The National Trust, in partnership with Forthglade, Devon based natural pet food has revealed the 8 best National Trust locations for dog-friendly days out right here in the South West.
From coast and countryside to nature reserves, parklands and historic gardens, the National Trust and Forthglade have worked together to improve facilities at these places to give every dog (and its owner) a great day out.
Improvements include dog-washing areas, drinking stations and increased waste bins, as well as better signage and downloadable walks for dog walkers.
The dog-friendly initiative has been supported by adventurer and TV presenter Simon Reeve who said: “I love spending time in the great outdoors with my dogs, especially at this time of year when walks can refresh the mind and inspire ambitions and goals for the year ahead. I think it’s wonderful that the team at Forthglade and the National Trust are working together to ensure dogs are even more welcome at the places the Trust care for.
"But I also know not everyone wants a dog bounding around them, so by providing information about access for dogs at all Trust places this project is a win-win for everyone.”
From January 2023 every single National Trust place will carry a ‘pawprint rating’ or a description on its property webpage, and within the new Trust handbook highlighting the access arrangements for dogs.
Just look out for the new pawprint rating; three paws: best, two paws: good and one paw.
Do you have a favourite dog walking spot? Let us know at www.tavistock-today.co.uk
The National Trust top dog-friendly places to visit, rated with three pawprints:
Corfe Castle, Dorset
Corfe Castle is one of Britain's most iconic and evocative survivors of the English Civil War, partially demolished in 1646 by the Parliamentarians. A favourite haunt for adults and children alike, all ages are captivated by these romantic castle ruins with breathtaking views across Purbeck. Discover 1,000 years of history as a royal palace and fortress. With fallen walls and secret places, there are tales of treachery and treason around every corner.
Dogs on leads are welcome in the Castle, Tea-room (indoor and outdoor seating), Shop, Castle View Welcome Centre and on walking trails in the surrounding countryside.
Heddon Valley, Devon
Heddon Valley, set in the West Exmoor coast, was the favourite landscape of the Romantic Poets including Wordsworth and Coleridge. When you arrive, why not follow the deep, lush wooded river valley down to the sea at Heddon's Mouth beach – a great walk for all the family. Or explore further east to Woody Bay, a quiet and wooded cove with spectacular views over the Bristol Channel. To the west, the Hangman Hills boast towering sea cliffs and beautiful moorland scenery, offering energetic walking and wonderful views over Combe Martin. As well as spectacular coastal and woodland walks, there is also a pantry (selling hot drinks and ice creams, including dog ice cream), car park and toilets in Heddon Valley itself. Dogs are welcome in most places, including the take-away café, The Pantry and the Hunter's Inn beer garden. Dogs must be kept on leads throughout the year, to help protect wildlife that call the valley home.
Lanhydrock is one of the most complete 19th century houses in Britain. And the estate is well worth exploring with your dog, with over 900 acres of ancient woodlands and tranquil riverside paths. Dogs are allowed in the parkland and wider countryside, courtyard area and Stables tea-room and The Park Café. And don’t forget to check Lanhydrock’s website for the latest events which include dog friendly activities such as a special Easter trail.
Arlington Court and the National Trust Carriage Museum, Devon
Intriguing Regency house and impressive collection of horse-drawn vehicles, set in a picturesque garden Arlington is an unexpected jewel on the edge of Exmoor, a complete family estate held by the Chichester family for over five hundred years. The Carriage Museum in the stables has a vehicle for every occasion from cradle to grave. While Rosalie Chichester bequeathed the Arlington estate with the desire that visitors could enjoy Devon’s outdoor landscapes. Today there are many walks on offer at Arlington Court, with over 20 miles of footpaths, ranging from easy strolls to more demanding stomps.
Dogs on leads are welcome in the carriage museum, gardens and the wider estate. Dogs are welcome in the indoor additional seating area next to the Tea-room.
Baggy Point, North Devon
Baggy Point overlooks Croyde, one of the best surfing beaches in North Devon. It has stunning coastal views, great walks along the South West Coast. It's a must-do destination for anyone visiting North Devon. Baggy's easy access path gives people of all ages and different abilities the chance to get out on a rugged headland, with their dogs to enjoy the far reaching views. The tea-room situated close by allows dogs in the allotment garden, which is perfect for a post walk cream tea or pasty.
Dogs welcome on short leads
Coleton Fishacre, Devon
From formal terraces to woodland to explore, this sheltered coastal garden is varied and filled with year-round interest, and one of the few National Trust gardens to be RHS accredited.
Pick a route along the many paths that weave through glades, past tranquil ponds and be rewarded with pretty ocean views. Paths also lead straight onto the South West Coastal Path, with walks along undulating coastlines leading to peaceful dog-friendly beaches.
After a hearty stroll enjoy a bite to eat with your pooch in Café Coleton, with its covered outdoor seating.
Dogs welcome on short leads.
Lorna Doone Valley, Devon
The Lorna Doone Valley was made famous by RD Blackmore in his famous novel Lorna Doone. Explore the Doone Valley along miles of waymarked footpaths. There is a walk to Cloud Farm (now a National Trust campsite, where you can sleep under a Dark Sky Reserve), a circular walk which takes in sites linked to the Lorna Doone or a much longer walk towards Watersmeet and Foreland Point with views over the sea.
Dogs are welcome in the tea-room garden at Lorna Doone, which serves up wonderful views and cream teas.
Dogs welcome on short leads.
Called ‘the loveliest place in the world’ by Agatha Christie, whose home this was. The house is set in the 1950s when Agatha and her friends and family would stay here.
Dogs can enjoy the garden with their owners and then have a snack in the Barn Gallery Café there are also tethering rings in the courtyard. If you and your dog are keen canoeists or kayakers, you can paddle up river to Greenway and land at Greenway Quay. You'll need to get in touch with the Greenway Ferry Company, which you can do by calling 01803 844010
Dogs welcome on leads in the garden, shop and cafe at Greenway.
For more information visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/dog-friendly
The pawprint rating system
Best: Three pawprints
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.
Good: Two pawprints
These places have water bowls, dog bins and dog-friendly walks. You’ll be able to take your dog into some areas, but not everywhere. If there’s a food and beverage outlet, you can have a cup of tea with them, probably outside.
Standard: One pawprint
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.