Dog friendly beaches

The Wales Coast Path was the first of its kind anywhere in the world; an 870-mile stretch of the country’s incredible and varied coastline taking in cliffs, wildlife and of course, take-your-breath-away beaches. 

Your four-legged friend will be sitting up and begging to be taken to these 5 best beaches for dogs around the best of the coast path.  

(Remember to take care along the parts of the path where there may be cliffs, farms or livestock and don’t forget to pick up after your dog so the coast path can remain unspoilt. Diolch!) 

Porthor, or ‘Whistling Sands’, Aberdaron, Llŷn Peninsular 

Man throwing a stick for a dog to fetch on a beach

Playing fetch, Porthor, Snowdonia Mountains and Coast,

 by National Trust Images / John Millar
Porthor beach is ideal for enjoying a windswept winter dog walk, as restrictions apply during the summer months. But from 1st October to March 31st, dogs are free to roam on the ‘whistling sands’ of this beautiful crescent shaped beach. Locals gave it its nickname because of the squeak or whistling sound the sand makes underfoot – or under paw. The Wales Coast Path can be accessed from both sides without going on the beach itself, with the chance to enjoy incredible views of the coastline all year round.
 
How to get there: There is a National Trust car park nearby.

What else? If you and your pooch want to walk up a thirst, the Bryncynan Inn in Morfa Nefyn is dog-friendly and around a 12 mile walk further along the Wales Coast Path on the spectacular Llŷn Peninsular

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire 

3 labrador dogs get ready to enter the blue water at Barafundle

Enjoying the water, Barafundle, Pembrokeshire,

 by Visit Pembrokeshire
Its golden sands and crystal-clear waters have been likened to those of the Caribbean and luckily your pet need not miss out on this treat of a beach as it’s dog-friendly all year round. Woof! 

It’s a steep walk down to the beach area, but the stone steps are suitable for dogs and is more than worth the effort for its blinding beauty when you get there. 

How to get there: Parking is available at Stackpole Quay, Broad Haven South and Bosherston.
 
What else? A different waterside walk is the nearby Bosherston Lily Ponds, where dogs are welcome. This relaxing lakeside view takes in plenty of wildlife so keep dogs on a lead where possible. The nearby St Govan’s Country Inn is also dog-friendly. 

Rhossili, Gower

Rhossili Bay, Gower

Rhossili Bay, Gower
Once ranked by the Times as ‘The UK's No.1 dog-friendly beach’, and one of TripAdvisor’s top ten beaches anywhere on the face of Earth, Rhossili’s three-mile-long stretch of sand is arguably the most recognisable in Wales. Dogs are allowed all year round and tend to particularly enjoy frolicking in the wet sand at low tide. All National Trust beaches on Gower welcome dogs throughout the year. 

How to get there: The beach is accessed down a path from the village of Rhossili, which is at the end of the B4247. The National Trust owned car park also has electric vehicle charging points and new cycle racks. 

What else? Enjoy a gentle circular walk on the Wales Coast Path, via Llangennith up to then along the cliffs overlooking the stunning beach, and back along the beach itself. A paw-fect stop off point is the 17th century King’s Head pub in the village of Llangennith where you can expect rewarding food and ale as well as pet-friendly accommodation if you’re for round two tomorrow.

Cwm Colhuw, Vale of Glamorgan 

A view across an empty Cwm Colhuw beach with blue skies

The view across Cwm Colhuw, Glamorgan Heritage Coast,

 by Visit the Vale
Part of the nine-mile Wales Coast path stretch of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, this sandy spot has all the area’s typical features.  Think rock pools and rugged cliffs, as well as a cafe. Dogs will enjoy the sensory variety of sand to run on and seaweed-filled rock pools to investigate. Your pooch will probably also enjoy chasing the butterflies that can also be spotted at the Cwm Colhuw nature reserve which runs along the cliff tops to the west and back towards the town. Restrictions apply from May-September.

How to get there: The beach is one mile from Llantwit Major train station or follow the Beach signs to Colhugh St which takes you to the beach car park.

What else? Ancient churches, St Donat’s Castle, UWC Atlantic College and Nash Point lighthouse are dotted throughout this stretch of the Wales Coast Path and the nearby town of Llantwit Major has shops and eateries a-plenty. 

Cilborth, Llangrannog, Ceredigion 

Child and dog play together along an empty Cliborth beach

Beach to themselves, Cliborth, Ceredigion/Cardigan Bay,

 by Paul Sandham
Cilborth is a Green Coast and Seaside Award-winning beach immediately north of Llangrannog.  Insiders whisper this is the most spectacular part of the Ceredigion section of Wales Coast Path. It can be accessed from Llangrannog beach at low tide or via the cliff steps. This secluded cove looks out at Carreg Bica, a giant tooth-shaped rock, around which you can find caves and rock-pools to explore. Man’s best friend can roam without restriction any time of the year.

How to get there: Turn off the A487 at Brynhoffnant, north of Cardigan, and follow the B4334 towards Llangrannog, or the bus service 552 (Cardi Bach) runs from New Quay to Cardigan via Llangrannog.

What else? Llangrannog is also the home to the renowned activity centre and hostel, Gwersyll yr Urdd Llangrannog. The centre was founded in 1932 and continues to offer excellent facilities for activities for the rest of the family.