Visiting Chirk Castle with your dog
We love welcoming dogs to the 480-acre estate at Chirk Castle and there’s a long tradition of dogs here, all the way back to medieval times when the family used to kennel wolfhounds beneath the entrance bridge. Find out where you can walk your dog during your visit.
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.
Chirk Castle is a two pawprint rated place. We have water bowls, dog bins and dog-friendly walks. You’ll be able to take your dog into some areas, but not everywhere. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times in all areas of the Chirk Castle estate.
Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.
Where can I walk my dog?
There are three main marked trails across the Chirk Castle estate, so there are great options for walks at any time of the year. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times in all areas of the Chirk Castle estate.
The Woodland Walk is a circular path through woodland and across parkland and fields that will take around 45-60 minutes. Follow the blue markers from Stable Bank.
The Old Golf trail
The Old Golf trail takes around 30-45 minutes and takes you through fields and parkland to the hill behind the castle, for the best view of Chirk Castle in its landscape. Follow the red markers from the car park.
Offa's Dyke Walk
The Offa's Dyke walk takes you just off the Chirk estate. It’s a permissive path, open April to September. Look out for sections of the 8th-century Scheduled Ancient Monument of Offa's Dyke and the site of part of the 1165 battle of Crogen, as well as the ancient Oak at the Gates of the Dead. Follow the orange markers.
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.
Assistance dogs are welcome to accompany their owner anywhere in the gardens or castle. Please ask a member of the team if you need any assistance.
Dog waste bins
There are dog-waste bins available by the car park, along the Woodland Walk and by the Davies' Gates. Please make sure that you pick up after your dog and use the bins provided. Dog-waste left in plastic bags can be harmful to other animals.
Your dog can enjoy a refreshing drink of water by Home Farm and up by the castle.
Our parkland is home to tenant farmers with a variety of livestock which could be grazing anywhere on the estate fields. We also have an abundance of wildlife that needs protecting. To prevent incidents and attacks to livestock and wildlife dogs must be kept on their lead and kept under close control. Remember, even small friendly dogs can unintentionally scare sheep.
Assistance dogs are welcome inside the castle and café. All other dogs in the castle courtyard only please, where you will find our café with outdoor seating for you to sit and enjoy refreshments with your four-legged friends.
Assistance dogs only inside the gardens and Pleasure Ground Wood.
There are two main play areas at Chirk Castle and dogs must be kept on a lead around these areas. Please be extra vigilant to prevent fouling and ensure these spaces stay clean and safe for everyone’s enjoyment.
Not all visitors like dogs. We welcome many families, and owners of anxious or assistance dogs. Please respect the space and needs of other visitors.
Dogs in cars
Please do not leave your dog in the car. If a dog is left in a car and appears distressed, we will inform the relevant authorities.
Dogs and their behaviour are the responsibility of their owners. If you see inappropriate behaviour, please make a member of staff aware.
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
Take a walk around Chirk's fascinating 480-acre parkland, and discover a working landscape full of ancient trees, wild flowers, birds and bugs.
Indulge your senses and refresh your spirit with a gentle wander amongst the scents and seasonal colours of the rare shrubs and flowers in this lovely five-and-a-half acre garden.
Visit our tea-room and enjoy homemade cakes that are baked daily, using the freshest ingredients. Or visit the gift shop which is packed with handmade treats and souvenirs.