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Visiting Flatford with your dog

Visitors and two Jack Russels at Flatford, Suffolk.
Visitors and two Jack Russels at Flatford, Suffolk. | © Arnhel de Serra

Dogs are welcome at Flatford, but please keep them on a lead at all times as there are grazing livestock and ground-nesting birds in the area. All of our walking trails are suitable for dogs.

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.

Flatford 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.

What you can expect at Flatford

  • Water and drinking bowls at Bridge Cottage
  • Dog bins located in the car park, near the toilets, on the far side of the bridge and at the start of the orange route walk
  • A dog-friendly tea-room
  • Walks with some shade
  • Route maps

Where can I take my dog?

Dogs are allowed in all outside areas, as well as in the Boat House Gallery section of the tea-room, the Constable exhibition and Bridge Cottage.

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
Visitors looking over a low wall down towards the river at Flatford Mill, at Flatford, Suffolk

Discover more at Flatford

Find out when Flatford 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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