Visiting Hardcastle Crags with your dog
With over 15 miles of footpaths to explore, Hardcastle Crags is a paradise for any dog – and their owner. Whether you fancy a short stroll through the woodland or a challenging hike up the valley, there’s lots for you and your four-legged friend to enjoy.
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.
Hardcastle Crags is a three pawprint rated place.
Three pawprints shows the very best places you can visit for a day with your dog. You’ll be able to take your dog to most areas, including indoors for a cup of tea and a treat. There’ll be clearly signed dog zones and dog-friendly experiences. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.
Where can my dog go?
Dogs are welcome under close control in the woodland, and on their lead in the café and Gibson Mill.
Where can't my dog go?
Please don't take your dog in the toilet block – there's not much room.
We also recommend keeping your dog on a short lead near the edges of the woodland, where livestock graze in neighbouring fields. Dogs must be kept on leads in the fields.
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
What facilities are available for my dog?
There are water bowls in the yard at Gibson Mill.
There is one dog waste bin near the mill, but if this is full, please take your bags home with you.
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.
With 15 miles of footpaths to explore in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, there's lots to discover on a walk at Hardcastle Crags.
Learn about the history and evolution of the landscape at Hardcastle Crags and Gibson Mill, including its industrial heritage and the mill’s time as an entertainment emporium.
Head to the Weaving Shed Café for a choice of locally sourced treats, then pop into the second-hand bookshop to pick your next page turner.