The Canine guide to Wales holiday cottages


The Canine guide to Wales

Kate Atkin 21 June 2018

At Canine Cottages, we believe holidays are for sharing with our four-legged best friends. We are a nation of dog lovers, and there is simply nothing better than seeing our canine companions happy and enjoying the fresh air and freedom of a wide sandy beach or the countryside. Wales is ideal for a dog-friendly holiday at any time of the year, and we have created some guides to help you make the most of your time in this enchanting land.

Discover where you can take your dog as part of a family day out, from castles to steam railway journeys and even underground in caves. We have also suggested some of the best pubs and eating places where dogs are welcomed with open arms, so you can be sure your pooch’s tail doesn’t stop wagging!

Welsh corgi enjoying dog-friendly Wales

If you’ve got an adventurous canine whose dream holiday would include climbing magnificent mountains, exploring ancient woodland and doggy paddling in glittering lakes, then click the button below to read our dog-friendly guide to North Wales.


Furry water babies who love nothing more than splashing about in waterfalls, sniffing out mysterious castles, and burying their treasured toys on golden sandy beaches, might prefer tapping their paws on the button below for our dog-friendly guide to South Wales.

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🏖 Beaches
🐾 Walks
🏰 Castles
🐶 Days out
🍴 Places to eat
🏡 Dog-friendly holidays

Dog-friendly beaches in Wales

There are some fantastic dog-friendly beaches in Wales and although some have seasonal restrictions, the following beautiful options have no restrictions at all, so are perfect for furry frolics all year round. Please remember that beaches where no dog restrictions apply usually have no lifeguard service, so if you fancy a swim, please take extra care of the tide and deep water.

Dog playing with a frisbee on a beach in Wales

North Wales

In North Wales enjoy long walks on the wide, sandy bay of Conwy Morfa, with plenty of space to chase a stick and splash in the waves. Not only will dogs love this beach, but it is also ideal for humans interested in fishing or birdwatching. The nearby historic town of Conwy offers several dog-friendly pubs and restaurants to grab a bite to eat afterwards including The Blue Bell, The Bridge Inn and the Castle View pub.

Watch the sun set behind the magnificent 250-year old lighthouse on a relaxing evening walk with your four-legged friend on Talacre Beach. Located at the northernmost point of mainland Wales, this RSPB nature reserve boasts fantastic birdwatching opportunities. Take the circular walk along the beach, past the lighthouse and back through the spectacular sand dunes. At the end of your walk enjoy a welcome drink at the nearby Smugglers Inn, which is also dog friendly.

Lighthouse at Talacre beach
The lighthouse at Talacre beach

Pups will love racing along the wide sand and shingle beach at Afon Wen on the south coast of Llyn Peninsula near Criccieth. The shallow gradient makes it perfect for a doggy paddle.

West Wales

A great beach in West Wales to visit with your dog and enjoy some off-lead fun is Broad Haven South beach, a long, sandy bay backed by beautiful dunes and rugged coastline. Access is by a National Trust car park and there are some lovely walks to delight your companion along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

Broad Haven South beach
Broad Haven South beach

Little noses will be in their element exploring the rockpools of Cwmtydu beach in Ceredigion. Surrounded by a deep woodland valley, it is perfect for long walkies along the Ceredigion Coast Path and appreciating breath-taking views across Cardigan Bay. It is said that the beach used to be a hideaway for smugglers as it is so quiet and secluded.

The picture-postcard town of Aberaeron has two beaches, on either side of the harbour. The north beach is the rockier of the two but has no dog restrictions so is perfect for dogs to feel the sea breeze through their fur. Soft sand is exposed at low tide and your walk can be extended along the Ceredigion section of the Wales Coast Path, which runs next to the beach.

South Wales

Make your dog’s dreams come true with a trip to ‘the UK’s No.1 dog-friendly beach’. Rhossili Bay beach in Swansea has won countless awards and accolades due to its three miles of pristine sands, and incomparable views. If you’re lucky you might even catch a glimpse of seals and dolphins.

Rhossili Bay
Rhossili Bay

The sandy cove of Jackson’s Bay, backed by cliffs and greenery, offers soft, golden sand, perfect for sandcastles whether your dog prefers to help build or flatten them. It is perfect to enjoy with the whole family, making the most of the vibrant seaside resort of Barry Island.

