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Visiting the Surrey Hills with your dog

Close-up view of a brown and white dog, held on a lead, with fallen leaves on the ground, at Clent Hills, Worcestershire
Your four-legged friend will love walking on the Surrey Hills | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

The Surrey Hills are an ideal place to bring your dog for a walk. There's a wide variety of paths and open spaces for you and your four-legged friend to explore. Here’s 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.

Surrey Hills is a one pawprint rated place.

Dogs are welcome here, but facilities are limited. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.

Frensham Little Pond

Dogs are not permitted to swim in the pond. Please help us to protect the wildlife by not allowing your dog to paddle in the pond and disturb the habitats. Be aware that the pond contains large fish such as the pike, which can deliver a nasty bite. If your dog is thirsty, you can find a bowl of refreshing water by the café.

Where can my dog go?

Dogs are welcome in all parts of the Surrey Hills countryside cared for by the National Trust. 

Box Hill café

Well-behaved dogs on lead are welcome inside the café at Box Hill. There is also plenty of seating outside, and water bowls are available for thirsty dogs.

Hindhead Commons and the Devil's Punch Bowl café

The grab and go kiosk is situated next to the café and there are lots of outdoor picnic benches where you can relax with your dog. Please keep your dog on a lead around the café area. There are also dog water bowls here. Assistance dogs only inside the café.


Some fields are home to cattle and sheep – please keep your dog on a lead if livestock are in the field; but we recommend, if cattle approach you, to let your dog off the lead.

Please check fences and gates for notices of livestock grazing where you are walking.


There are many bridleways across the Surrey Hills. Please keep your dog on a lead around horses. If you’re not sure how your dog will react around horses, keep them on a lead and ask them to sit and stay while the horse passes.

Ground nesting birds

If you're walking with your dog between 1 March and 31 August, please look out for restricted dog-walking areas, particularly on heathland sites, when ground-nesting birds raise their young.  

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 with a dog walking through the woodland in the summer
Enjoy walking with your dog surrounded by tranquil woodland at Parke, Devon | © National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

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

Most National Trust sites in the Surrey Hills have dog waste bins. Please do use them, as dog waste can be damaging to both the environment, livestock and people’s health.

Please do not hang dog waste bags in the trees, fences or gates.

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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