Visiting Allen Banks with your dog
Allen Banks is for the whole family, including your four-legged friends. This special place has plenty to keep your dog entertained, with lots of sticks and 220 hectares of ground to cover.
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.
Allen Banks and Staward Gorge 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 are welcome on all the trails at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge. We ask that you follow our Canine Code to help us keep the countryside a safe, healthy and enjoyable place for you and your dog, other visitors, wildlife and livestock.
What do I need to be aware of at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge?
Allen Banks is full of wildlife such as roe deer, red squirrels and badgers. Some trails also involve walking through fields with livestock. Please keep your dog on a lead when walking through farmers’ fields, and don’t let them chase wildlife or farm animals. In the woodland, always keep your dog in sight and under control.
We also ask that you observe any local notices when you’re out and about.
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
Facilities available for my dog
There are bins in the car park where you can dispose of your dog’s waste.
Discover the best places for a dog walk, from coastal adventures and dramatic mountains to more leisurely walks near you. Plus find information on dog-friendly cafés and read our Canine Code.
If you’re bringing your dog to the places we care for, here’s information on the Canine Code and pawprint rating system to plan your visit.
After a good dog walk in the fresh air, find a place to sit and relax with your dog in a dog-friendly café.
We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade to create the Dogs Welcome project, helping you and your dog to get the most out of the places in our care.
Get out into nature and explore the rich ‘wilderness garden’ at Allen Banks – a woodland paradise with walking trails and abundant wildlife including red squirrels and roe deer.
Northumberland’s largest semi-natural woodland has been shaped by its many owners over the centuries, most notably by its dedicated 19th-century custodian, Susan Davidson.
Find out about our work at Allen Banks & Staward Gorge, including turning rhododendron into charcoal and restoring woodland habitat by replacing hectares of non-native conifers.