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Visiting Hinton Ampner with your dog

Dog on a lead at Nostell Priory in West Yorkshire
Walking your dog at Hinton Ampner | © National Trust Images/John Miller

Hinton Ampner is a large estate set in the heart of the South Downs. With 200 hectares of woodland to explore, and miles of beautiful walking routes to follow, Hinton Ampner is the perfect place to bring your dog year-round. Read on before your visit to ensure everyone enjoys their time 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.

Hinton Ampner is a two pawprint rated place.

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. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog

Where can my dog go at Hinton Ampner?

Dogs are welcome in the gardens, shop and second-hand bookshop on short leads, and on all the estate walks. We ask for dogs to be kept under close control whilst in our kitchen garden, as the produce grown there is used in the food sold in the café. Only assistance dogs are allowed in the house and café but there is plenty of outdoor, under cover seating for you to sit with your dog. Water bowls are provided outside the café and there is a dog waste bin located by the entrance to the estate walks by the church.

What do I need to be aware of at Hinton Ampner?

As the estate is a fully functioning commercial farm we ask that you abide by the following guidelines to ensure the safety of you and your dog, other visitors to Hinton Ampner and the livestock and wildlife on the estate:

  • Keep your dog on a lead at all times around the garden and livestock, and under close control on the wider estate
  • Pick up your dog's waste and place it in the bin provided by the entrance to the estate walks
  • Respect the fact that not everyone loves dogs. Please only allow them to approach other visitors and dogs with their consent
  • Be mindful of the countryside code and keep an eye out for warning and information signs around the estate during your walk.

Why is it important to keep my dog on a lead?

At Hinton Ampner we work with farmers who use the estate to graze their livestock all year round.

Even if you know your dog well, there is a risk they could become excited by unusual smells or sounds of movement of the livestock and react unpredictably, creating stressful and avoidable situations which could result in prosecutions and a fine for the dog owner as well as causing unnecessary stress to the animals.

Even if your dog is not known to bite livestock, chasing or barking at them can cause pregnant animals to lose their young through stress.

Ground nesting birds

Between 1 March and 31 July, you must have your dog on a lead no more than two metres long on open access land, even if there is no livestock on the land. These are legal requirements which, if broken, could result in a fine of up to £1,000.

In the spring many ground-nesting birds can be spotted on the estate. It's important to keep your dog under close control to avoid disturbing these birds and other wildlife.

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

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.
The south front at Hinton Ampner, Hampshire

Discover more at Hinton Ampner

Find out when Hinton Ampner 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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