Freshwater West beach is one of Pembrokeshire’s most delightful doggie beaches as it is long and sandy, has plenty of golden dunes and even has its own fresh water stream for a mid-walk drink. Your best pal will love running in the shallow waves and watching the surfers all day long.

Head to Swansea Bay for a wooftastic choice of seven different dog-friendly beaches, all free from dog restrictions. All are sandy at low tide but make sure you bring your ‘dog towel’ as they can get quite muddy too!

Challenging dog walks in Wales

The whole family, including your dog, will love exploring the several walking trails available on Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in South Wales. Located in the Brecon Beacons, the views from the top are magnificent with plenty of photo opportunities along the way. There are different routes depending on ability, ranging from a gentle stroll on the trail nicknamed The Motorway, which starts at the Storey Arms, to the nine-mile circuit on the horseshoe ridge that starts at Taf Fechan Forest, and the more challenging 11-mile Brecon Beacons circuit.

Springer spaniel dog overlooking a lake and mountains at Snowdonia National Park, Wales

Those who have a head for heights and fancy a real challenge can follow in the footsteps of legends and take the Llanberis path up Snowdon. There are seven routes up the mountain, ranging from the Snowdon Ranger path, which is the ‘easiest’ of the routes, to the Grib Goch, which should only be attempted by experienced, well-equipped mountain walkers. A tough walk up Snowdon is not for the faint-hearted, so make sure your dog is physically up for it and take essentials such as a lead, water and snacks. The immense views from the top are definitely worth it and both you and your dog will sleep well afterwards!


With both Pen y Fan and Snowdon, please make sure you are well prepared beforehand and that your family and dog are definitely up to the challenge. Neither of these trails should be taken lightly.

King of the castle - dog-friendly castles

Wales has a fascinating history, steeped in myth and legend and the good news is that many of its most iconic heritage sites are dog-friendly, perfect for enjoying during a stay in one of our Welsh dog-friendly holiday cottages.

Pembroke Castle, Pembroke

Pembroke Castle in Wales
Pembroke Castle

One of the finest castles in Britain, Pembroke Castle is a definite hit for dog-friendly days out in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry VII, the first Tudor king, and has often had a leading role in shaping Britain’s history so there is plenty to explore. Be sure to admire the impressive views from the 75ft high Great Keep, and enjoy a wonderful picnic in the grounds with your four-legged friend. Dogs are welcome to explore the castle grounds provided they are kept on leads; they are not permitted in the shop or café.

  • Entry Fee: Adults £6.00, Children (aged 3-15) and Seniors £5.00, Children under three go free
  • Opening Hours: Opening times vary throughout the year, please check the website
  • Location: Pembroke SA71 4LA

Raglan Castle, Usk

Raglan Castle
Raglan Castle credit: Instagram @roo_n_maya


Situated on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the spectacular medieval fortress of Raglan Castle is perfect for a historical doggie day out. The castle ruins are so impressive that they have been used as a filming location for an episode of BBC’s Merlin. Dogs are welcome to explore the atmospheric ruins on the ground level on a short lead, however, they cannot go up the towers.

  • Entry Fee: Adults £6.50, Children (under 16) and Senior citizens £4.20, Family Ticket (two adults and up to three children under 16) £19.30, Children under five go free
  • Opening Hours: Open daily 09:30 until 17:00
  • Location: Castle Rd, Raglan NP15 2BT

Caldicot Castle and Country Park, Monmouthshire

Caldicot Castle in Monmouthshire, Wales
Caldicot Castle

Caldicot Castle has a romantic and intriguing history, founded by the Normans, developed in royal hands as a stronghold in the Middle Ages and restored as a Victorian family home. Located in a 55-acre beautiful country park with tranquil gardens and woodland, dogs will love roaming the stunning grounds and can even be taken into the castle as long as they are supervised.

