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Visiting Mount Stewart with your dog

Visitors walking their dog in the parkland at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
Taking a walk at Mount Stewart, County Down | © ©National Trust Images/John Millar

Dogs are welcome at Mount Stewart, and with acres of countryside and woodland to explore there are plenty of opportunities for bounding, jumping, sniffing and splashing through the demesne.

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.

Mount Stewart 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 I take my dog?

Dogs on leads are welcome in the pleasure grounds, woodland walks, courtyard, shop and tea-room in the covered outdoor area.

There is an off-lead dog exercise area located next to Car Park 2 where you can let your dogs stretch their legs off the lead. Please ensure that you maintain close control over your dog in the exercise area, keep them within your sight at all times and ensure that your dog will respond immediately to your recall.

Where can’t I take my dog?

Assistance dogs only in the house. In the indoor part of the Tea-room only assistance dogs are allowed.

What facilities are available for my dog?

Freshly filled water bowls for your dog are positioned outside the reception area, courtyard and opposite the house. Please ask at reception if these need to be topped up and the team will be happy to assist. There is also a water tap in the dog exercise field and water bowls available at Trailhead.

Best places for dog walking at Mount Stewart

Pull on your walking boots and stride out on a woodland adventure with your pooch. Choose one of the walking trails, or why not come back and complete them all?

Dog with its owner
Visitor dog walking at Mount Stewart, County Down | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

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

Dogs in cars

Please do not leave your dog in your car unless you are quickly popping in to use the facilities. On a warm day the car park becomes very hot. If a dog is left in the car and appears distressed our policy is to inform the USPCA.

Professional dog walking at Mount Stewart

Professional dog walkers must obtain a licence if they wish to carry out their work at Mount Stewart, which allows professional dog walkers to legally walk up to four dogs at any one time. The annual licence costs £125 per year. Licences will need to be renewed each year.

You can get a licence for professional dog walking across our site by visiting Mount Stewart reception or email the team at: 

We will need to see evidence of your public liability insurance cover (£5 million cover required). Please be aware that most public liability insurance policies will be invalidated if you are walking dogs on land where you do not have the express consent of the landowner.

Current Licenced Professional Dog Walkers at Mount Stewart

We are delighted to welcome Poppy Petcare as a licenced dog walker to Mount Stewart. Based in Bangor, they are fully insured and offer a professional, caring and reliable dog walking and pet visit service.

A family walking across the garden lawn surrounded by flower beds and hedges at Mount Stewart, with a view of the house in the background

Discover more at Mount Stewart

Find out when Mount Stewart is open, how to get here, 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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