Visiting Corfe Castle with your dog
Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome at Corfe Castle all year round. We know dogs are part of the family, so they can join you on every step of the visitor experience – whether that’s exploring the castle ruins, grabbing a bite to eat, browsing in the shop, or enjoying the spectacular views on one of our walking trails through the surrounding landscape.
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.
Corfe Castle is a three pawprint rated place.
These are the very best places 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.
Where can my dog go at Corfe Castle?
- Dogs on leads are welcome in the Castle, Tea-room (indoor and outdoor seating), Shop, Castle View Welcome Centre and on our walking trails in the surrounding countryside.
- Water bowls are located outside Castle View Welcome Centre, outside the Ticket Office, and just inside the entrance of the Castle.
- The Shop often stocks a small range of canine accessories including harnesses, water bowls, toys and treats.
- Gourmet dog treats are available to buy in the Tea-room.
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
Corfe Castle offers plenty to see and do, including walks around the ruins, a story trail and wildlife spotting in the surrounding hills. Find out more.
Situated in an 18th century former cottage, the Tea-room at Corfe Castle serves a delicious menu of hot and cold food, drinks, cakes and bakes. Afterwards, stop off at the Shop to discover beautiful collections of homewares, gifts and locally made ranges to take home with you. The second-hand book shop located in Castle View is also filled with literary treasures.
Explore Corfe Common and look out for signs of early human activity at this interesting archaeological landscape near Corfe Castle, Dorset.
This walk along the roof of Purbeck takes in Corfe Castle and Old Harry with the option to return by steam train on the Swanage Railway (when operating).