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Dog-friendly National Trust properties with no restrictions holiday cottages

Days out

Dog-friendly National Trust properties with no restrictions

Kate A 24 February 2020

If there’s one thing that history-loving hounds go barking mad for, it’s dog-friendly National Trust properties with no restrictions. Across the UK there are more than 500 historic houses owned by the charity and while many, understandably, aren’t able to let pups inside the buildings due to their precious collections, a majority will allow four paws to sniff out the gardens, grounds and sometimes even the tearooms.

The Needles New Battery and Old Battery
The Needles Old Battery and New Battery credit: Instagram @barnabypoo

 

We have chosen some of our favourite National Trust dog-friendly properties which allow well-behaved woofers to see everything, and even go inside! Many of these sites go the extra mile to make four-legged visitors feel super welcome, offering water for drinking bowls and providing dog mess bins, spare leads and poop bags, just in case.

And don’t forget, if you need somewhere cosy to stay, we’ve got a tail-wagging selection of dog-friendly cottages in the UK to choose from too – just click the button below to see the full collection.

Allan Bank, Lake District

Postcode: LA22 9QB

Allan Bank
Allan Bank credit: Instagram @mollyjane_thegoldenretriever

 

Perched on a hillside above the pretty village of Grasmere, Allan Bank is one of the top dog-friendly National Trust properties in the Lake District. This gem of a Georgian building was once the home of renowned poet William Wordsworth who lived here for three years in 1808 with his wife Mary and their children. Uniquely, this striking house is not a recreation of a period property and many rooms are only partially decorated, allowing visitors to use their imagination about the building’s potential.

Allan Bank
Allan Bank credit: Instagram @macthecolliepoo

 

There are all manner of secret hideaways, nooks and crannies to discover, and it’s the kind of place where the whole pack can spend the day exploring, relaxing and feeling inspired like Wordsworth once was. Tinker on the piano in the hall, paint or draw in the art room, roll out a picnic blanket on the lawn or laze in one of the deckchairs, soaking up the mesmerising views over the Lake District fells. There’s even a selection of traditional lawn games to enjoy, and a wild garden trail and play areas for kids.

Why your dog will love this:

Those with wagging tails (even muddy ones) are welcomed with open paws, inside and out, at this dog-friendly National Trust house. The woodland grounds are perfect for on-the-lead walkies, looking out for the famous red squirrels – there are complimentary binoculars for the humans to use. Then, pups can curl up and enjoy a long snooze in front of the warm fire in the house while the humans relax with a cup of tea and a book from the library.

Facilities: Toilets, tea and coffee in the house, art room, board games, lawn games, pay and display car parks in the village.

Paw-friendly cottages nearby:

Corfe Castle, Dorset

Postcode: BH20 5EZ

Corfe Castle
Corfe Castle credit: Instagram @corfecastle_nt

 

A thousand-year-old fortress shaped by treachery, treason and bloody warfare; Corfe Castle is one of the best dog-friendly National Trust properties in Dorset. This hilltop castle is one of Britain's most iconic and evocative survivors of the English Civil War, partly blown up in 1646 by the Parliamentarians. Today it appears as if from a fairy-tale with its majestic turrets and crumbling walls – especially when the steam train of the Swanage Railway puffs past.

Corfe Castle
Corfe Castle credit: Instagram @teddyminigoldendoodle

 

Explore the romantic ruins, looking out for secret places, counting the arrow slits and spotting the murder holes. An abundance of exciting events throughout the year brings the castle to life, with falconry displays and a knight school in the holidays. And the views across Purbeck are simply breathtaking.

Why your dog will love this:

Happy hounds can be the kings and queens of the castle as they roam these atmospheric ruins. Provided they are on short leads, pups are free to explore all the treasure of the heritage site, and it’s the perfect spot to lay out a blanket and enjoy a delicious picnic of Bonios. Or for the height of sophistication, canine companions can sip from a bowl of water in the tearoom as their humans tuck into a scrumptious cream tea.

