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Visiting Sissinghurst Castle Garden with your dog

Visitors with a dog enjoying an autumnal walk on the estate at Wallington, Northumberland
Enjoy the estate at Sissinghurst with your dog | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

There are more than 450 acres for your dog to explore out on the estate around Sissinghurst Castle Garden. With lakes to jump into and wide-open fields, they're sure to have a great 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.

Sissinghurst Castle Garden is a one pawprint rated place.

Dogs are welcome here, but facilities are limited. They’ll be able to stretch their legs in the car park and walk in the nearby open spaces, depending on the season. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.

Where can my dog go?

Dogs on leads are welcome around the wider estate at Sissinghurst. Please keep your dogs under close control at all times when near livestock.

Where can’t my dog go?

Dogs (except assistance dogs) aren’t able to go in the garden, vegetable garden or any of the buildings.

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
Close-up of a visitor holding their dog on a lead at the Vyne, Hampshire
Dogs are welcome at Sissinghurst | © National Trust Images/Karen Legg

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.

Facilities for your dog

Dog drinking bowls can be found outside Visitor Reception, Granary Restaurant and the Old Dairy Coffee Shop.

There are three dog waste bins dotted around for owners to dispose of dog litter. The locations are listed below, if you need a hand finding any of these please ask at visitor reception and they'll be able to point you in the right direction.

  • In the orchard next to the top bay of the car park
  • Near the back of the Elizabethan barn which is next to the shop
  • At the entrance gate to lake field
The tower is seen through the branches of a magnolia tree, with a few pale pink flowers, at Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent

Discover more at Sissinghurst

Find out when Sissinghurst Castle Garden 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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