I’m really lucky to live in the Midlands, where Staffordshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire and Shropshire National Trust sites are all close enough for a morning or an afternoon out.
Cheshire boasts seven National Trust sites, of which four are dog-friendly, which is quite different from Staffordshire where nearly all of their National Trust attractions allow dogs. Some of them are paid entry, whilst others are free – but you might have to pay for parking. Not included in the roundup is Little Moreton Hall, where dogs are allowed – but only on the front lawn and car park.
The National Trust has partnered with Forthglade to create a Canine Code, by which all visiting dogs must abide. The code asks that you keep dogs on a leash to avoid disturbing wildlife – though there are off lead opportunities at some sites – and that you scoop that poop. They also ask you to ‘be on the ball’ and remember that not all visitors love dogs, so keep them close by, and take extra care on cliff paths, looking out for information signs.
Here are four dog-friendly National Trust sites in Cheshire that you and your dog will love.
Address: Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6QN
Dogs are allowed inside Tatton Park’s 2,000 acres of parkland, which includes deer park, woodland, meres and farmland. The site has been a deer park since 1290, and is home to herds of red and fallow deer, there are also rare St Kilda and Soay sheep, which have lived at Tatton Park since 1887 and the 1930s. As such, dogs must be under close control at all times.
Your canine compainion is also allowed in the Stableyard courtyard. In the park, your dog may be off leash so long as it has full, reliable recall. The site also ask that dogs don’t paddle in the meres or park waters, for conservation annd health and safety. Visitors are allowed a maximum of four dogs per person, and there are three dog waste bins to dispose of poo.
Entry costs £7 per car, which includes National Trust members, which can be booked ahead of your arrival. Vehicle park entry tickets are valid for one entry within 12 months of date of purchase, and so you don’t need to worry about picking a specific date or time.
Tatton Park estate formerly belonged to the Egerton family for nearly 400 years before being passed on to the National Trust in 1958 – and is maintained by Cheshire East Council. The early 19th century mansion provides a gorgeous backdrop to the deer park walk.
Alderley Edge and Cheshire countryside
Address: Macclesfield Road, Nether Alderley, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 4UB
There is much to explore in the Alderley Edge and Cheshire countryside, with themed walks through open fields and woodland – with far reaching views across the Peak District.
Open from dawn until dusk, you can discover Mow Cop Folly, Bickerton Hill and The Cloud, as well as Bilkely Hill Wood, Helsby Hill and Thurstaston Common, where dogs are all welcome. The highest point of the Edge was originally a Bronze Age burial mound, later used as a fire beacon site to warn of an invasion.
The National Trust ask all dogs to be kept under close control, and ideally on a lead if they don’t have spot on recall, due to nearby livestock – and of course, to scoop the poop, following the canine code. Also due to the local animals, such as sheep, please leave gates as you found them.
Car park charges range vary, but Alderley car park costs £7 for all day – but is free for National Trust members.
Address: Styal, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 4LA
This British industrial heritage site welcomes furry visitors around the wider estate and on a short lead in the upper and lower garden. On the estate there are over 400 acres of woodland and fields to explore, and when you’re all walked out, there are some dog bowls at the mill yard and garden cafe for a pit stop. Dogs are also welcome inside the cafe.
The river Bollin passes through the estate, and dogs are welcome to have a paddle, but The National Trust warn of currents – so do be careful. The charity also reminds owners to pick up dog waste and dispose of it in the relevant bins on the site. There are a few places where dogs must be kept on a lead, such as the Styal village, around livestock and in some areas of Chapel Woods – which are signposted.
In 1784, the cotton mill established by Samuel Greg was brought to the village and powered by the Bollin and industry workers. Whilst dogs can’t go inside the buildings, it’s still a brilliant piece of Cheshire history to be around. And whilst walking through Styal village, you’ll be able to see how some of the workers lived.
Address: Disley, Stockport, Cheshire, SK12 2NR
Lyme offers 1,400 acres of rugged moorland, ancient woodland and formal gardens, which your dog will love exploring, with some superb off leash opportunities. Dogs are welcome to visit the gardens on a lead, but there is a map on the National Trust website where you can see exactly where they can be let off safely. Though bear in mind there are a medieval herd of red deer on site, so remain vigilant and considerate.
The property and grounds belonged to the Legh family, and was previously a sporting estate. In the gardens, you have lots of choice, from the Rose Garden to the Ravine Garden – or check out the lake where Mr Darcy met Miss Bennet in the BBC production of ‘Pride and Prejudice’.
There are plenty of waste bins at Lyme, with at least seven dog waste specific bins listed on the dog walking map. There are a further four general waste bins where the waste can also be disposed of.
When you’re all walked out, you can stop off at The Timber Yard Cafe, where there are water bowls provided for pooches, and they even sell frozen dog yoghurts – perfect for summer.