Great things to do with your dog this summer Witterings

While Britain may be a nation of dog lovers, Sussex is undeniably the county of dog lovers. This dog-friendly destination has so many places opening its doors to canine companions that there’s no way you’ll want to leave your four-legged-friend at home.

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Here’s our pick of the must-visit dog friendly attractions in Sussex this summer:

Dog Shows: Goodwoof at Goodwood

Goodwood Dog Show- Stephanie O’Callaghan

The Goodwood Estate is world-renowned for its iconic events. From the Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival, to the Quatar Goodwood Festival. But there’s a new one coming in 2022, and it’s for your dog! You’re welcome too of course.

Devised by dog lovers, the Goodwoof Dog Show, taking place on 28 and 29 May 2022, features a fantastic range of activities to entertain dogs and their humans. You’ll find world-class competitions from top canine athletes, wellness workshops, talks from behavioural and veterinary experts, free-of-charge activities that you can take part in with your dog plus treats and plenty of play.

Tickets cost from £35 per adult. Children and dogs go free, while there is a young person’s discount.

Dog-friendly museums:

Fishbourne Roman Palace

They say a house isn’t a home until it has a dog. Well, perhaps that applies to Roman palaces too.

Fishbourne Roman Palace – the largest Roman home in Britain – brings together fascinating Roman remains, the largest collection of mosaics in situ in the UK, as well as sprawling gardens and a great café. What’s more, in 2021 it opened its doors to dogs.

With plenty of children’s activities, as well as a Collections Discovery Centre, every member of the family can step back in time to experience life as a Roman. Even the dog.

Please note, due to the historic nature of the attraction, there are some dog free zones at Fishbourne Roman Palace. But with plenty of places they can visit, they’ll barely notice you’ve gone.

Weald and Downland Living Museum

Offering a great combination of indoor and outdoor exploration for you and your dog, the Weald and Downland Living Museum is a proud-to-be dog-friendly attraction in the heart of the South Downs National Park.

The museum brings together a fascinating collection of rescued rural buildings – from the Anglo-Saxons to Edwardian times – with historic gardens, farm animals and farming heritage, crafts and trade workshops, beautiful woodland, pasture and wildflower meadows.

Enjoy woodland dog walks or take a picnic by the museums large pond. There’s also a dog-friendly café and host of annual shows and events, luring you and your dog back time and time again.

Amberley Museum

Exhibitions, bus rides and cafes aren’t just for humans at Amberley Museum, dogs are welcome too.

This unique open-air museum nestled in the heart of the South Downs National Park showcases the South’s industrial and rural heritage.

Along with the dog, you’ll have the option to explore the 36-acres of the museum by foot, or by travelling on the museums hop-on hop-off bus service or narrow-gauge railway. What more can tired feet or paws ask for?

With over 40 different exhibits, 25 vintage vehicles (including bus that’s over 100 years old) a chalk pit display, hands-on activities and a café on offer, there’s no doubt you’ll all be jumping aboard by the end of the day.

Coultershaw Heritage Site

Coultershaw Heritage Site

Who says history and heritage is just for humans?

The Coultershaw Heritage Site, located just outside of Petworth, is a proud dog-friendly attraction. Inside, you’ll see a working waterwheel power an 18th century beam pump. This is the only hydro power station on public view in the South East, making it a unique opportunity for human and hound.

Take a wander through the detailed exhibition to learn how the pump – which was installed in 1782 – provided water to Petworth House and Petworth town, one-and-a-half miles away from the site. Afterwards, explore the engine house, get involved with hands-on exhibits, admire the canal warehouses, see the stables and marvel at the remains of a canal lock.

This hidden-gem of an attraction is just a five-minute drive from our next dog-friendly recommendation, Petworth Park.

Dog-friendly gardens:

Denmans Garden

Our four-legged friends are never happier exploring the great outdoors, and that’s exactly what they can do at Denmans Garden.

Located just a short hop from Chichester and Arundel, this fascinating four-acre garden, designed by award-winning author and landscape designer John Brookes MBE, will take you (and the dog) by surprise.

