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Time for

Walks

Time for 'walkies' in South Wales

Kate A 15 October 2019

When it comes to walkies in South Wales, your pack will be thoroughly spoilt for choice with beautiful coastlines, impressive mountains, glistening lakes and dazzling waterfalls to sniff out. There’s an abundance of open spaces for off-the-lead frolics and a variety of terrains to challenge the most adventurous of canine explorers.

We’ve handpicked our top 7 dog walks in South Wales where your pups can swim, run, dig, bury, play and bark to their hearts’ content, while you soak up the views and breathe in the fresh air. Whether you fancy tackling the highest peak in southern Britain or want to check out some scenic shorelines, we’ve chosen the best dog walks and our favourite trails that you will both enjoy together by foot and by paw. 

Why not treat your furry best friend to a stay in one of our dog-friendly South Wales cottages and let them take you for a walk?

1. Three Cliffs Bay to Oxwich Bay, Gower Peninsula

Three Cliffs Bay
Three Cliffs Bay credit: Instagram @bryony_thomas01

 

Happy hounds will love feeling the wind in their fur on this spectacular coastal walk along two of the Gower Peninsula’s most glorious beaches, Three Cliffs Bay and Oxwich Bay. At low tide, pups can bound across the sand all the way from one beach to the other. At high tide, you and Fido will have to hop up onto the clifftop and walk inland at Three Cliffs to the stepping stones, and over the headland to Oxwich instead. This South Wales dog walk finishes with a breathtaking loop of Oxwich Head past a ruined castle.

Why your dog will love this: Both beaches are dog-friendly all year round without any restrictions and are great for swimming, so both two and four legs can enjoy a splash in the sea.

Terrain: At low tide, the route is easy underfoot and you can follow the beach with very little ascent. At high tide, there is the occasional steep path along the coast path and some rough terrain from the car park to the beach.

Difficulty: πŸ•πŸ•

Distance: 7.5 miles.

Ideal for: Furry water babies who love a combination of wide-open spaces to run, followed by a doggy paddle in the surf.

In addition: You can park at the Three Cliffs Bay car park (SA3 2HB).

Stay nearby: Coastlands (sleeps 2 dogs and 8 humans).

2. The Four Falls Trail, Brecon

The Four Falls Trail
The Four Falls Trail credit: Instagram @georginanightingale

 

Treat your tail-wagging companion to a walk they will never forget in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The rewards for this challenging trek are not one, but four incredible waterfalls, one of which you can all scamper behind – an exhilarating experience as the curtain of water thunders before your eyes into the pool below. To get to the falls, you’ll meander through luscious woodland, across bridges and beside winding streams.

Why your dog will love this: They will feel like Indiana Bones as they traverse this challenging terrain.

Terrain: This undulating hike includes some steep climbs and potentially slippery sections. To access some of the waterfalls you will descend a series of steps, before ascending again to re-join the main path. Care should be taken on the rocks and alongside rivers, especially when the water is high and flowing fast.

Difficulty: πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•

Distance: 5.5 miles.

Ideal for: A family hike – there are plenty of opportunities to skim stones, balance on fallen trees, jump in muddy puddles and play pooh sticks.

In addition: You start the walk by parking in Cwm Porth car park. There are toilets at the car park but not on the walk itself.

Stay nearby: The Lodge House (sleeps 2 dogs and 12 humans).

3. Talybont Reservoir and Forest Circular, near Talybont-on-Usk

Talybont Reservoir
Talybont Reservoir credit: Instagram @bella182508

 

Perfect for canines who prefer a gentler stroll, this circular trail borders Talybont Reservoir, the largest still water reservoir in the Brecon Beacons at 3km long. Starting at the northern end, you and your pack will wind your way through the woodland along the Taff Trail and National Cycle Route 8. The route follows the track bed of the former 19th-century tramway that once provided the means to transport the output from local collieries and quarries down to the canal. After pausing to admire the picture-postcard views of the mountains reflected in the clear water, you can continue along the western side and through the enchanting Talybont Forest. Energetic pups could even extend their walk along the Taff Trail to the mesmerising Blaen y Glyn Waterfalls.

Why your dog will love this: Rover will love meeting other playful pups along this popular dog walk in South Wales and it’s a great spot for some canine selfies.

Terrain: Easy and level, along former tram tracks and country lanes.

Difficulty: πŸ•

Distance: 4 miles.

Ideal for: Older hounds and those with little legs (canine or otherwise!) who prefer a less strenuous walk.

In addition: There are lay-bys and car parks alongside the Talybont to Pontsticill road and on the other side of the dam. Public toilets are located next to the White Hart Inn in Talybont-on-Usk.

Stay nearby: Nantywen (sleeps 2 dogs and 6 humans).

4. Pen Y Fan and Corn Du circular walk, Powys

Pen y Fan
Pen y Fan credit: Instagram @agoldentale

 

This is one of the best dogs walks in South Wales for the more energetic canine adventurer.  Standing proud as the tallest peak in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Pen y Fan measures 886m above sea level, closely followed by Corn Du at 873m. You’ll get to experience both impressive peaks on this circular walk, and on a clear day, the views of the Bristol Channel, Gower Peninsula and the Cambrian Mountains from the summit are immense, making the climb well worth the effort.

Why your dog will love this: What proud pup wouldn’t want to tell their furry friends that they’ve conquered southern Britain’s highest mountain?

