Visiting Bodiam Castle with your dog
We love dogs at Bodiam Castle and you are welcome to bring them with you when visiting. Although the castle is just for humans, there is plenty of outside space for you and your dog to explore together.
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.
Bodiam Castle 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?
Dogs on short leads are allowed in all outdoor areas except the castle and the wooden bridge. Accompanied dogs are welcome in the Castle View café.
Where can't my dog go?
Assistance dogs only are permitted in the Wharf tea-room, castle, castle courtyard and shop.
If you are visiting the castle there is a tethering point and water bowl outside Castle View café where your dog can rest up while waiting for you. There’s also outdoor seating between Castle View café and the castle entrance, if you would like to leave your dog with a friend.
Facilities for my dog
There are water bowls outside Castle View café and the Wharf tea-room, where there is also an outside tap.
Please remember to bring dog waste bags with you. You’ll find a couple of bins located around the grounds for your use, or please take any waste home with you and dispose of it there. Thank you for helping to keep the grounds clean for everyone to enjoy.
Treats and doggy ice cream are available in the Wharf tea-room and the castle shop also stocks toys, travel bowls, tick combs and even waste bags.
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
Discover the best places for a dog walk, from coastal adventures and dramatic mountains to more leisurely walks near you. Plus find information on dog-friendly cafés and read our Canine Code.
If you’re bringing your dog to the places we care for, here’s information on the Canine Code and pawprint rating system to plan your visit.
After a good dog walk in the fresh air, find a place to sit and relax with your dog in a dog-friendly café.
We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade to create the Dogs Welcome project, helping you and your dog to get the most out of the places in our care.
Discover the history of Bodiam Castle. Find out who built it, its royal connections and what historic graffiti can tell us about the castle’s past.
Enjoy food and drink with a view at Bodiam Castle. Shop for gifts or a souvenir of your visit and browse for the perfect pre-loved book.
Discover what to see and do at Bodiam Castle. Climb the stone towers to take in the views, learn about defending a medieval castle and explore the impressive ruins.