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Visiting the Whitehaven Coast with your dog

Brown and white dog sitting on coastal path looking up at owner
Visitor exploring the Whitehaven Coast with their canine companion | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Bring your dog along on an adventure as you come and discover the Whitehaven Coast. Take in the wildflower meadows and the seaside views on our coastal path. Help us look after our wildlife by keeping your dogs on a short lead. Please help keep days out enjoyable for everyone by keeping your dog in close control, cleaning up after them and following the guidance below.

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.

The Whitehaven Coast is a one pawprint rated place.

Dogs are welcome here, but facilities are limited. They’ll be able to stretch their legs along the path 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 on the Whitehaven Coast?

Dogs are welcome all along the Whitehaven Coast and you might spot one of our rangers out with their trusty and well trained four-legged side-kick. Being a coastal site with an industrial heritage, there are a few features that post a danger of falling from height such as high walls, cuttings and cliff edges. Please make sure you are aware of these and keep your dogs on short leads when near them to avoid your pets coming to harm.

The coast is also a haven for wildlife which can be attractive to dogs. Please keep your dogs on short leads whenever wildlife are present and at all times between March and July to avoid disturbing nesting species and their young.

Please also be aware that there are certain areas on the coast which have no public access such as closed fields or other private property. These are of course off limits to dogs so please look out for signs.

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
A view over Whitehaven Harbour, Cumbria

Discover more at the Whitehaven Coast

Find out how to get to the Whitehaven Coast, where to park, 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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