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Visiting Brean Down with your dog

A person walking a dog on Brean Beach in rain
Dogs are welcome on Brean Beach | © National Trust Images/Cara Laver

Dogs on leads are very welcome at Brean Down. There are water bowls in the car park and outdoor eating area and plenty of coastal terrain to stretch those four legs. Find out more about where you can take your dogs and what to keep in mind.

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.

Brean Down is a one 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.

Dog-friendly Brean Down

With rugged cliffs and soft sand to explore, Brean Down is a very dog-friendly place to visit. However, due to the nature of the down’s rocky cliff edges, keeping your pet on a short lead at all times helps keep them safe. Please remember also to pick up any dog waste and dispose of it in the bins provided.

Ground-nesting birds

In open countryside, the law requires dogs be kept on a short lead between 1 March and 31 July. This helps to protect the rare birds in the area which nest and lay eggs on the ground.

Let loose on the beach

Well-behaved dogs are welcome on the sandy beach off the lead, all year round. Please be aware Brean Down beach is along the Bristol Channel, prone to areas of sinking mud, so it's safest to keep your pooch in view at all times.

The tidal range of the Bristol Channel is one of the largest in the world, so the beach can disappear very quickly.

Seagulls paddling on the beach at Brean Down at golden hour
Gulls on the beach at Brean Down | © National Trust Images/Mike Selby

Put your paws up at the café

Dogs are welcome downstairs in the café and they can also join you when you dine in our al fresco seating area. There are dog bowls in the spacious outdoor seating area, as well as in the car park and by the beach hut. Please consider all visitors if your dog is very nosy.

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
View of the square buildings of Palmerston Fort, Brean Down, with the sea in the background

Discover more at Brean Down

Find out how to get to Brean Down, where to park, 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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