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Visiting Calke Abbey with your dog

Visitors walking in the parkland with their dog at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
Visitors walking in the parkland at Calke Abbey | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

We love dogs at Calke Abbey, and they're more than welcome to enjoy the parkland, gardens and stableyards. Well-behaved pooches can also enjoy a treat inside the restaurant or café.

Look out for livestock

Lots of livestock graze around the estate, including a flock of sheep and a herd of long-horn cattle. Livestock can often be found on the meadows, the historic drive and Lime Avenue – please help protect the animals by keeping your dog on a lead and under control in areas where there are livestock. 

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.

Calke Abbey is a three pawprint rated place.

Three pawprints shows the very best places you can visit for a day with your dog. You’ll be able to take your dog to most areas, including indoors for a cup of tea and a treat. There’ll be clearly signed dog zones and dog-friendly experiences. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.

Where can my dog go?

Dogs are welcome to enjoy the parkland at Calke Abbey, where you’ll find miles of woodland walks, open countryside and lots of ponds. You can also bring your dogs to the stableyards, gardens, restaurant, shop and second-hand bookshop, provided they’re on a short lead.

Dogs can be off-lead in many areas of the estate, as long as they’re under close control. Download our dog-walking guide at the end of this page to find out where your dog can roam free.

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

Where can’t my dog go?

Only assistance dogs are allowed inside the house, toilets and church – please make sure they’re wearing an identity harness.

Please be aware that we’re unable to provide shaded parking at Calke Abbey. Even on a mild day, the temperature inside a car can become very hot. We ask that you keep your dog safe and do not leave them in the car.

Image shows a child petting a dog
Dogs are welcome at Calke Abbey | © John Millar

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.

Facilities available for my dog

Just outside the restaurant courtyard there are tethering rings and water bowls for your dog. You will also find water bowls outside the café and plenty of shaded eating areas.

There are plenty of dog poo bins around the estate, conveniently positioned in areas of high footfall. These are marked on the map in our dog-walking guide.

Dogs are welcome to join you inside our café at Staunton Harold Reservoir, a pleasant half-hour walk away. The café is open every day, serving a range of light refreshments and treats for your dog.

Calke's dog walking guide

Download Calke's guide for dog walkers for all the information you may need to explore with your four-legged friend.

A view of the west side of the house and  a glimpse of the Pleasure Grounds through trees on a sunny day at Calke Abbey

Discover more at Calke Abbey

Find out when Calke Abbey 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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