With an interesting history, what you see today at Denmans is the result of a unique collaboration between John Brookes MBE and little-known plantswoman Joyce Robinson. The garden has a reputation for its creative plant associations and seemingly random plantings juxtaposed against both clipped and natural architectural plants.

While it’s requested that dogs stay on leads, they’ll still have plenty to explore in this mesmerising garden. Meandering along curved paths, you’ll both admire the walled gardens, dry river beds, ponds, gravel gardens and unusual plants. There’s even an on-site stylish café for you and your canine companion to relax in at the end.

West Dean Gardens

The natural, calming effects of West Dean Gardens won’t just restore your zen, there’s every chance they’ll restore (or find!) your dog’s zen too.

Creatively inspired by their rich heritage and South Downs setting, West Dean Gardens bring together extensive and richly planted grounds with a Walled Kitchen Garden, 13 working Victorian glasshouses, a 300-foot Edwardian Pergola, a 50-acre arboretum and a two-mile parkland walk. What else could a dog possibly ask for?

A perfect opportunity to escape to the great outdoors with your best friend, enjoy nature and be inspired by the colour and form of all that the gardens offer, West Dean Gardens provide everything you need to restore your sense of calm. Unless your dog comes across a muddy puddle that is…

Dog-friendly stately homes and parks:

Uppark House and Gardens

a photo showing a stately home surrounded by a meadow

Uppark House & Gardens (National Trust)

We’re pretty sure that dogs love a good view as much as the rest of us, so they certainly won’t be disappointed with what’s on offer at Uppark House and Gardens.

Perched high on top of the South Downs and surrounded by woodland, Uppark House and Gardens offers unrivalled panoramic views across the South Down valleys and to the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth. Uppark’s meadow, set on chalk grassland, supports a wide variety of wildflowers, while newly restored pathways wind themselves around a beautiful regency garden.

While, understandably, dogs aren’t allowed inside the historic house, they’re free to make the most of all outside space at Uppark House and Gardens. And there’s a lot to be explored.

Take in the views, wander the woodland and meadow trails, or get a taster of a life of luxury while exploring the 17th Century gardens. You may find your dog just doesn’t want to go home.

Petworth House and Park

The magnificent Petworth House stands proud amid striking grounds and parkland. While, as to be expected, the house is off-limits to dogs, there are extensive grounds waiting to be explored by them.

Dogs are welcome on-lead in the formal gardens. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was responsible for the transformation of Petworth House’s gardens during the 18th Century, into the Pleasure gardens which you and your dog will see today. Explore the monuments and varied planting on the paths which loop around the grounds, before venturing further into the Deer Park.

Petworth’s 700-acre Deer Park was also designed by Capability Brown and is an off-lead paradise for dogs well behaved dogs. Its expansive parkland, lakes and far reaching views were the inspiration for many of Turner’s paintings. As you explore here, keep an eye out (and perhaps a dog lead close to hand) for the park’s historic herd of fallow deer, which have been at Petworth for over 500 years – understandably, they don’t wish to be disturbed too much!

Need more inspiration?

As if this isn’t enough to get your furry friends tail wagging, click on the links below to find out more about great dog walks, must-visit dog friendly beaches and the very best dog-friendly hotels in Sussex.

Great Sussex dog walks

Click here to read about our suggestions for the best dog walks in Sussex. From exploring Selsey’s Seal Art Trail to walking along a disused railway, we have something for you.

Dog-friendly beaches in Sussex

Click here to read about our great Sussex dog-friendly beaches. Being the county of dog lovers, it may come as no surprise that we have practically a whole coastline to choose from.

Dog-friendly hotels

Click here to read about Sussex’s best dog-friendly hotels.




Other things to do

If you’re looking for family friendly things to do, whether it be for half-term, wet weekends or family holidays, Sussex has it all. From toddler friendly days out, to activities to engage the most reluctant of teens, we have something to enlighten all the family.

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