Skip to content

Visiting Gibside with your dog

Young girl smiling holding a small fluffy dog.
There's somewhere for every member of the family | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Your four-legged friends are welcome at Gibside – there's lots of roaming and sniffing to be done. There's plenty of dog-friendly areas, including an off-lead pen and space at the café, so you can relax indoors with a cuppa.

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.

Gibside is a three pawprint rated place.

Three pawprints shows the very best places you can visit for a day with your dog. You’ll be able to take your dog to most areas, including indoors for a cup of tea and a treat. There’ll be clearly signed dog zones and dog-friendly experiences. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.

Where can my dog go?

With 15 miles of paths to explore and trees to sniff, your dog will enjoy Gibside just as much as you do.

Your best friend can join you inside or out for a cuppa and a treat at Market Place café or Carriage House Coffee Shop.

Beside the Stables, there is an off-lead area for pooches to be sociable and run laps, without putting themselves, visitors and other wildlife at risk.

After a fun day of adventures, shower down muddy paws at Visitor Reception.

What do I need to be aware of at Gibside?

While you're out and about, please help to keep the countryside a fun and healthy place for you and your dog, other visitors, wildlife and livestock:

  • Keep your dog on a lead at all times – extendable leads are fine everywhere except the Skyline Walk, where there may be livestock
  • Pick up your dog mess and place it in a dog bin
  • Only bring assistance dogs into the Chapel
  • There's a dog-friendly seating area in the cafe and a cleaning station for muddy paws. Keep dogs on the floor, not on chairs and tables, when they join you in the café areas.
  • Please read the rules for the off-lead pen before releasing your dog
Two women walking through the fields with their dogs.
Visitors walking their dogs at Gibside. | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

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

We’re here to help make your visit as enjoyable as possible with things like:

  • Water bowls around the estate – please use the taps to fill them up, if needed
  • Six dog mess bins, as shown on the estate map
  • Spare leads, in case you happen to forget yours or something happens to it (we've all been there)
  • Dog mess bags – if you arrive at visitor reception and realise you don't have any, just ask and we’ll be happy to help
  • A dog shower at visitor reception, so muddy paws can be sprayed clean before you leave.
  • An off-lead area for furry friends to explore.

Dog of the month

Help promote responsible dog walking by sharing a photo of your furry companion on their lead.

Each month, a dog of the month is chosen and the winning photo is displayed in the dog information pod, which you can find on the wooden walkway.

To enter, just upload your dog’s photo using #GibsideDogs to your Facebook or Instagram page and make sure to make the post public. In the description, share their name and what they like best about Gibside for their best chance of winning.

Visitors in the stable yard at Gibside

Discover more at Gibside

Find out when Gibside is open, how to get here, 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 

You might also be interested in

Visitor walking the 'green corridor' at Bathampton Meadows, Somerset

Dog-friendly places to visit 

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.

Visitors on a walk with their dog in Heddon Valley, Devon

Visiting National Trust places with your dog 

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.

A man sitting at a cafe table with two large dogs

Best walks with dog-friendly cafés 

After a good dog walk in the fresh air, find a place to sit and relax with your dog in a dog-friendly café.

Dog enjoying a Forthglade treat at Attingham Park, Shropshire

How we're working with Forthglade for dog-friendly visits 

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.

Wildlfower meadow in the foreground with the Hall beyond at Gibside

History of Gibside 

The wealthiest heiress in Georgian times, horseback abductions, divorces and illegitimate children are just a part of Gibside’s incredible story.

Close up of two young boys eating ice creams.

Eating at Gibside 

There’s something for everyone at Gibside’s cafés, including freshly made sandwiches, wood-fired pizzas, kids' lunchboxes and, of course, really good coffee.

Visitors exploring the orangery ruin

Things to see and do at Gibside 

Discover a much-celebrated Palladian church at Gibside, take a history tour, explore the estate and enjoy outdoor play for families.

A happy spaniel walking with its owner on the grass at at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire

Dog-friendly places in the North East 

Discover some great places to walk your dog in the North East, from beaches to woodland trails, and the facilities that are available there.