Facilities: Tearoom with garden, shop, toilets, baby-changing facilities, children’s quiz/trail, pay and display car parking nearby.

Paw-friendly cottages nearby:

The Fleece Inn, Cotswolds

Postcode: WR11 7JE

The Fleece Inn
The Fleece Inn credit: Instagram @thefleeceinnbretforton

 

There aren’t many canines who don’t look forward to warming their paws by the crackling log fire of a country pub – and this is one of our favourite National Trust dog-friendly pubs in the Cotswolds. Steeped in fascinating history, the inn was originally a medieval farmhouse built in the early 15th century. It was first licenced in 1848 and remained in the ownership of the same family until 1977 when the last of the descendants, Miss Lola Taplin, bequeathed the pub to the National Trust when she died. Interestingly, this was the first pub in the country to be owned by the charity.

The Fleece Inn
The Fleece Inn credit: Instagram @michelle_hardy_photography

 

Today, this pet-friendly pub offers hearty homecooked food after long walks in the North Cotswolds countryside, with the likes of locally made faggots and mash, and the legendary belly-busting Fleece Inn burger on the menu. Make yourself comfortable on one of the well-worn settles with a refreshing pint of Fleece Folly cider and soak up the atmosphere. Traditional low beamed ceilings, flagstone floors, wonky walls and a precious pewter collection are all part of the charm here – be sure to look out for the curious witches’ circles too.

Why your dog will love this:

In the summer, playful pups can enjoy socialising with other canines in the open garden and apple orchard, while the winter months are perfect for dozing beside the fire with a brimming bowl of dog beer (there are two varieties available), and some tasty treats from behind the bar. The friendly locals always offer lots of tickles behind the ears and there’s often live folk music and even Morris dancing for added paw-tapping entertainment.

Facilities: Food, real ales and ciders, dog beer, dog treats, toilets, orchard garden.

Paw-friendly cottages nearby:

The Needles Old Battery and New Battery, Isle of Wight

Postcode: PO39 0JH

The Needles Old Battery and New Battery
The Needles Old Battery and New Battery credit: Instagram @barnabypoo

 

Sitting high above the Needles Rocks with a bird’s eye view over the Solent, is the Victorian clifftop fort known as the Needles Old Battery. This Isle of Wight coastal defence and secret rocket testing site was built in 1862 following the threat of a French invasion. Pups and their owners who visit this dog-friendly National Trust site can explore a series of atmospheric rooms detailing the battery’s involvement in both World Wars. Marvel at the vivid cartoons by comic book artist Geoff Campion which illustrate the life of Victorian gunners through to Second World War officers, and the part this heritage site played in the history of modern Britain.

The Needles Old Battery and New Battery
The Needles Old Battery and New Battery credit: Instagram @mrsjodiepadfieldx

 

Follow the twists and turns of the underground tunnel which winds its way deep into the chalky cliffs until you reach a searchlight emplacement. Here, there are dramatic views over the Needles and even as far as Dorset on a clear day. Also look out for two original gun barrels displayed in the Parade Ground, which have been hauled up from the seas below where they were thrown years ago. Slightly further up the headland is the New Battery which contains an interesting exhibition on Britain's astonishing secret rocket testing programme during the Cold War.

Why your dog will love this:

History-loving hounds on leads are sure to be blown away by this spectacularly sited fort with its exhibitions, displays and war memorabilia. As well as sniffing out the two batteries, energetic pups can also enjoy miles of wonderful walks all the way to Freshwater Bay, feeling the wind in their fur along the clifftops. And after all that fun, there is a 1940s-themed tearoom complete with real china cups and period newspapers, with a special seating area reserved just for tufty-pawed pals.

Facilities: Tearoom, kiosk, shop, toilets, dog bowls.

