Dogs know it, you know it – the beach was designed specifically for play. And what does that play involve? Running, jumping, hurtling through the air on the same trajectory as their rubber ball - dogs adore the beach almost as much as they love eating! But what makes the ultimate, dog-friendly beach? Well, you could book a holiday in North Wales to find out. There are great pet-friendly beaches at all of the popular seaside resorts like Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, Caernarfon, Prestatyn, Anglesey, Harlech, Barmouth, and Pwllheli, and that’s just for starters.
If your dog was a beach architect, the top items on their wish list would be a long stretch of sand to tear down, freshwater to lap up, free snacks, games of frisbee or fetch for days, and other friendly dogs to bounce around with. The next consideration would be the beach location! Well, North Wales has miles and miles and miles of wide, sandy beaches, some unfettered by ‘necessary’ restrictions. There are huge sections of the coast that remain unspoiled by over-development too – it really is a magic place for dogs where the countryside meets the sea.
We have compiled a sweet guide to the best dog-friendly beaches for you and your dog whether or not they are a fast dog, a mad puppy or an old dog. There are beaches lined with promenades, increased accessibility and good facilities for accompanying humans too. North Wales is great for dog-friendly beaches, so why not book yourself into one of our self-catering holiday homes so you and your hound can get to know them even better? We have holiday accommodation all across the region, whether you are travelling as a couple or in a large group, discover a superb choice of places for you to call ‘home’ in this fabulous corner of the British Isles.
Barmouth is found on the northern banks where the Mawdacch Estuary flows into Cardigan Bay. A lesser-known holiday spot, the beaches here rival the very best in Wales. The town is perched on the coastal boundary of the Snowdonia National Park. Close to the town centre, Barmouth’s large beach is a gem and the west-facing Abermaw is pooch heaven; a stay at a dog-friendly holiday cottage nearby is a sure-fire way to impress your pup no end. There is a mutt exclusion zone (May to September) but the beach is so big there’s room for everybody anyway!
There are some breathtaking views of Cardigan Bay and the picturesque harbour. There is good access down to the beach and leisure amenities, including a full range of shops, cafes and pubs that are within a short distance of the waterfront. At low tide, it is possible to walk all the way to Harlech to the north with its wonderful views over Tremadog Bay to the peaks of the Llyn Peninsula.
Why your dog will love it: A run in the shallows will cool their running feet! Doggy bliss.
Good to know: Shops, WCs, deckchair hire, parking, slipway access
Stay at: The Moorings | Sleeps: 1 dog and 4 humans
With the exception of a small patch of beach near the promenade that’s exclusively for humans, crabs, and seagulls (May to September), Pwllheli is home to two amazing stretches of sand and shingle. South Beach, the section that runs between Gimblet Rock in the direction of Llanbedrog is particularly lovely. Your pooch can run the full length of Glan-y-Mor, an open stretch that leads from Pwllheli to the Penychain Headland in the distance. You can find the town end of the beach close to the marina. Visitors love water sports here too. Maybe take your hound out on a sea kayak if they are brave enough.
Why your dog will love it here: The fresh sea air and the huge expanse of Glan-y-Mor.
Good to know: Shops, WCs, good access, lifeguard service (during summer)
Stay at: Marian Y De | Sleeps: 2 dogs and 4 humans
Dinas Dinlle Beach near Caernarfon
Dinas Dinlle Beach is a gorgeous sand and pebble beach with jaw-dropping views across the bay and back inland to the peaks of Snowdonia National Park. It’s something of a local secret this beach as the village is a bit off-the-beaten-track, and it makes for a spectacular walk any time of the year. There is a small no-dog patch (May to September) at the centre of the beach down to the low tide line, but it's definitely not much of a hindrance to you and your four-legged companion. The north end of the beach is highly recommended for a bit of hyper-active exercise – it’s totally wild!
Archaeology and history buffs may be interested in the earthworks of an Iron Age settlement; the dune system and beach is also an SSSI; and for fishing fanatics, this spot is great for catching bass. After a day of exploration at Caernarfon Castle and town, the view here is also a wonder to sit and gaze at from your beach base. Look out for dolphins!
Why your dog will love it here: Lots of potential for play!
Good to know: Slipway access and parking.
Stay at: Ocean House Waves | Sleeps: 2 dogs and 4 humans
The beach at Harlech is one of our favourites in the British Isles. The long sandy swathes are fringed with pristine dunes and the views across the bay to the peaks of the Llyn Peninsula would complete the picture if it wasn’t for the towering mountains inland and the outstanding grandeur of Harlech Castle commanding the southern hills above. Again, there is a partial dog ban near the main car park - this is mainly because of the beach’s SSSI status and designation as a National Nature Reserve. Harlech really is heaven on earth, and a superb choice if you are looking to catch the sun, play with the kids and the dogs.
Why your dog will love it here: An unforgettable choice for a quality day out with the family!
Good to know: WCs, beach shop, parking, café, Harlech less than 1 mile away
Stay at: East Bay Barn | Sleeps: 1 dog and 4 humans
Talacre near Prestatyn
If you are holidaying near Chester, the Wirral or Merseyside, this gem of a beach is just inside the Welsh border; Talacre is perfect if you and your hound love a beautiful and quiet space in the quieter seasons. During the summertime, Talacre is a focal point for young families who make the most of the shallows and acres upon acres of unspoiled beach. Backed with dunes, the views across the River Dee and the Irish Sea are lush.
