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Visiting the Heysham Coast with your dog

A dog enjoying a winter walk in the grounds at Trelissick, Cornwall
A dog on a walk | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

The Heysham Coast is a great place to explore the sandstone headland and take in the views over Morecambe Bay with your four-legged friend.

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 Heysham Coast is a one pawprint rated place. Dogs are welcome here, but facilities are limited.

Caring for birdlife

As most dog lovers are animal lovers too, wanting to look after birdlife will be second nature.

Breeding wading birds at the coast often get disturbed by dogs running through the middle of them, causing them to fly up and leave their nests and their chicks. Birds nesting in low shrubs are regularly ripped out of their nests by inquisitive dogs and often fatally injured.

You can help keep birdlife safe on the Heysham Coast by keeping your dog under close control by your side or on a short lead.

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
Exposed trenched graves in a slab of rock near the ruins of St Patrick's Chapel at Heysham Coast, Lancashire; these have been dated as pre-Norman and are unique in the United Kingdom.

Discover more at Heysham Coast

Find out how to get to Heysham 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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