Visiting Gibside with your dog
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, trees to sniff and grass to explore, 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
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.
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.
The wealthiest heiress in Georgian times, horseback abductions, divorces and illegitimate children are just a part of Gibside’s incredible story.
There’s something for everyone at Gibside’s cafés, including freshly made sandwiches, tasty jacket potatoes, kids' lunchboxes and, of course, really good coffee.
Discover a much-celebrated Palladian church at Gibside, take a history tour, explore the estate and enjoy outdoor play for families.