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Visiting Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak with your dog

A white dog on the lead at Calke Abbey with the legs of two people behind
A dog enjoying a woodland walk | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Dogs are welcome at Ilam Park, Dovedale and in the White Peak all year round and there are plenty of places to walk with your four-legged friend when you are here. To help all our visitors have an enjoyable time here, as well as protect wildlife and nature, please keep your dog on a short lead, clean up after them and follow the guidance below.

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.

Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak 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 my dog go at Ilam Park, Dovedale the White Peak?

Dogs on leads are welcome in all our outdoor spaces and in the outdoor seating areas of our café and grab and go outlet.

There are plenty of wonderful places to walk with your dog in the White Peak, with numerous pathways and bridleways to explore in parkland, in woodland ravines, on and amongst limestone crags or over the hilltops. See below for some trail ideas.

What facilities are available for dogs?

There are water bowls around the welcome hub, in the Stableyard and outside the Manifold tea-rooms at Ilam Park, and in the car park at Dovedale.

You will also find a range of dog friendly treats including ice-cream available from the tea-room.

There are waste bins which accept dog waste around the main welcome hub at Ilam Park and the car park at Dovedale.

What do I need to be aware of?

Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak is set in beautiful countryside in the Peak District, nestled amongst farmland where farm animals graze. Dovedale is a National Nature Reserve and the whole area is important for wildlife such as birds, insects and river life, as well as for nature conservation generally. We ask visitors to keep dogs on short leads to protect livestock, wildlife, and the dogs themselves.

You are also advised not to leave your pet in the car as temperatures can quickly rise on sunny days.

Please speak to our welcome team for more information.

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
Three walkers with Thorpe Cloud in the distance at Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak.

Discover more at Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak.

Find out how to get to Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak, where to park, 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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