Previously, only assistance dogs had been allowed into the gardens & hall. Dogs have always been allowed in the parkland/grounds (and it’s free to explore if you weren’t already aware). But for the next month and a half or so, on selected dates all dogs are now allowed into the gardens. There’s a few restrictions; dogs are not allowed in the Hall, inside the restaurant, in the walled garden (where they grow produce for the restaurant) or in the children’s play area, but these are pretty standard rules for any establishment like Beningbrough. These restrictions definitely didn’t “restrict” our visit & to be honest, the places where you aren’t allowed to take dogs aren’t really places you’d want to visit with them anyway.
When you arrive at the main reception, you’re handed a useful leaflet which has all the “doggy dos and don’ts” printed in it, along with a useful map which shows clearly where dogs are and are not welcome. In terms of doggy facilities; there’s a poo bin & water bowl provided. The staff are more than happy to help where they can, and they have leads and poo bags to lend you if needs be.
There are some basic rules set alongside the restrictions of where you can and cannot go.
- Dogs must be kept on short leads- no extendable leads for safety reasons
- Don’t leave your dog tied up unattended.
- Pick up your dog’s poo.
Speaking realistically though, these are rules that I think any responsible dog owner would just assume are expected of them regardless.
If you’re looking to grab a bite to eat during your visit to Beningbrough, you’ll be happy to hear that dogs are welcome at both the cafe & restaurant. They’re welcome both inside & out at the cafe, and dogs are allowed to sit with you if you eat outside at the restaurant. We chose to eat at the cafe, which offered a tasteful selection of cakes, sandwiches, other snacks and hot & cold drinks. The decor in the cafe was modern & appealing, the perfect spot to sit & refuel. We sat out in the cafe’s courtyard, enjoying the May sunshine.
We had just the best time exploring the gardens. There was an abundance of beautiful flowers & plants for the humans to look at and never-ending sniffs for the dogs to discover.
One of my favourite plants, was the huge cherry blossom tree. As we visited in May, it was out in full bloom & was just starting drop petals. The section of the garden, in the vacinity of the tree, was covered in a blanket of pastel pink. It was so pretty & picturesque.
The gardens boast such a vast variety of plants & flowers, it really is any horticultural enthusiast’s dream. I must admit, my plant knowledge is practically non-existent, so I just enjoyed looking at the broad spectrum of bold & bright colours which the gardens displayed.
A true countryside feel! At the back of the house, the south lawn overlooks a farmer’s field where Aberdeen Angus cows are kept. There are benches dotted around where you can sit & watch the cows. There’s something very peaceful and relaxing about watching them graze, in their own little worlds. It’s worth noting that if your dog isn’t great around livestock, there isn’t technically a fence between the garden & the field. There’s a hidden ditch, which stops the cows being able to access the garden, but if your dog wanted to, they’d only have to jump down and they’d be straight into the field. This of course shouldn’t be a problem as dogs have to remain on the lead, but if you had a lapse in concentration and Fido made a break for it, it could cause an issue.
Piper particularly enjoyed watching the goldfish swim around in the small raised pond to the side of the house. It was just the right height for her to be able to peer over. Conveniently placed behind pond, were some comfy outdoor furniture which (of course) we took advantage of, basking in the beautiful springtime sun.
In fact, there were ample seating opportunities all around the garden. You didn’t have to look far to find a bench to perch on. Piper, however, would have much rather been on her feet exploring than sat down having a (boring) rest break.
We explored the gardens with friends Hannah, Molly, and Boris the French Bulldog. Beningbrough is an ideal place to meet up with friends for a day out. You could enjoy the gardens in the morning, have a bite to eat in the restaurant for lunch, then the rest of the afternoon could be dedicated to exploring the grounds (more info on the circular walk here). There’s something to appeal to everyone’s taste, and so long as someone can hold the dogs, the children can let loose in the adventure playground. The inner child in me wanted to play on one of the wooden horses, the second I saw them they brought back fond childhood memories. The nostalgia!
We really did have a great time today at Beningbrough and would highly recommend a visit. It’s important to remember that the dog friendly days are only a trial. If, like me, you think dogs should be welcomed in to Beningbrough all the time, then you need to voice your opinion to one of the members of staff, send an email or pop a message over on Facebook. The more positive feedback, the more likely it’ll happen. We met lots of other cheerful 4 legged friends on our visit today, and all of the other (human) visitors seemed happy & comfortable in the dogs’ presence. We didn’t hear one negative word being said & in fact quite a few non-doggy visitors came over to say hello!
The remaining dog friendly dates can be found on the above poster. If you live locally, or are visiting over the next month or so, a visit to one of Beningbrough Hall’s Waggy Tail Days should be top of your to-do list! Beningbrough Hall is of course a National Trust property, so if you’re a member you can get in for free. If you’re not, info on admission prices can be found here. At the moment, you have to pay standard admission (which includes entry to the house, which, with a dog, you can’t do), but i’ve been told this may be reconsidered if they uplift the “no dogs” rule.
But don’t forget, like I mentioned earlier dogs have always been welcome in the (free to explore) grounds surrounding the hall. We’re planning to do a blog post on the circular walk, so stay tuned for that. You can also view our bluebell pictures taken in the Beningbrough Grounds here.
Thank you for reading and do let us know if you get chance to go down and try a Waggy Tail day our for yourself!
E & P x