Visiting Scotney Castle with your dog
Dogs are very welcome at Scotney and with 780 acres of estate covering woodland and parkland as well gardens, we've got plenty of walks to choose from, and dogs are welcome in the tea-room and shops too. You can also pick up your Pooch Passport at Scotney (details below). (We do need dogs to be on leads on the property and, because of grazing animals, in areas of open parkland and farm land on the estate.
Scotney Castle is one of 19 NT properties across London and the South East taking part in the Pooch Passport which runs from 1 September to 29 February.
Pick up your free Pooch Passport at the visitor entrance, get six stamps from six unique visits with your dog to participating NT properties and claim your free bag of tasty Forthglade dog treats. Fill two passports with stamps from 12 unique visits and get a stylish, limited edition National Trust dog "ruff".
For details of all the special NT places taking part in this scheme, visit Pooch Passport scheme terms and conditions | National Trust
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.
Scotney Castle is a three pawprint place.
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. Read on to discover exactly what is on offer for canine visitors at Scotney and where you can take your dog.
Water bowls are available in the Courtyard area and by the Visitor Entrance, and there is fresh running water to top up doggy water bowls or bottles at the walkers’ toilet block. After an exciting estate walk you can rinse off mucky paws using the spray by the walkers' toilet block. Dog bins are located by the WCs in the main courtyard and by the white five-bar Salvin Gate at the visitor entrance at the entrance to the estate. Staff in the shop, tea-room and at visitor entrance also have a supply of free doggy treats for four-legged visitors. Yocan also purchase doggy ice-creams in the shop and tea-room.
Where can my dog go?
Scotney is a very dog-friendly property and dogs are welcome on short leads in the main Picturesque garden, the shop and tea-room; we do ask that dogs in the tea-room are tucked under tables to prevent them being an obstacle or trip hazard for other visitors or staff.
The estate at Scotney Castle provides miles of beautiful walking for you and your canine companion. However, as it is also home to a variety of wildlife and grazing livestock, dogs must be kept on a lead when walking on parkland.
Only assistance dogs are permitted in the house, old castle and walled garden.
Where can't my dog go?
Only assistance dogs are allowed in the house, old castle and the walled garden.
Occasionally we may not be able to accommodate dogs in the tea-room because of events taking place, but the manager on duty will advise you on this upon arrival.
Dogs are permitted off lead at our woodland sites at Sprivers and Nap Wood. However, please be mindful during the bird-nesting season (end of March to end of August) to prevent the disturbance of ground-nesting birds. Where there are lambs and sheep at Sprivers please put your dog on a lead.
Nap Wood is just off the A267 Tunbridge Wells to Eastbourne road, and the postcode for Sprivers Woods is TN12 8DN.
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
Discover the best places for a dog walk, from coastal adventures and dramatic mountains to more leisurely walks near you. Plus find information on dog-friendly cafés and read our Canine Code.
If you’re bringing your dog to the places we care for, here’s information on the Canine Code and pawprint rating system to plan your visit.
After a good dog walk in the fresh air, find a place to sit and relax with your dog in a dog-friendly café.
We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade to create the Dogs Welcome project, helping you and your dog to get the most out of the places in our care.
Explore the picturesque garden and wider estate at Scotney Castle, from walled garden to woodland and year-round colour.
As the days get a bit chillier there's nothing better than coming in from a walk on the estate to a bowl of delicious, warming homemade soup in the tea-room.
From secret doors to ornate furniture and amazing collections of art, costume, books and silverware, find out about the house at Scotney Castle and how the Hussey family made it a home.