  • Entry Fee: Free admission
  • Opening Hours: Open Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 until 16:00 during their open season
  • Location: Church Rd, Caldicot NP26 4HU

Harlech Castle, Gwynedd

Harlech Castle in Gwynedd, Wales
Harlech Castle

Built by Edward I in 1283, the mighty Harlech Castle, standing atop a spur of rock overlooking Snowdonia, is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a spectacular location and thanks to Cadw recently relaxing its rules, dogs are now welcome in all lower levels of the castle if kept on a lead. Children are given a treasure map full of clues on arrival and there are plenty of events throughout the year so this makes a fantastic family day out.

  • Entry Fee: Adults £6.00, Children £4.20, Family Ticket (two adults and up to three children under 16) £16.20, Children under five go free
  • Opening Hours: Opening times vary throughout the year, please check the website
  • Location: Harlech LL46 2YH

Ogmore Castle, Bridgend

Ogmore Castle
Ogmore Castle credit: Instagram @evangelineethomas_


Situated in the middle of the Glamorgan coast and countryside are the remains of Ogmore Castle, a Norman stone-built castle, raised by the de Londres family. Idyllically situated on the river Ewenny, there are lots of surrounding walks, perfect to stretch four legs!

  • Entry Fee: Free admission
  • Opening Hours: Open daily 10:00 until 16:00
  • Location: Bridgend CF32 0QP

Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen

Valle Crucis Abbey in Llangollen, Wales
Valle Crucis Abbey

If you want a slice of Welsh history you can keep your dog with you while exploring the ruins of Valle Crucis Abbey. This Cistercian monastery founded in the winter of 1201, is one of the best-preserved in Wales. Its remote location offers a peaceful walk for you and your dog with plenty of tranquil spots, such as the restored fish pond, to relax and while away some hours in the sunshine.

  • Entry Fee: Adults £4.00, Children (under 16) and Senior citizens £2.60, Family (two adults and up to three children under 16) £11.90, Disabled and companion go free, Children under five go free
  • Opening Hours: Open Wednesday to Sunday 10:00 until 17:00
  • Location: Llantysilio, Llangollen LL20 8DD

Dog-friendly days out

Wales is bursting with fantastic dog-friendly visitor attractions that are perfect for the whole family to enjoy during a stay in one of our pet-friendly holiday cottages. From scenic railway trips to educational museum visits and lovely gardens, there is plenty to keep dogs and their owners happy.

North Wales

The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, Porthmadog

Enjoy a dog-friendly day out on the Ffestiniog Railway, and experience the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway on a 13-mile scenic journey from the harbour in Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Alternatively, admire 25 miles of breathtaking Snowdonia scenery aboard The Welsh Highland Railway, the UK’s longest heritage railway. Dogs are welcome in the third-class sections of both railways and guide/assistance dogs are welcome in all station buildings and carriages.

Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways in Porthmadog, Wales

  • Entry Fee: Fares vary depending on the route, please check the website. Children under three travel free and there is a standard fare of £3.00 per dog. Guide/assistance dogs travel for free
  • Opening Hours: Check the website for timetables as they are subject to change

Sygun Copper Mines, Beddgelert

For the most adventurous pooches, take an exciting journey underground at the Sygun Copper Mines in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, and discover an important part of Welsh industrial heritage. One of the wonders of Wales, these copper mines house intriguing tunnels and large, colourful chambers full of magnificent stalactite and stalagmite formations. Just bear in mind, there are metal gridded staircases to contend with so this attraction might be more suitable for smaller dogs that can be easily carried.

Sygan Copper Mines in Beddgelert, Snowdonia, North Wales

  • Entry Fee: Adults £8.95, Children (aged 3-15) £6.95, Seniors and Students £7.95, Children under three go free, Family (two adults, two children) £28.00, Family (two adults, three children) £34.00
  • Opening Hours: Open 10th February until the 10th November and then the 27th December until the 2nd January. During British summertime 09.30 until 17:00 and during British winter time 10:00 until 16:00

Coed y Brenin Forest Park, Dolgellau

With numerous dog-friendly trails to choose from, the sights, sounds and smells of Coed y Brenin Forest Park in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park is sure to excite your dog’s senses. Stop by the visitor centre for friendly advice on which route best suits your skill level and enjoy the beauty of the Welsh countryside. Your pooch will definitely thank you for it!

