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 that takes in cliffs, wildlife and beaches that are beyond beautiful.
Your four-legged friend will be sitting up and begging to be taken to these eight dog-friendly beaches on the Wales Coast Path.
Just take care in case there are cliffs, farms or livestock, and please scoop the poop to keep the path tidy. 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, Natural Resources Wales also has a Dog Walking Code. Diolch!
Cwm Colhuw, Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan
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 café. 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 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 railway station. Follow the beach signs to Colhugh St, which takes you to the beach car park.
What else? Ancient churches, St Donats 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 aplenty. The Old Swan, a 12th century pub, serving local ales and food including vegetarian and vegan options and child’s portions.
Porthor/‘Whistling Sands’, Aberdaron, Llŷn Peninsula
Porthor Beach is ideal for enjoying a windswept winter dog walk, as restrictions apply during the summer months. From 1st October to March 31st, dogs are free to roam on this beautiful crescent-shaped beach. It was given its nickname because of the squeak or whistling sound that 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? There's a 12-mile walk further along the Wales Coast Path on the spectacular Llŷn Peninsula.
Cilborth, Llangrannog, Ceredigion
Cilborth is a Green Coast and Seaside Award-winning beach immediately north of Llangrannog. Insiders whisper that 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 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.
Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
Its golden sands and crystal-clear waters have been likened to those of the Caribbean. Luckily, your pet need not miss out on this treat of a beach as it is dog-friendly all year round. Woof!
There’s a steep walk down to the beach area, but the stone steps are suitable for dogs and it's worth the effort.
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 and offers a varied menu including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
Burry Port beaches, Burry Port, Carmarthenshire
The beaches at Burry Port lie either side of the marina, a former harbour that was used for the transportation of coal. The easterly beach is a mile long, is backed by dunes and has a cycle path that takes you to Llanelli. Meanwhile, the westerly beach comprises of open sands before becoming a long inlet and has a cycle path to Pembrey. That leaves plenty of scope for exploring.
How to get there: Take junction 48 (to A4138) from the M4, followed by the A476 and A484. There is some free parking at the bottom of Heol Vaughan and a pay and display car park at the harbour.
What else? The centre of the village is five minutes from the beach. There's a railway station, a bakery, a few eateries and pubs. Make sure to wander around the harbour; it's where Amelia Earhart landed after becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
Broad Haven, St Brides Bay, Pembrokeshire
Popular with swimmers, surfers and watersports enthusiasts, Broad Haven's clean sandy beach is sheltered by tree-topped cliffs on both sides. With a wide opening and firm sand, it's a great beach to let dogs run around on. Frisbee against the backdrop of the UK's only coastal national park? Yes please. Dogs are welcome between 1 October and 30 April.
How to get there: Follow the M4, A48 and A40 towards Haverfordwest, then head for the B4341. There are pay and display car parks on Marine Road and Millmoor Way.
What else? There are two streams that come out onto the beach – ideal for a paw paddle. If the tide is low, you may be able to walk south from Broad Haven to Little Haven, a small and rocky inlet.
Once ranked by the Times as ‘The UK's No.1 dog-friendly beach’, and one of TripAdvisor’s top 10 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, 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 set for round two tomorrow.
Manorbier Beach, Tenby, Pembrokeshire
For a beach that packs a double punch, visit Manorbier. Not only is it a vast, sandy and pebbly beach, it has a stately castle looking down onto it (or behind it, if you're on the beach itself). Kick back with your pooch imagining what it'd be like to live in such a grand fortress with the coastline outside your window. The beach is popular with surfers because of its south-westerly position, but take care with your dogs near the water as there are sometimes strong currents.
How to get there: Take the M4, followed by the A48 and the A477 (St Clears). You can park in the valley behind the beach.
What else? The village of Manorbier is only a short walk away. There, you'll find The Castle Inn pub, which has vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free food plus a children’s menu. There are a few small shops too and you can visit the medieval castle during the summer.