Visiting The Firs with your dog
Following Elgar's great love of dogs, The Firs welcomes you and your four-legged for a dog walk with a difference. Stroll in the cottage garden and woodland area as well as exploring the indoor exhibitions in the visitor centre 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.
The Firs 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.
Where can my dog go?
Dogs are very welcome here at The Firs in the visitor centre, cottage garden and woodland area. Please keep your dog on a short lead so as not to disturb wildlife. A member of the welcome team is usually on hand and will be happy to help if you need any assistance to ensure you and your dog have an enjoyable visit.
Dogs assisting visitors with disabilities are welcome inside the cottage too.
Discover beautiful walks with your four-legged friend
There are two circular walks through the countryside surrounding The Firs allowing you to explore further afield and take in Elgar country. Both walks start and finish at The Firs and vary in length from 2–4.6 miles.
Pop into the visitor centre at the start of your visit to pick up one of the free walking maps and speak to a member of staff about the best routes to explore with your four-legged friend.
Where can't my dog go?
Assistance dogs only in the cottage.
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.
Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times, unless you are on a public footpath where they must be under effective and close control.
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
Facilities available for my dog
Water bowls are available outside the visitor centre and there are two dog waste bins on site.
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.
Explore the cottage garden at The Firs, birthplace of Sir Edward Elgar. Discover seasonal borders, the Sound Garden, and sit beside Elgar’s statue as you take in views of the Malverns.
The small family home which nurtured the creative genius of Sir Edward Elgar. Visit the cottage where he was born and learn more about his life and work in the visitor centre.
Despite being a prolific composer Elgar found much time to indulge his variety of hobbies. Find out more about his favourite football team, his terrible luck at horse racing, and his chosen companions in later life.