Visiting Derrymore with your dog
Take your dog for a stroll through acres of picturesque parkland and woodland. Complete with an off-lead area, dog water bowls and additional facilities for dogs we want you to make the most of your visit and enjoy your time with us.
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.
Derrymore House is a two 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.
What do I need to be aware of at Derrymore House?
We kindly request that you keep your dog on a lead at all times while on the estate including in the car park. Not everyone is comfortable around dogs, and while your dog may be well-behaved off lead and friendly towards strangers, or other dogs, this is not always the case. Please keep yourself right and keep your dog on a lead during your walk to ensure your safety and enjoyment and that of other visitors.
Dogs must be kept on a short lead in the following areas:
- Car park - We value your dog’s safety so please put your dog on a lead before letting it out of your car.
- The estate - Off-lead activity can lead to physical damage of habitat through the trampling of vegetation, which can adversely damage more fragile species of plants. Dogs off lead can also cause problems of disturbance to species, particularly species of wildlife. Please respect our conservation aims by keeping your dog on a short lead throughout the estate.
What facilities are available for dogs?
Dog waste bags
As a responsible dog owner please pick up after your dog and help ensure that all visitors who use the estate don’t get mess on their shoes, pram or wheelchair tyres, or even their hands in the case of small children playing. Once full, your ‘special’ bags can be placed in any outdoor bins onsite.
There are water bowls at the edge of the car park so your canine companion can have a refreshing drink before getting back into your car or walking home.
Where can't my dog go?
Throughout the year the farmland and fields around Derrymore are occupied by livestock, ground nesting birds and other wildlife. These areas are part of ongoing wildlife conservation projects so we ask that dogs and people stick to the paths and do not enter the fields, to prevent disturbance to wildlife and livestock.
Assistance dogs only are permitted within Derrymore house.
This area is managed by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. To ensure this area remains a safe space for children the council have made this a no-go area for dogs.
If you are unsure where to take your dog, please chat with the visitor welcome team who are happy to help.
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.
The ornamental cottage and landscaped estate are beautiful – but Derrymore’s past includes violence and political controversy, alongside some inspiring local history.
Visit Derrymore for picturesque walks through over 100 acres of parks and woodland, nature rambles, picnics and the historic 18th-century Derrymore House.
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.
Find out what being a volunteer at Derrymore involves and the current opportunities available.