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Visiting Nymans with your dog

Dogs head as it sits and waits for treats that a hand is taking from a packet
Walking with your dog is one of life's great pleasures at Nymans | © National Trust / Paul Harris

Dogs are welcome in the winter months only from 1.30pm until 4pm, from the beginning of November 2024 until February 2025. Dogs are not permitted between March 2024 - November 2024. In winter, whatever the weather, you can enjoy winding paths and wide avenues with colourful views across the woodland, or towards the South Downs. Throughout the summer months we ask you not to bring your dog into the garden. Nymans is a one pawprint rated place.

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.

Nymans 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.

Up to two dogs per adult are welcome at Nymans in the woodland, outdoor seating area of the café, shop and plant centre, as well as the garden at specific times. Assistance dogs are welcome during opening hours throughout the year in the garden, house, tea garden and shop, and in the woods at any time.

When can I visit the garden?

Dogs are welcome in the garden on short leads during winter opening from 30 October 2023 until 31 January 2024 between 1.30pm and 4pm. Dogs are not permitted in the garden at other times.

There's no access into the wall garden for dogs as some of the paths may be roped off during winter and space can become limited.

When can I visit the woodland nature reserve?

Dogs are welcome under close control in the woodland nature reserve all year round. During bird nesting season, from 1 March until 31 August, please keep dogs on leads to protect ground-nesting species of birds.

The woods are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) partly for their breeding birds. Many birds nest in the shrub and bramble layer and are easily disturbed unintentionally by dogs running through. We ask for everyone’s help to allow birds to nest and rear their young.

We recommend you’re dressed for the weather as some paths are steep and can get very muddy.

Facilities for your dog

  • Water bowls for your dog can be found by the outdoor seating for the Welcome Café
  • Dog products, including poo bags, are available to buy in the shop
  • Dog poo bins can be found in the main car park and at the entrance to the woodland

Enjoy your time with us and please support us by having a cup of tea or visiting the shop. This will help us look after Nymans today and for future generations.

Nesting season

During bird nesting season, from 1 March until 31 August, please keep dogs under close control to protect ground-nesting species of birds.

Dog walking on the Holnicote Estate, Somerset
There's lots to explore with your dog at Nymans | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

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
The Forecourt Garden at Nymans, West Sussex in June

Discover more at Nymans

Find out when Nymans is open, how to get here, 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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