Visiting Castle Coole with your dog
Dogs are welcome at Castle Coole. With acres of parkland to explore there of plenty of opportunities for bounding, jumping, sniffing and splashing through this Fermanagh estate.
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.
Castle Coole 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.
Best places for dog walks at Castle Coole
Pull on your walking boots and stride out on a country adventure with your dog. The two trails available at Castle Coole are the Beech Trail and Lake Walk Trail, which are both dog friendly walks for you and your furry companion to enjoy.
Tips to Remember
Please keep your dogs under control: please respect other walkers and keep your dogs on leads, especially as the walks are alongside water and other areas which could be a risk for an uncontrolled dog.
Respect the wildlife: the estate is home to an assortment of animals and plants, especially wildflowers such as the bluebells which we wish to protect, with the lake being home to an array of creatures, livestock and plants on the Beech trail.
Don’t leave any presents behind: Please come prepared to clean up after your dog. There are dog waste bins on the estate so no waste is left for other users to discover.
Does my dog need to be kept on a lead?
Yes. Dogs must be kept on a short lead across the property. The grounds of Castle Coole are home to a wide variety of species and dogs off lead can disturb nesting sites and lead to physical damage of habitat through the trampling of vegetation, which can adversely damage more fragile species of plants.
Dogs off lead may also foul in areas where ongoing wildflife conservation is taking place. Dogs off lead may also disturb or upset other visitors, with and without dogs, who are not comfortable with dogs off lead.
Please note: Dogs are not permitted on the farmland. This is a grazing area and livestock should not be disturbed.
What can I do with my dog’s waste?
Help us to keep Castle Coole a clean place for all our visitors to enjoy.
- Clear up after your dog, no matter where it may have fouled
- Dispose of your dog’s waste responsibly. Do not leave dog waste by the path side, throw bags into the grassland, or even worse hang in the trees
- Please clear up immediately if your dog fouls
- Waste can be disposed of in any general waste bin or at home.
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
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.
Stride out on a walk through the woodland park, stroll beside the lake or join a guided tour to discover a historic landscape.
Tuck into a seasonal menu of hot lunches, sandwiches, teas, coffees, cakes and bakes in the historic Tallow House Tea-room at Castle Coole.
Step inside one of the finest neo-classical houses in Ireland, experience the ornate interiors and explore the extensive servant’s’ world below stairs.
With water bowls, hitching posts and plenty of ground to cover, the places in our care aren't just for history-loving hounds. The sandy beaches and woodland trails on offer are a dog-walker's dream. From dog exercise areas to dog-friendly accommodation, discover a slice of canine heaven when visiting with your four-legged friend.