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Visiting Springhill with your dog

Dogs in the gardens at Cliveden, Buckinghamshire
Dog walkers at Springhill | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Dogs are welcome at Springhill. We want you and your furry companions to enjoy their visit. Please help to ensure that all visitors, with or without dogs, can enjoy their day by following these guidelines.

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.

Springhill is a two pawprint rated place.

Two pawprints means you'll be able to take your dog into some areas but, not all. There will be water bowls, dog bins and dog-friendly walks. If there’s a food and beverage outlet, you can have a cup of tea with them, probably outside.

Where can my dog go?

Dogs are welcome at Springhill. We ask that they are kept on a short lead whilst walking through the estate. Not every visitor or dog is comfortable with dogs off lead and we ask that you bear this in mind during your visit.

Dogs must be kept on a short lead in the following areas:

The car park

We value your dog’s safety so please put your dog on a lead before letting it out of your car.

The grounds and gardens

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 garden.

Please ensure that, wherever you are in estate, you clean up after your dog and dispose of waste in the bins provided. Please do not leave waste for someone to step in or for our garden team to clear. You'll be helping us keep Springhill clean for everyone, thank you.

Where can't my dog go?

Dogs are not permitted on the farmland. This is a grazing area. Livestock should not be disturbed.

Explore and Play

As this is an area intended for children their health and safety is a priority. Dogs must be kept on a short lead and must not be taken into the dens or onto the play equipment. Please be extra vigilant and prevent fouling to ensure this is a clean, safe space for children to play.


The house is off-limits to dogs, except guide dogs.

Visitor dog walking at Ickworth, Suffolk
Explore the dog friendly walks at Springhill | © National Trust Images/Rob Stothard

Facilities for dogs

I have forgotten my dog’s lead, what can I do?

We may be able to help. Ask a member of staff at our welcome area if you have forgotten your dog’s lead. We may be able to offer you a spare. Please be aware leads may not always be available.

Where can my dog get a drink?

Dogs can get a refreshing drink of water in the following places.

  • Welcome area
  • Café
  • Stableyard

What can I do with my dog’s waste?

Help us to keep Springhill 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
The Entrance Front of Springhill, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland showing both pavillions and part of the garden at sunset

Discover more at Springhill

Find out when Springhill 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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