Home to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park with its 186 miles of craggy coastline, Pembrokeshire has always been a draw for dog walkers. Whale and dolphin spotting and immense cliff-top views are often favourites of two-legged visitors, but it’s the attraction of the shoreline with its lapping waves and soft sand that gets pups pulling on their leads.
With 80 beaches that welcome dogs with open paws and zero beaches with a full dog ban in operation, Pembrokeshire is truly a woof-worthy destination when looking for dog-friendly beaches in West Wales. Your four-legged friends will adore exploring the rugged coastline of this part of the UK, with secret coves, glistening rock pools and golden stretches of sand all waiting to be sniffed.
With many beaches understandably imposing summer restrictions on our furry pals, we’ve put together a list of the best dog-friendly beaches in Pembrokeshire where they are embraced throughout the year. Start planning your dog-friendly Pembrokeshire getaway today:
Marloes Sands, Marloes
A hidden gem in West Pembrokeshire, this secluded sandy beach with rocky outcrops will please all comers, no matter how many legs you run on. The bay is framed by towering cliff faces and the beach-bound crags produce wonderful rock pools when the tide goes out. This presents a glut of marine life for wet noses to explore, and if you turn to look further out to sea, you and your pup might even spot a seal or two.
The award-winning, mile-long beach provides ample space to run along and leave paw prints scattered on the sand, but be careful if your dog enters the water, as the rocks and strong currents make swimming a little treacherous at times. There’s a National Trust car park 0.5 miles from the beach.
Why your dog will love it: during quieter months, your pup might find that he has the entire beach to himself. After stretching his legs, he'll also be welcomed to the local pub, The Lobster Pot.
Good to know: the beach disappears at high tide so check your tide times before setting off.
Monkstone Beach, nr Tenby
If you’re looking for dog-friendly beaches near Tenby, then look no further. Granted, Tenby plays host to a number of delightful bays, but if you crave seclusion and you want to avoid the crowds, then head over to Monkstone Beach.
This beautiful stretch of sand is enveloped by high cliffs, giving it a very sheltered feel for you and your pup. There are, however, 151 steps down to the beach and so access might prove difficult to those less able.
Although the beach has no lifeguards, due to its position on the coast, it is relatively safe to swim so don your swimming cap and show off your best doggy paddle, or climb the rocks near the headland and raise the woof with some diving or cannonballs.
Why your dog will love it: at low tide, there’ll be plenty of rockpools to explore.
Good to know: given the size and shape of the beach, be sure to check the tide times so that you don’t get cut off by the incoming tide.
Abermawr and Aberbach Bays
Photo courtesy of @wanderwoofadventures
Separated by a rocky headland named Pen Deudraeth, or the ‘Head of the Two Beaches’, these two bays are remote little jewels of the north coast and rightfully belong amongst the best beaches in Pembrokeshire for dogs.
When choosing which bay to start with, whatever your doggy decides, you’ll find yourself bordered by clifftops and backed by wooded areas and marshlands, which will provide a welcome appetiser to the sandy main course.
Not only will you want to arrive at low tide so that Fido can make the most of the sandy stretch but also because of the incredible sight of the sunken forest which presents itself as the tide recedes. Over 8,000 years ago (that’s 42,000 in doggo years!), a massive ice sheet melted and flooded the forest, and the saltwater of the sea now preserves the stumps, making it an exciting and unexpected view for you and your pup.
Why your dog will love it: the mixture of salty sea air and luscious woodlands and marshlands will make this an aromatic adventure to remember.
Good to know: it’s a popular spot for swimmers but be careful with your furry one as there are variable currents.
Broad Haven South, Bosherston
A sizeable sandy bay, backed by sand dunes which lead to a lake, this beach really is a ‘haven’ for canine companions due to the backdrop of caves with underground springs which are begging to be explored. The National Trust-owned Bosherston Lakes will provide plenty of new scents for your pups as you walk past them to access the beach. There’s plenty of flora, including a carpet of lilies, and fauna to spot: if you’re lucky enough, you might even spy some dolphins – or flying grey sausages as Rex calls them!
There’s a clean stream that runs alongside the lily ponds if you have any children with you, and bigger kids and dogs can enjoy jumping off the rocks into the water at high tide, but be careful when swimming due to strong currents.
Why your dog will love it: with oodles of soft sand to play in, your dog can run, run, run to his heart’s content, or play hide and seek in the powdery dunes.
Good to know: not to get this beach confused with Broad Haven North, which has a dog ban on parts of its beach during the summer.
Freshwater West, Castlemartin
Photo courtesy of @royslife_
If you head down to Freshwater West, make sure you and your pup look your best: you never know if the Hollywood magnates will be out scouting the area for a new blockbuster. Not only has this beach doubled as Dunkirk in Their Finest, but it also featured in Ridley Scott‘s Robin Hood and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Take the pooch on a walk and retrace Harry et al’s steps on their way to Dobby’s cottage.
This wide beach is perfect for stretching furry legs and is backed by a system of sprawling dunes with plenty of smells to investigate. There are numerous rock pools to splash in and surfers to watch, this being a hotspot for water sports. Your pup will relish cooling off in the sea but be aware of the strong rip currents and don’t let him dive in too deep.
Why your dog will love it: if he digs in the sand for long enough, he might uncover some buried booty left by bygone smugglers.
Good to know: in one of the car parks, you’ll find Cafe Mor, a solar-powered-mobile-converted-fishing-boat-seaweed-kitchen.
Barafundle Bay, nr Stackpole Quay
Viewed by many as one of the best beaches in the UK, we’ve really saved the best for last in Barafundle Bay. A shoreline with true ‘wow’ factor that has been likened to a Caribbean beach, this isolated bay is accessible only via a 0.5-mile walk through a swathe of pine trees and undulating dunes.
Being a pristine, isolated beach, there are no facilities here, but what more do you need when the golden sands and azure waters transport you to a tropical paradise? So, pack a picnic and the ball thrower and head down to this little slice of the Caribbean in South Wales.
Why your dog will love it: being a popular beach, there are bound to be hounds for him to say woof to.
Good to know: there are steep steps heading down to the beach and it is therefore unsuitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Other Pembrokeshire beaches with no restrictions:
- Newport Sands
- Manorbier Bay
- Druidston Haven Beach
- Skrinkle Haven Beach
- Swanlake Bay Beach
- Waterwynch Bay Beach
- Gelliswick Bay Beach
Stay with us in Pembrokeshire
With so much of Pembrokeshire being exposed to the coast, it’s easy to see why it has some of the best dog-friendly beaches in South Wales. If your dog has been hounding you for a beach holiday, make sure you sniff out our range of dog-friendly cottages in Pembrokeshire. Each is full of man’s best friend mod cons, such as enclosed gardens and outdoor showers for muddy paws. Just click the button below to start fetching.
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.