The Canine guide to Barmouth holiday cottages

Towns and cities

The Canine guide to Barmouth

Ed Roberts 26 February 2024

Barmouth is a remote coastal town beyond the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Long, long sandy beaches and the wide Mawddach Estuary characterise this stunning holiday destination. Lesser known to most, this place is a secret you’ll want to keep for you and your dog to enjoy, as once you’ve visited Barmouth, you will want to make the trip time and time again.

We have lots of dog-friendly self-catering cottages in and around Barmouth for you to uncover and enjoy. Encounter the joys of North Wales and Snowdonia, the castle at nearby Harlech, the walking trails around the estuary and the peculiar enclave at delightful Portmeirion.

 Dog on the sand at Barmouth

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Top dog-friendly days out in Barmouth

Traeth Abernaw Beach at Barmouth

Barmouth Beach

For certified dog-friendly fun, head down to Barmouth’s lovely sandy beach. There is an exclusion zone in place between 1 April and 30 September that runs a few 100 metres northwards from Barmouth Pier to the corner of Beach Road. However, the beach at Barmouth is long and wide at high tide leaving a sizeable area for rest and play with the hound. The views here are exceptional, and on clear days you can see the peaks of the Llyn Peninsula out to sea. 

While you're in the area, why not check out some more dog-friendly beaches in North Wales?

Why your dog will love it: A day at the beach is the perfect tonic after a long drive, and the perfect setting for dog-friendly japes!

Stay nearby: Seren Fach | Sleeps 1 dog and 3 humans

Fairbourne Railway

Fairbourne Railway

Take a trip over the Mawddach Estuary to Fairbourne Railway. Catch the ferry from the corner of Barmouth Quay over the water to Fairbourne Point with your dog. Wait at the tiny platform for the 12.25-gauge steam train to show up. The line is over 100 years old and is one of the best train rides in the UK as it skirts the beach for the majority of its length - it’s gorgeous. On arrival at Fairbourne, you can walk along the beach and discover some welcoming pubs and cafes to while away your time. Perhaps walk back to meet the ferry; it’s a lovely walk (1.5 miles).

Why your dog will love it: Dogs love a train journey; some will even love the ferry!

Stay nearby: Cader Ridge And Tides | Sleeps 2 dogs and 5 humans

RSPB Mawdacch Valley – Arthog Bog 

Yellow and black bird on a thorny twig

If you love bird spotting and long strolls with the hound, RSPB Mawddach Valley makes for a perfect spot to explore near Barmouth. Just over the estuary close to Morfa Mawdacch Railway Station, you will find these picturesque wetlands. Please keep the hound on the lead as it is a reserve and a delicate habitat that needs care and the minimum impact possible from visitors. You can see rare wildflowers, butterflies, dragonflies, grass snakes, flocks of siskins and long-tailed tits. It’s a very peaceful retreat for those looking for an escape.

Why your dog will love it: The sights, smells and sounds will bewitch most dogs. It’s a nice amble for older dogs and pups who are happy to be on the lead.

Stay nearby: The Middle Barn | Sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans

Top walkies in Barmouth

Mawddach Trail

Mawdacch Trail

This popular walking and cycling trail is a top pick for a leg-stretcher all year round. Following the level course of an old railway line, you can follow the Mawddach Trail out of Barmouth and across the estuary. The trail follows the course of the river inland and offers views of the Cadair Idris foothills and the small historic town of Dolgellau. Just under 9 miles in length, it can be achieved in a day and is a really pleasurable experience. The byway also takes in Arthog Bog, and The George III Hotel at Penmaepool, a recommended pitstop for light lunch.

Why your dog will love it: For great walks and views, this is the one for man, woman, child and dog alike.

Stay nearby: The Moorings | Sleeps 1 dog and 4 humans

Morfa Harlech Dunes

Two dogs in the Morfa Harlech dunes

Head a few miles around the bay to Morfa Harlech and uncover its dog-friendly beach (there’s a small exclusion zone where dogs are not permitted from 1 April to 30 September – look for signs). Backed by some of the most pristine sand dunes in the UK, it’s a wild and rugged spot with great views. Look inland for glimpses of Mount Snowdon and out to sea for the peaks of the Llyn Peninsula. High above the beach is the formidable Harlech Castle (the grounds are open to dogs) and the centre of the village itself. Harlech Dunes are the perfect place for a scamper as well as the beach which seems to go on forever.

Why your dog will like it: It’s a fantastic combination of dunes, beach and sea! Stunning.

Stay nearby: Tan Y Graig | Sleeps 1 dog and 8 humans

Panorama Walk

Aerial view of Barmouth Harbour

This popular walking trail, The Panorama Walk, has been loved by locals and visitors to Barmouth since Victorian times. It’s quite a climb up to the panorama and the sight of the former Panorama Gardens. From the top, you can behold some awesome vistas of the bay, Barmouth Bridge, and Cadair Idris. For those that fancy an easier walk, there is a car park at the top of the hill where you and your dogs can enjoy the same views without the exertion! The walk also takes in traces of old manganese mines, Barmouth Slabs and the villages and hamlets of Cutiau, Bwlch y Llan, and Gellfawr.

For more dog-friendly walks in North Wales, read our handy guide.

Why your dog will love it: It’s quite a climb but oh, what wonderful views await.

Stay nearby: Tregarn | Sleeps 2 dogs and 8 humans

Top dog-friendly places to eat in Barmouth

The Last Inn 

Two glasses of beer in front of a roaring fire

This dog-friendly, 15th-century inn is one of the most famous inns in Wales. Close to the heart of Barmouth, your dog is more than welcome to join you for dinner in the bar at The Last Inn. Gilded inside with ships' beams and pictures of old boats, this is an atmospheric place to enjoy a pint and some good company. There is even live music on some evenings.

Find more exciting places to eat in North Wales here.

Why your dog will love it: It’s a lively place, where your dog is bound to have a fuss made out of them.

Stay nearby: On The Beach | Sleeps 2 dogs and 16 humans

Davy Jones Locker 

A flat lay image of a dog made out of milk froth in a cup of hot chocolate

Down on The Quay, have a nose in Davy Jones Locker, which is so much nicer given the name! Enjoy breakfast, brunch and lunch in this great dog-friendly café; sat right on the beachfront, it’s a nice place to duck into if you are spending the day mooching about the town or taking time out for a relaxing beach day.

Why your dog will love it: At Davy Jones Locker, there is a high chance your dog will get spoilt by the lovely staff.

Stay nearby: Taicroesion | Sleeps 1 dog and 7 humans

The Mermaid Fish Bar

Takeaway fish, chips and coleslaw on the beach

Fish and chips are a national treasure in their own right, in Wales, Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and all its islands. Even if you don’t treat yourself very often, a holiday is a good excuse to indulge. Lucky dogs get the scraps; a tasty piece of batter or the odd cold chip always goes down well. We’d recommend the Mermaid Fish Bar, which is very close to the beach and great for some al fresco dining with one of the best coastal sunsets in Wales to greet you.

Why your dog will love it: The odd scrap of batter is gold for dogs.

Stay nearby: Custard Cottage | Sleeps 1 dog and 6 humans

Stay in Barmouth

Explore all the wonderful dog-friendly places to go in our guide to Barmouth in South Snowdonia. Visit our collection of dog-friendly holiday cottages where you and your pet will find features that are bound to make a holiday in Barmouth completely unforgettable. 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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