visiting National Trust places with your dog

Two people leaning against a wall, with a fluffy golden-brown dog looking at a packet of treats
Visitors on a walk with their dog in Heddon Valley, Devon | © Forthglade

Learn about how we're welcoming dogs to the places in our care. Read our Canine Code, find out about the Dogs Welcome Project and discover how the pawprint rating system is now making it easier for you to plan a visit with your dog.

The Canine Code

We want you and your dog to have a fun and stress-free day. We also want to protect farm animals and precious wildlife habitats, as well as ensure everyone can enjoy the countryside, whether or not they have a dog. This is why we've teamed up with natural pet food maker Forthglade to put together the Canine Code.

A person and their dog walking in Murlough National Nature Reserve in County Down in Northern Ireland
Murlough National Nature Reserve, County Down, Northern Ireland | © National Trust Images/Christopher Heaney
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.
Dog treats and takeaway food at Attingham Park, Shropshire
Dog treats and takeaway food | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Pawprint rating system

We’ve worked in partnership with Forthglade to create a new pawprint rating system, which shows the facilities for your dog at the places we look after.

To find out what is on offer at the places in our care, check the visitor info tab on the property web page you want to visit.

Please note that all places with a pawprint rating welcome pet dogs, but the number of facilities differs, with 3 pawprints awarded to places that have the best facilities for dogs.

Best: Three pawprints

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.

Good: Two pawprints

These places have water bowls, dog bins and dog-friendly walks. You’ll be able to take your dog into some areas, but not everywhere. If there’s a food and beverage outlet, you can have a cup of tea with them, probably outside.

Standard: One pawprint

Dogs are welcome here, but facilities are limited. They’ll be able to stretch their legs and walk in the nearby open spaces, depending on the season.

Introducing the Dogs Welcome Project
From improving dog-friendly trails to providing more waste bins and wash-down areas, we're working with Forthglade to make sure you and your pup feel welcome. In this video, broadcaster and writer Simon Reeve explores Arlington Court in Devon to find out a bit more about the projectWatch the video
Two walkers with dogs on a grassy area next to a stone bridge, crossing a broad, shallow river

Where will you go next with your dog?

From walks for the whole family to quiet spots to enjoy with your dog, find a walk everyone will love.

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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Dog enjoying a Forthglade treat at Attingham Park, Shropshire

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

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