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Visiting Bourne Mill with your dog

View across the pond of Bourne Mill, Essex
View across the pond of Bourne Mill | © National Trust Images/John Miller

Dogs on leads are welcome at Bourne Mill. This article explains where your dogs can and can't go, the facilities we provide for them and how to follow our Canine Code so that you, your dog and all our visitors can enjoy their day out here.

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.

Bourne Mill is a one pawprint rated place.

Dogs on leads are welcome here, but facilities are limited. They’ll be able to stretch their legs in the grounds and walk on the nearby footpaths. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.

What you can expect at Bourne Mill

  • Water and drinking bowl outside the main entrance to the mill building
  • Dog bins at the entrance to the neighbouring Bourne Valley Walk and also at the far end of the Bourne Pond, on Bourne Road
  • Cooler, wooded walk

Where can I take my dog?

Dogs on leads are allowed in the grounds. Dogs are allowed on the ground floor but not the upstairs of the mill building.

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
Visitors exploring the garden at Bourne Mill, Essex

Discover more at Bourne Mill

Find out when Bourne Mill 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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