Dog on a walk in Coed y Brenin park, Dolgellau

  • Entry Fee: Free admission, Car parking – one hour £1.00, up to three hours £3.00, all day £5.00
  • Opening Hours: Visitor Centre – Summer Monday to Friday 09:30 until 17:00, Weekend 09:00 until 17:00, Winter Monday to Friday 09:30 until 16:30, Weekend 09:00 until 16:30

South Wales

Aberdulais Tinworks and Waterfall, Neath

Step back in time and explore Aberdulais Tinworks and Waterfall in the Neath Valley with your dog. Providing they are kept on a short lead they are able to get close to the roaring waterfall, browse the interesting exhibitions and even watch a film in the Turbine House. Discover the fascinating story of how the sheer power of the waterfall has been the driving force for over 400 years of industrial innovation.

  • Entry Fee: Adults £5.00, Children £2.50, Family £12.50
  • Opening Hours: Opening times vary throughout the year, please check the website

Brecon Mountain Railway, Merthyr Tydfil

Discover the timeless appeal of a vintage steam locomotive as you and your dog travel in an observation carriage to Torpantau, high in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Watch awe-inspiring scenery pass you and your canine friend by in the relaxing comfort of the Brecon Mountain Railway. Dogs are welcome aboard the train; however, they are not allowed in the café so make sure you take plenty of tasty snacks with you.

Brecon Mountain Railway in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales

  • Entry Fee: Return Adult £13.50, Return Senior citizen £12.00, Return Child (aged 3-15) £6.75, Children under three go free, Dogs £2.50
  • Opening Hours: Please check the website for timetables as they are subject to change

Craig y Nos Country Park, Penycae

Dogs like nothing better than being outdoors, running freely through the countryside, so be sure to make a stop at Craig y Nos Country Park in the upper Swansea valley. Boasting 40-acres of scenic countryside with shady woodlands, meadows and rivers, your four-legged friend will be in doggie heaven. Their only restriction is that dogs are not allowed in the hay meadow while sheep are grazing in the winter months.

Happy Jack Russell jumping and playing in the park

  • Entry Fee: Free admission, pay and display car parking
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 24 hours a day except for Christmas Day

A dog’s dinner

After a thrilling day of exploring the best of dog-friendly Wales, there is simply nothing better than indulging in a delicious meal in a welcoming pub or restaurant. Experience tasty local produce and sample some real ales with your faithful friend by your side. We have rounded up a selection of eateries where your dog will be as welcome as you are.

Dog with food bowl waiting for his meal

North Wales

The Kings Head is Llandudno is the town’s oldest pub, dating back to the 18th century. Dogs are welcome in the stone-flagged bar, or outside where you can watch the trams go by on a fine day.

The White Eagle in Rhoscolyn offers a warm welcome and has a special doggy dining room where you can enjoy a bite to eat whilst your dog munches on a biscuit or two.

The Black Lion in Anglesey happily welcomes dogs into the bar. This 18th-century Grade-II listed inn is set in beautiful surroundings so is perfect for a post-walkies treat.

South Wales

The Bear in Crickhowell is an incredibly dog-friendly pub in Wales, so much so that the staff have been known to magically produce dog treats from their pockets, and slip bowls of freshly cooked chicken onto the floor! The Dragon’s Back in Pengenffordd welcomes dogs into the bar of this 300-year-old pub, which is the highest pub in the Brecon Beacons National Park, standing at more than 1,000ft above sea level.

The Black Lion in Abergorlech is the perfect stop after walking your pooch in the Brechfa Forest. Even muddy dogs are welcome, and it’s particularly lovely in the summer when you can enjoy the views over the River Cothi from the beer garden.

The Black Cock Inn at Caerphilly Mountain offers brimming water bowls for dogs and hearty meals for humans, halfway along the circular walk from the top of Caerphilly Mountain, a dog’s dream!

Dog-friendly holidays

We hope that you and your pet have been inspired by all of the wonderful things that you can do together, so why not delight your four-legged friend with a dog-friendly holiday in Wales this year? Treat your canine companion to a stay in one of our cosy dog-friendly holiday cottages in Wales, make the most of this beautiful part of the country, and of course, have a pawsome time!


*Opening hours and prices of the attractions listed are correct at the time of publishing but are subject to change.

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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