Visiting the Clent Hills with your dog
The Clent Hills are a great place to enjoy fresh air and open space with your dog, with large areas where you can let them off their lead to really stretch their legs. Find out everything you need to know about making your visit an enjoyable one for you and for all.
From March to May, sheep on the Clent Hills give birth to their lambs. It’s vitally important that you keep your dog on a lead during this period, particularly around the Horse's Mane and Walton Hill. Being chased by dogs can do serious damage to sheep, even if the dog doesn't catch them. The stress of worrying can cause sheep to die and pregnant ewes to miscarry their lambs. So please take the lead to protect your pet and the farmers' livestock and livelihood.
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.
The Clent Hills are 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.
Where can my dog go?
Dogs are welcome throughout the Clent Hills. Please keep your dog on a lead in the courtyard area around the café at Nimmings Wood car park, as well as the Meadow, accessed behind the toilets. We also ask you to keep your dog on a lead up the Easy Access Path to the top of Clent Hill.
There are plenty of areas that your dog can be off the lead, although we ask you to keep them under close control at all times. Please be considerate of other dog walkers, horse-riders, cyclists and visitors to the hills as well.
Facilities available for my dog
The independent, family-run café at Nimmings Wood car park is dog friendly, with bowls of water available and a range of tasty dog treats to buy.
There are dog poo bins located at the Nimmings Wood car park. Do ask the car park attendants for a spare bag if you have forgotten yours, and if there isn't a dog waste bin nearby, please take it home with you.
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.
Enjoy the great outdoors on the Clent Hills with miles of bridleway to explore. Find out about the best routes and keeping yourself safe while out walking and cycling on the Hills.