Whether you’re looking for challenging mountain hikes, woodland rambles or long sandy stretches of beach to stroll along, you’ll find them all in Wales. Holidaying here is about enjoying the great outdoors, so it’s the ideal place for exploring with four-legged friends.
Where are dogs allowed in Wales?
All of Wales’ footpaths and rights of way are open to dogs. So, as long as they, and their owners, behave responsibly, pets can come along on most days out. Although some family beaches restrict access for dogs during the summer, many welcome them year-round.
With dog ownership on the up, Wales’ parks, historic sites and attractions are becoming much more pet-friendly. So dog days out at castles and parks can be happily added to the holiday itinerary.
There are also plenty of places to stay in Wales with your dog in pet-friendly accommodation. Take your pick from homely self-catering cottages, friendly campsites and luxury hotels. And rest assured, all of the places will have plenty of nice dog walks to enjoy locally too.
Dotted amongst Wales’ rolling countryside, national parkland and craggy coastline, you’ll find an abundance of dog-friendly local pubs where you can enjoy a round with your hound. After long walks, few prospects are more enticing than a pub door propped open and the buzz of chatter emanating from inside.
When it comes to dog walking in Wales, please be a responsible dog walker and follow the Countryside Code. For safe and happy walks with your dog, and to avoid causing problems for others, refer to the Dog Walking Code from Natural Resources Wales.
Dog walks in North Wales
North Wales, with its lofty Eryri peaks and the rugged landscapes of Anglesey, is wonderful for walkers. Here you can set out on some proper full-day hikes in the hills, discover ancient sites or enjoy windswept wanders on lonely beaches. Dog walks in North Wales are about as varied as they come.
The island of Anglesey is perfect for a dog-friendly holiday and a firm favourite among walking enthusiasts. With some fine coastal walking on offer along its 125-mile-long coastal path, rambles here take in dramatic cliff-top vistas, sweeping sandy bays and pretty coves. The nature reserve at Newborough Forest is a particular favourite with its undulating dunes and winding woodland trails.
As well as strolling the hills and dales, there are even more dog-friendly days out in North Wales. There are castles galore to discover, or how about taking to the water on a coastal wildlife cruise or kayaking at Lake Tegid (Bala Lake)?
Walkies in South Wales
South Wales has its share of rugged mountain trails and coastal glories. For challenging hikes, head to the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) or the Black Mountains and get the blood pumping on some steep inclines. Alternatively, keep things on a more even keel along the gently undulating southern stretch of the Wales Coast Path.
Ffion Llŷr and her dog Twts discovered some brilliant walks in Dog-friendly South Wales, exploring forests, mountains, beaches and hills. There are plenty of Dog-friendly things to do in the Welsh capital too, ranging from Cardiff heritage walks to shopping with your pooch in tow.
If you prefer to stay somewhere more rural, Tintern in the Wye Valley is dog friendly, so it's a particular favourite amongst dog-owners. Strolling along the quiet streets of this historic village, you’ll notice that our furry friends are welcome in most places.
Another good option for a dog-friendly stay in South Wales is in centrally located Bridgend. Staying here gives you easy access to Cardiff, the glorious Gower Peninsular to the west, and the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) to the north. For no-travel days there are plenty of local Bridgend dog walks to enjoy.
Is the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) dog-friendly?
Dogs are welcome in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park in Mid Wales and there are plenty of dog-friendly places to stay. Some of the walking here can be steep and exposed, so on a hot day, your dog could tire easily. Also, be mindful that some trails pass along sheer cliff edges and over rocky terrain, so always keep your dog safe. If you are heading high, consider leaving particularly flighty hounds at home.
Because of its steep and narrow paths, many people wonder if the four waterfalls walk, in the area of the park referred to as Waterfall Country, is suitable for dogs. Although it can be vertiginous in parts, most dogs will negotiate it without trouble.
Pembrokeshire dog walks
Pembrokeshire in West Wales, is renowned for its beautiful beaches and unspoilt coastline - some of which Lottie Gross and her dog Arty explored in Dog-friendly Pembrokeshire. But there is more to discover. Few people realise that the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park stretches inland along the banks of the River Cleddau. Here you'll find excellent dog walking trails through lush woodland and tranquil water margins.
Further north are the wild Preseli Mountains, although topping out at 536m they are more like hills. This ancient landscape is where the huge blue stones of Stonehenge were quarried all those aeons ago.
Holidaying with hounds
So there it is – Wales is a paws-itively perfect place to holiday with your hound. From days out to dining, shopping, hotel stays and walking, there isn't much your pooch can’t do too.
Make a holiday in Wales happen, and get planning. If you’re all about the beach, start by tracking down some dog-friendly beaches to plan your trip around. Alternatively, begin by perusing some dog-friendly attractions and dog-friendly activities, before choosing your ideal dog-friendly accommodation and getting dates in the diary. Lead the way!