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Visiting Canons Ashby with your dog

Six small white dogs, led by two people, Blenheim Palace Oxfordshire
Bring your four-legged friend for a walk on your day out. | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Dogs are part of the family at Canons Ashby. Enjoy a family walk around the garden or in the historic parkland, but please keep your well-behaved dog on a short lead at all times, as there are often sheep and cows grazing in the parkland.

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.

Canons Ashby 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?

We welcome well-behaved dogs, on a short lead, anywhere outside, except for the children's Wild Play Corner. Please ensure your dog stays on a short lead, as there are often livestock and wildlife in the park.

There are several footpaths and walks nearby, however, bear in mind that local stiles are mostly filled in underneath to prevent lambs escaping, so these routes are only accessible if you can lift your dog over a stile. Many fields have sheep and cows in them all year round.

Where can't my dog go?

The indoor spaces, and children's Wild Play Corner are unsuitable for dogs, other than assistance dogs.

Facilities available for my dog

There is a dog poo bin at the top of the paddock near the blackboard signs at the top of the path, and on the fence by the road gate at the bottom of the paddock. Please ask at visitor reception if you can't find it. Otherwise, please take it home with you.

There are water bowls dotted around to keep your pups hydrated, and an outdoor tap available on the left of the tea-room building which you are welcome to use.

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 walking along a grass path through the garden at Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire. There are summer flowers in bloom on the right and neatly clipper topiary can be seen in the background with the house behind.

Discover more at Canons Ashby

Find out when Canons Ashby is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

Our partners

Forthglade

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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