Paw-friendly cottages nearby:

Aberdulais, Wales

Postcode: SA10 8EU

Aberdulais
Aberdulais credit: Instagram @malamuteskyla

 

One of the top dog-friendly properties owned by the National Trust in Wales, Aberdulais Tinworks and Waterfall is an industrial heritage site with a rich history dating back over 400 years. Here, curious canines and their owners can discover more about the power of water and its impact on the industrial revolution. Set within the Dulais Valley, the gorge in which the river and dazzling waterfall lie was formed about 20,000 years ago during the Ice Age.

Aberdulais
Aberdulais credit: Instagram @stephnollie

 

Fascinating displays within the buildings demonstrate how this torrent of water was harnessed to produce power since 1584, leading to the manufacture of copper, iron, tin and corn. The remains of the 19th-century water-powered tinplate works (now protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument) can be seen on-site. The waterwheel used today is a modern steel structure and is the largest water wheel generating electricity in Europe.

Why your dog will love this:

Four-pawed members of the family will be jumping for joy at this dog-friendly National Trust attraction where they are welcome pretty much everywhere, providing they are kept on a short lead. They can get close to the roaring waterfall, browse the exhibitions and even watch a film in the Turbine House. Plus, when little legs need a rest, there is a special room just for pups where they can have a well-deserved snooze while the humans enjoy some tea and cake. They even get a dog treat welcome on arrival - what’s not to love?

Facilities: Tearoom, shop (with dog accessories), second-hand bookshop, seasonal plant stall, toilets, baby-changing facilities.

Paw-friendly cottages nearby:

Top dog-friendly National Trust properties (with some restrictions)

The following dog-friendly National Trust houses all give a warm welcome to canine members of the family, however, there are some restrictions as to where they are allowed to wander – please check the National Trust website for further information before you visit.

Lyme Park
Lyme credit: Instagram @summers.spirit

 

  • Erddig, Wales: dogs welcome in the country park, tea garden and midden yard, but not allowed in the house, garden, restaurant, stables and play area
  • Lyme, Cheshire: dogs welcome in the park
  • Kingston Lacy, Dorset: dogs under control on short fixed lead welcome in restaurant, courtyard, park and woodlands
  • Croome Court, Worcester: dogs on leads welcome in the parkland
Kingston Lacy
Kingston Lacy credit: Instagram @rafferty_irishterrier

 

  • Arlington Court, Devon: dogs on leads welcome in the gardens and carriage museum
  • Petworth House and Park, West Sussex: dogs allowed in Petworth Deer Park off-lead, and on short leads in the Pleasure Ground seasonally and on a trial basis
  • Lyveden, Northamptonshire: in the grounds on a lead
  • Plas Newydd House and Garden, Wales: dogs welcome in the Old Dairy Cafe, shops and garden, excluding the Italianate terrace garden
  • Dunster Castle and Watermill, Somerset: dogs welcome across the site on short leads, except for the Watermill Tearoom and castle interior
  • Ormesby Hall, North Yorkshire: well-behaved dogs on leads in the garden, courtyard and parkland
Croome
Croome credit: Instagram @thepugglebuddy

 

  • Beningbrough, North Yorkshire: dogs are welcome in the parkland and selected areas of the garden on a lead
  • Brodie Castle, Scotland: dogs are welcome on the estate but not in the castle, Playful Garden and adventure playground
  • Lanhydrock, Cornwall: dogs welcome on leads in park and wood but assistance dogs only in the formal garden
  • Wallington, Northumberland: dogs welcome on leads anywhere outdoors but not indoors

 

Why not treat your faithful best friend to a dog-friendly holiday in the UK and start exploring some of these incredible pet-friendly National Trust properties? Our dog-friendly holiday cottages offer everything your pack will need to have a comfortable stay – some offer roaring wood burners for pups to curl up by, while others have lovely enclosed gardens where they can play ball to their heart’s content. Click the button below to browse our full collection.

 

If you're looking for even more brilliant days out across the UK where your pooch is equally as welcome, take a look at our complete dog-friendly days out guide.

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