With winding footpaths leading you through glorious hills and valleys, ancient woodland and rugged coastline, Wales is the perfect place to stride out with your pooch. Your hound’s enthusiasm for 'walkies' is sure to inspire you to pack a picnic (and a collapsible water bowl) and step outside. After all, filling your lungs with fresh air and enjoying the great outdoors is what a holiday in Wales is all about.
Where are dogs allowed in Wales?
There are numerous dog-friendly beaches here that are open to canines throughout the year. While some stretches of sand are seasonal for hounds, the 870 miles of Wales Coast Path winds its way along the gorgeous coastline, and dogs are welcome anytime. Most national parks and National Trust sites also welcome our four-legged friends year-round.
There is of course certain etiquette when it comes to taking your dog out and about in the countryside. If you’re not used to following footpaths in farmland then you should read up on the rules of engagement. To help you out Natural Resources Wales has its own Dog Walking Code, but keeping your dog on a lead around any livestock is paramount.
Are dogs allowed in pubs?
There are many dog-friendly pubs in Wales that make for a perfect, refreshing pit stop on a long country walk. Some have areas where you can sit down for a meal with your dog, while others might specify the garden. There will no doubt be a bowl of water available for your pooch and possibly a jar of dog treats on offer too.
Dog-friendly cottages in Wales
Hidden down country lanes and tucked away in national parks, Wales’ countryside is dotted with inviting holiday cottages. Choosing to stay in a holiday cottage means that you can relax and settle in, almost as if you were at home. Your hound won’t be restricted to certain areas and can roam freely.
Another bonus is that you’ll likely have an enclosed garden for an easy leg stretch, and if you choose wisely there could be plenty of walks from your doorstep. It’s always nice to hang up your car keys for a few days and enjoy strolling the local footpaths.
Dog-friendly cottages in Wales are easy to find. In the south, Fron Fawr Cottages offer easy access to the North Pembrokeshire coast and the historic market town of Cardigan. Honeysuckle Cottage is a stylish country barn conversion near the popular South Pembrokeshire towns of Narberth and Tenby, while at Myrtle Cottage on the Gower Peninsula you can join the coastal path almost from your front door.
For a Mid Wales escape, the Newbridge Farm Cottages in the heart of the Vyrnwy Valley make a lovely rural retreat. For those that would like to stretch their legs along the historic Offa’s Dyke National Trail, then Ty Gwyn Holiday Cottage is ideal.
For a dog-friendly cottage in Eryri (Snowdonia), take a look at Ty’r Adar, sitting pretty in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the fringes of the national park. To stay right in the heart of Eryri (Snowdonia), try Bythynnod Moel yr Iwrch Cottages set on a mountainside with spectacular dark skies ideal for stargazing.
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Dog-friendly hotels in Wales
If your idea of a proper holiday is not setting foot inside a supermarket or kitchen, then one of Wales’ dog-friendly hotels is a great option. There are often certain rooms that can be booked to accommodate your pet and some have varying policies on which areas your dog can join you in.
Luxury dog-friendly hotels in Wales
For a little luxe, check in to one of Wales’ finer establishments. These luxury hotels all recognise that a furry friend is an important member of the family and welcome them accordingly.
The wonderful Llangoed Hall is an idyllic country pile in the Mid Wales borderlands set in 17 acres of landscaped gardens. Further south, The Grove is tucked away in the countryside not far from the South Pembrokeshire Coast. While Coed-y-Mwstwr Hotel is a country mansion just a short drive from the bright lights of Bridgend.
The Falcondale is well-placed for exploring the sights of both Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains. Their kitchen offers delicious menus planned around local produce, as well as an enticing afternoon tea. For more ideas on where to indulge in a three-tiered treat, visit our article on the best places in Wales for afternoon tea.
For dog-friendly hotels on Wales’ coast, you can’t beat the Oxwich Bay Hotel on the Gower Peninsular with its sweeping sandy views. Then there’s New House Country Hotel in a leafy suburb high above Cardiff with striking views across the city, the bay and the Devonshire coast far beyond.
Finally, for a hotel with some real bow-wow-factor, book into Palé Hall Hotel in North Wales. This elaborate Victorian mansion once welcomed Queen Victoria to its ornate rooms and serves award-winning cuisine fit for a king.
Dog-friendly spa hotels in Wales
Although there are no hotels offering pooch pampering (as far as we know), there are several spa hotels in Wales that allow dogs to join you on holiday. So your pooch can snooze in your suite while you take off for a few hours in the spa... just make sure you make up for it with a good walk later.
Peterstone Court in Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) strikes a good balance between luxury spa facilities and dog-walking opportunities. Then Lake Country House Hotel in the heart of Mid Wales has a luxurious spa and is set in 50 acres of parkland featuring sweeping lawns and river walks. Finally, the pet-friendly Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa offers outstanding sunset views and great walking in the Berwyn Mountains.
Dog-friendly campsites in Wales
If you’re travelling by camper van or caravan, many campsites in Wales welcome well-behaved dogs along for the ride. Dogs are sociable creatures and generally don’t think twice about trotting up to someone new. For good or for bad, this means that as a dog owner, you’ll easily meet new people on a camping holiday in Wales.
Trefalun Park is a family-run and family-friendly campsite close to the popular beaches of Wales’ Pembrokeshire Coast. For somewhere a little more tucked away, but still within easy reach of the coast, try New Park in the national park that runs along the Cleddau River. Argoed Meadow Caravan and Camping Site is beautifully situated on the banks of the River Teifi in Carmarthenshire and within easy reach of Cardigan Bay.
For a countryside getaway with plenty to do right outside your (tent) door, take a look at Cwmcarn Forest Glamping & Campsite. If you’d rather not pitch a tent, the site offers bijou glamping pods as well as an adventure playground, walking and bike trails.
For a peaceful getaway in North Wales, try Plas Farm set in 12 acres of countryside with spacious pitches.
For those that would like to hit the beach every day, then Hendre Mynach Touring Caravan & Camping Park is a good option. Set on the coast road a 20-minute stroll from the seaside town of Barmouth, it's ideal for long walks and seaside ice creams. Aeron Coast Caravan Park is fantastic for families during the school holidays with all sorts of entertainment laid on. Outside of these peak times, it’s a quiet retreat by the sea, ideal for just you and your pooch.
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