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Visiting Carrick-a-Rede with your dog

Dogs at Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire
Dogs on leads are welcome at Carrick-a-Rede but are not allowed on the rope bridge | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

The coastal route to Carrick-a-Rede is a great walk for you and your dog if they're kept on a lead. However, dogs are not allowed on the rope bridge. Find out more below, including what facilities are available for your dog.

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.

Carrick-a-Rede 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 your dog go at Carrick-a-Rede?

Dogs on leads are welcome at Carrick-a-Rede but for everyone's safety, dogs are not allowed to cross the Rope Bridge.

Dogs can accompany you on the 1km walk down to the bridge and either wait with a family member while you cross the bridge or be tied up until you return from the Island.

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
Sunset over the coastline at Carrick-a-Rede, County Antrim in summer

Discover more at Carrick-a-Rede

Find out when Carrick-a-Rede 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 

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