The 18th-century Point of Ayr Lighthouse, Wales' oldest, is a striking feature for photo opportunities, just don’t get cut off by the rising tide if you head out for a walk. Another SSSI, the dunes and beach are home to a rare species of toad, natterjacks! Wintering birds like skylarks, meadow pipits, little terns and various warblers can be spotted in the estuary, so if you are a twitcher, bring your binoculars.
Your dog will love it here: Because there are no restricted areas, also it’s huge and empty in the quieter seasons.
Good to know: Café, WCs, parking
Stay at: Talton Court House | Sleeps 3 dogs and 6 humans
The good news is that none of the beaches on Anglesey have total dog bans. Whilst it’s still worth checking to see if there are restricted zones at some of the beaches, it would seem that the islanders welcome our four-legged friends with open arms. For owners of smaller and older dogs, we’d choose Beaumaris Beach as it is compact and close to facilities. The views of the mountains of Snowdonia and the seaside resort trappings make this a modest yet welcoming choice of place for a restful visit to the beach with your lovely dog. Hire a deckchair and buy a bag of chips and watch the world go by. It’s perfection, there’s even a seaside pier to enjoy!
Your dog will love it here: It’s a great spot to watch the world go by and rest up. Best for old dogs and those with big hearts and short legs.
Good to know: Pier, shops, WCs, parking, good access
Stay at: Cwyrt Cottage | Sleeps: 1 dog and 6 humans
Rhyl is home to 2 miles of wide, sandy beach for you and your dog to discover. The tide rolls out about half a mile here at Rhyl making the expanse a colossal prospect. Rhyl was established as a seaside resort during the late 1800s and its beach has been a major draw during the summertime ever since. With its lengthy promenade, there are still arcades and fun places for kids to spend their pocket money. There are donkey rides too, not that your dog would be interested in such tomfoolery, they’d be more interested in a run or a stroll down the beach.
As there is a promenade here, Rhyl is also a good option for older dogs and pups, as there are lots for them to see and enjoy without getting into bother. Rhyl, like many of North Wales’ busiest and best-loved beaches, does have partial restrictions for dogs (May to September). They certainly won’t be short of places to eat and scents to sniff!
Your dog will love it here: A great first beach experience for puppies!
Good to know: Shops, cafes, pubs, WCs, parking, good access, small exclusion zone
Stay at: Y Daflod | Sleeps: 1 dog and 8 humans
Just before the north coast bends out to Llandudno, you will find the seaside resort of Colwyn Bay. Another town that found fame and fortune in Victorian times, many traces of its heyday remain and nowadays there are quite a few modern attractions to draw in visitors like Porth Eirias (The Park by the Sea). The once prominent Victoria Pier was dismantled in 2018 and work on a new one has commenced. The old pier was an impressive example of the Victorian pier before falling into disrepair and dereliction after it closed. Dominating the beach for decades, many considered it an eyesore, whilst fans of ‘abandoned architecture’ were enthralled with its faded majesty.
There is no shortage of space for your dog to go for a run along the beach, which is backed by a long sea wall and promenade. There are heaps of places to buy lunch or a snack, and places to sit and contemplate the lovely North Wales surroundings. The east end of the beach has a no-dog area in effect between May and September – look out for markers.
Why your dog will love it here: Colwyn Bay offers all things to all dogs! Places to run, and places to sit and eat in equal measure.
Good to know: Cafes, shops, WCs, parking, good access
Stay at: Damselfly Lodge | Sleeps: 1 dog and 2 humans
Conwy Morfa Beach
High up on the west coast of North Wales this wide beach is home to a generous stretch of sand and shingle, gilded by low dunes and views of Great Orme and beyond. Found at the point where the Afon Conwy River meets the sea, there are no restrictions for hounds at this gorgeous beach which is a major plus! Beautiful views south to the striking Penmaen-bach Point and Anglesey also enhance the visual joys of this spot. There is a nearby golf course and the beach is popular for sea fishing. At low tide, sandbanks emerge, where you might see mussel pickers out on the banks – the sea returns quickly, so don’t get cut off!
Why your dog will love it here: It’s theirs all year round!
Good to know: Parking, WC, local shops
Stay at: The Hall – Conwy | Sleeps: 1 dog and 14 humans
Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey
Situated along the eastern coast of Anglesey, Red Wharf Bay is not just popular with dog walkers, water sports enthusiasts love it here too. Wedged between the villages of Pentraeth and Benllech in a craggy bay, Red Wharf Bay is a major draw for bird spotters, it’s also a nature reserve. Regulars include bird species such as purple sandpipers, curlews, shelducks, and dunlins. Pyramidal orchids can be found in the bordering salt marshes, which makes the place well worth a look if you love wild plants. It’s perfect for the pooch, as there are no restrictions here placed on dogs and their owners. Your visit here will be made extra memorable by a trip to the nearby dog-friendly pub, the Ship Inn, for some well-earned grub.
Why your dog will love it: There’s lots of scope for scrambling on the rocks as well as a good run at low tide.
Good to know: Parking, slipway access, no dog restrictions
Stay at: Pebble Beach Cottage | Sleeps: 1 dog and 4 humans
Explore North Wales with your canine chum
For even more dog-friendly days out and destinations in North Wales check out our helpful guide.
North Wales is a wonderful place to visit with your dog and we have the ultimate pet-friendly cottage waiting for you in our collection. Browse our North Wales holiday cottages for groups large and small, dogs of all sizes and for any occasion. Good locations for walks and dog-friendly beaches are also a consideration, so if you are planning a trip to North Wales, uncover your perfect holiday backdrop today.
*All information concerning beach restrictions for dogs was correct at the time of writing. We endeavour to keep all our information current, but please also check local or on-site information during your visit to North Wales.