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Visiting Morston Quay with your dog

Dogs at Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire
Dogs are welcome at Morston Quay | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Morston Quay is part of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve. Here you'll find everything you need to know about bringing your canine friend to this special part of Norfolk.

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.

Morston Quay 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 at Morston Quay?

Dogs are welcome at Morston Quay and along the local footpaths.

Where can’t my dog go?

Please stay on the footpaths with your four-legged friends to avoid disturbance to ground-nesting birds.

What facilities are available for dog owners at Morston Quay?

You will find bowls of water available at the café. Please do ask if you would like us to refil a bottle of water for your dog. There is a ring mounted on the side of the café for you to secure you dog to if needed.

There are two dog bins available at Morston, one near the information centre just before you head up onto the bank and the other is situated at the west end of the overflow car park on the route of the North Norfolk Coastal Path.

What do I need to be aware of at Morston Quay?

Morston is a working quayside with vehicles and trailers coming and going, so please keep dogs on leads or under close control around the car park and quayside areas.

Many of the birds breeding on the coast, including oystercatchers, terns, redshanks, avocets and ringed plovers nest on the ground, making them especially vulnerable to disturbance.

Whilst many factors have a bearing on breeding success, human and particularly dog disturbance can have a significant impact. The presence of dogs can cause birds to leave nests and chicks, leaving them open to predation by gulls and other predators.

It is important to always keep dogs under close control and to stay away from fenced off areas. Some ground-nesting birds such as avocets and little terns are protected species and disturbing these species, even unintentionally, is a prosecutable offence.

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
Male marsh harrier in flight over the saltmarsh at Morston Quay, Blakeney National Nature Reserve, Norfolk

Discover more at Morston Quay

Find out how to get to Morston Quay, 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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