Terrain: A strenuous climb on well-made upland footpaths.

Difficulty: πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•

Distance: 4 miles.

Ideal for: Dogs and their pet parents who like an exhilarating challenge. Please note that canines must always be kept under close control and it’s advisable for them to be on a lead towards the upper reaches of the mountain.

In addition: There are limited parking spaces available at Pont ar Daf. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you embark on your journey and pack plenty of water and snacks for Fido, especially on warmer days.

Stay nearby: Blue Lins River Cottage (sleeps 2 dogs and 6 humans).

5. Ogmore-by-Sea coastal walk, Vale of Glamorgan

Ogmore-by-Sea coastal walk
Ogmore-by-Sea credit: Instagram @yaaasmin

 

There are a few options for walks with dogs along the picturesque Glamorgan Heritage Coast at Ogmore-by-Sea. Those who really want to stretch their paws can tackle the full 8-mile route, while others who prefer a more leisurely scamper can enjoy one of the shorter options, including a buggy and wheelchair accessible route from Dunraven Bay. Highlights include Ogmore Castle, the layered cliffs of the Heritage Coast, the walled gardens and ruins of Dunraven Castle, the Merthyr Mawr sand dunes and the area’s best beach, Dunraven Bay at Southerndown (seasonal restrictions for pets).

Why your dog will love this: There’s a walk to suit every type of salty sea dog, with a selection of pup-friendly pubs to enjoy a good doze in afterwards.

Terrain: Generally flat with some short steep hills as well as gradual climbs. There are no stiles and minimal road walking, but sheep are possible along any section of the coast path.

Difficulty: πŸ•πŸ•

Distance: Main walk 8 miles. Optional shorter walk 4 miles. Dunraven coastal loop 2 miles.

Ideal for: Romantic walks and family hikes with the whole pack in tow.

In addition: Large car parks at Ogmore-by-Sea and Dunraven Bay. Toilets at Dunraven Bay and Ogmore-by-Sea. Seasonal refreshments kiosk at Dunraven Bay. Seasonal ice cream van at Ogmore-by-Sea. Shop and pubs in St. Brides and a pub in Ogmore.

Stay nearby: Pebbles Cottage Gileston (sleeps 2 dogs and 2 humans).

6. Skirrid Fawr, Abergavenny

Skirrid Fawr
Skirrid Fawr credit: Instagram @bessiedonnelly

 

Of the seven hills that surround Abergavenny, the Skirrid (also known as Ysgyryd Fawr or Holy Mountain) is one of the best places to walk dogs in South Wales. Rich in myths and legends, this isolated peak dramatically rises out of the landscape and stands at 486m high. While it’s not one of the tallest mountains in Wales, it offers some of the most rewarding views over the Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons and surrounding borders countryside. Head up from the car park through the woods where Bella can sniff out some good sticks to carry, then follow the mountain’s craggy spine to the ruined chapel on the summit which, during late summer, is thick with delicious whinberries.

Why your dog will love this: The whole pack will enjoy the wild, open spaces where they can walk, run and chase a ball along the way. Bring a picnic and take some time to soak up the awe-inspiring views together.

Terrain: Gravel tracks, mud and grass paths. There are some sharp climbs and descents. After wet weather, this walk can be very muddy and slippery in places. You will need to negotiate a gate and some steps, but there are no stiles.

Difficulty: πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•

Distance: 4 miles.

Ideal for: Energetic rambles with the whole family, including big and little humans.

In addition: Park in the pay and display Skirrid Mountain car park (NP7 8AP). Be prepared with doggy treats, water and appropriate clothing.

Stay nearby: Old Henhouse Hideaway (sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans).

7. Craig Gwladys circular walk, Neath

Craig Gwladys
Craig Gwladys credit: Instagram @rhysjamesssss

 

Doggy excitement is guaranteed on this easy route along the towpath of the Neath Canal. Happy hounds and their humans can follow clearly marked woodland trails through the Craig Gwladys Country Park, with glorious views of the lower Neath Valley and the dazzling Aberdulais Waterfall. There are some lovely spots for a picnic along the way so don’t forget Rover’s favourite biccies.

Why your dog will love this: There are so many fascinating sights and smells for pups to discover, as well as babbling brooks to splash their paws in and piles of leaves to dive into.

Terrain: The trail follows well-made paths or roads, mostly through woodland and joins pavemented roads at several points.

Difficulty: πŸ•

Distance: 4 miles.

Ideal for: Good dog walks with the family or a group of friends, particularly those who love wildlife spotting – keep your eyes peeled for butterflies, green woodpeckers, owls, buzzards and herons.

In addition: Free parking, bicycle parking and toilets are available.

Stay nearby: Depot Rd (sleeps 4 dogs and 12 humans).

Come and stay with us in South Wales!

Now that you’ve discovered the top dog walks in South Wales, have a browse of our paw-friendly accommodation nearby. From seaside getaways to rural retreats, our dog-friendly cottages in South Wales are perfectly placed to enjoy a wonderful walking holiday with your pack.

 

Want to sniff out more dog-friendly things to do in South Wales? Have a read of our guide to the best dog-friendly beaches in South Wales for some great coastal walkies, or return to our ultimate dog-friendly guide to South Wales for more inspiration.

 

You'll also find more marvellous dog walks elsewhere in the UK with our complete guide to the coutnry's best dog walks.

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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