Tours

Book a scheduled tour

To book a tour of the Guide Dogs National Breeding Centre please email NBCVisitors@guidedogs.org.uk or call 0345 1430216.

Our tours will give you the chance to see our puppies as they socialise and grow, gaining experience of everyday sights and sounds which will help them develop the skills they need as guide dogs.

You'll also have the opportunity to meet some of our dogs, who will accompany centre guides on the tour.

You can expect to see the National Breeding Centre going through its daily activities and find out how we use the latest technology and innovations in our breeding.

Our guides will take you along the specially built walkways which enable you to view our work without disturbing either the dogs or staff. Take our Sensory Tunnel experience to get a brief insight into living with sight loss, and learn how people with sight loss get about.

Towards the end of the tour you'll have the opportunity to purchase gifts and pet products from our shop, where tea and coffee will also be served. 

Visiting Times

Monday 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Tuesday 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Wednesday (school holidays only) 10:30am to 12:30pm
Wednesday 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Saturday (occasionally over the summer) 10am to 12pm - fully booked for 2018

Please contact us for dates. If you are a coach operator and would like to discuss visiting at a different time please do get in touch.

Useful information

  • Tour numbers - tours can take up to 50 people (a coach party)
  • Parking facilities for coaches are available in the coach park and for cars in the visitors car park - please use the overflow car park if it is full. Parking is free
  • On arrival - please can individuals or party leaders report to Visitors' Reception, to sign in. In the event of a fire alarm, party leaders will be responsible for accounting that their visitors are present
  • Children must be supervised at all times
  • Be prepared - please bring sensible footwear for the tour as some areas of the centre require visitors to go outdoors. Whilst we do have a limited number of umbrellas we'd recommend you bring a coat or your own umbrella with you
  • Pets - we regret that NO pets are allowed on these visits, unless of course they are guide dogs or other curent guide dog stock, in which case they will be made welcome. Toilet facilities for dogs are available
  • Cost - there is no charge made for tours at National Breeding Centre but donations will be gratefully received. Guide Dogs relies on the generosity of the public to continue its life changing work
  • Photos - you are welcome to bring a camera to take photos. There are a few areas where flash photography is not allowed which your tour guide will inform you of

Booking: To book or for further information please email: NBCVisitors@guidedogs.org.uk or call 0345 1430216

School Tours

We are offering an interesting and interactive session for school or young people’s groups e.g. cubs, brownies from age eight to 11 to visit the National Breeding Centre to learn about the work we do here and why we do it.

During the two-hour visit children will:

  • See some of our guide dog puppies through special viewing windows
  • Learn about our pups’ first steps
  • Discover more about sight loss
  • Experience the sensory tunnel
  • Find out how to approach and guide someone who is blind or partially sighted
  • Have a go at reading and writing Braille
  • We can cater for groups of up to 40 children and will require the school / group to supply two responsible adults per 10 children
  • There is a lower age limit of six years 
  • These tours are free, however donations towards the cost of providing them would be very welcome

Tours and Workshop Experience

Why not combine a tour of Guide Dogs' National Breeding Centre with a tour of the Leather Workshop where the team make mobility equipment to support guide dog partnerships?

2018 Dates:

Dates will be published here soon. In the meantime, please contact us if you’d like to express your interest in booking onto one of these tours.

  • Times: 10.30am to 12.30pm
  • Age: 16+
  • Group size: Up to 20 (individuals, families or groups)

Please note, this tour is not currently fully accessible as there are a couple of steps involved.

What is included in the two hour tour?

  • 45 minute tour of the Visitors Centre to view our guide dog pups and learn about the role of our breeding dogs in Guide Dogs’ life changing work. Plus, Sensory Tunnel experience
  • 45 minute tour of the Leather Workshop, where you can view our harnesses and other mobility equipment being manufactured, and learn about processes as well as the bespoke design service for clients and dogs with additional needs
  • Refreshments
  • Visit our gift shop

The tour is free, but donations gratefully received.