24 September 2019
A holiday in South Wales with your four-legged pal gives you time to not only relax but to enjoy lots of outdoor adventures too. Roam through miles of glorious countryside in the Brecon Beacons, lunch in cosy rural pubs, explore vast beaches and hidden bays in Pembrokeshire, visit award-winning attractions and delve into a history steeped in myth and legend, all with your canine at your side.
We have pulled together this guide to dog-friendly holidays in South Wales to make planning a beak with your pet, super easy! Want to skip straight to dog-friendly cottages in South Wales?
Dog-friendly beaches in South Wales
From vast expanses of golden sand to quiet secluded bays, all 50 of Pembrokeshire’s glorious beaches are dog friendly. Even some of the stiles on the coast path have special dog gates! Like anywhere, restrictions in the height of summer (1 May – 31 September) do apply, but with some of the bigger beaches spanning several miles, large restriction-free sections remain. We have picked out some of our favourite dog-friendly beaches in Pembrokeshire.
- Broad Haven – When the tide is out, there is plenty of space for dogs to stretch their legs and enjoy a pleasant walk around the headland to the Settlands and on to Little Haven.
- Marloes Sands – A large expanse of sand, which at high tide can completely disappear but when the tide pulls, it reveals little bays, rock pools and interesting rock formations.
- Newgale Beach – Backed by a huge pebble bank, this almost 2-mile-long beach operates a seasonal ban to the middle third. At low tide, you can walk round to Cwm Mawr.
- Barafundle Bay – A pristine bay backed by dunes and pine trees and accessed via a half-mile walk through the trees from the car park. Dog-friendly all year round!
This comprehensive guide to dog restrictions in Pembrokeshire is useful for precise information on seasonal bans on each beach.
Stay in a cottage in Pembrokeshire.
The Gower Peninsula
The Gower Peninsula offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in Wales, and it is quite possibly the most-loved destination in the country for dog walkers. The good news for dogs and their owners is that there are more completely dog-friendly beaches on the peninsula than those that have restrictions. We have picked some of our favourite dog-friendly beaches in Gower, but head over to the Swansea website for the full lowdown.
- Three Cliffs Bay – A combination of sand dunes, salt marshes and limestone cliffs make this one of Wales’ wilder but most photogenic beaches.
- Pobbles – A secluded bay surrounded by cliffs and dunes. It’s worth walking from the beach to the top of the cliffs to tire out your pooch and take in the views.
- Rhossili – Nominated by the Times as the ‘UK's No.1 dog-friendly beach’, and often dubbed as the best beach in Wales, it’s definitely one for the itinerary.
- Whiteford Sands – This 2-mile stretch offers dog walkers plenty of adventures. Head to the lighthouse at the end of Whiteford Point or explore Whiteford Burrows Nature Reserve.
Restrictions apply: Swansea Bay, Bracelet Bay, Limeslade Bay, Rotherslade Bay, Langland Bay, Caswell Bay, Port Eynon beach.
Dog-friendly all year round: Horton, Mumbles, Pwll Du, Pobbles, Three Cliffs, Tor Bay, Crawley, Oxwich, Mewslade, Rhossili, Llangennith, Broughton, Whiteford Sands.
Dog-friendly places to visit in South Wales
Castles & abbeys
Caldicot Castle and Country Park – Founded by the Normans, developed in royal hands as a stronghold in the Middle Ages and restored as a stunning Victorian family home, the castle has an intriguing history and more importantly, beautiful grounds for your dog to roam.
Pembroke Castle - Hailed as a wonder of Wales, dogs are welcome to explore the castle grounds if kept on leads. As the birthplace of Henry VII, it’s worth exploring the castle's extensive history and soaking up its striking position on the banks of the estuary.
Tintern Abbey – A national icon, this roofless Gothic masterpiece takes up a splendid position on the banks of the River Wye, 500 years on from when it fell from grace. Dogs are welcome to explore the ground levels of the abbey.
Raglan Castle – An impressive fortress-palace, this is the grandest castle to have ever been built by a Welshman and you and your pooch are welcome to explore it. Dogs are allowed on the ground floor of the property.
Attractions and days out
National Showcaves – Explore a network of caves at this unique underground experience. As long as owners are prepared with 'doggy bags', family-friendly dogs on a short lead are welcome into the National Showcaves.
Aberdulais Tin Works and Waterfall - A National Trust-owned village that has been powered by water since 1584! The site is happy to welcome dogs on leads everywhere on the property. There are leads available to borrow, treats on arrival and water bowls outside the visitor centre.
Brecon Mountain Railway – Climb high into the Brecon Beacons on the mountain railways, from Pant to Torpantau at the summit of the original line. Take your four-legged friend with you too, at a small charge of £2.50 per dog.
Craig-Y-Nos Country Park - This 40-acre Victorian garden with woodlands, meadows, ponds, lawns and rivers combine manmade and natural features to provide a peaceful setting for gentle strolls and lazy picnics – your pooch included. You are just asked that you keep your dog on their lead.
Dog-friendly pubs in South Wales
Break up long walks with a pub stop or after a day of adventures in South Wales; retire to one of the country’s cosy dog-friendly pubs for a hearty meal. From those that dish out treats to the ones who don’t shy away from a bit of mud, we have found some of the best in South Wales.
The Coach & Horse Inn – Overlooking the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, this is a convenient stop-off point mid-way through a long dog-walk beside the canal.
The Black Cock Inn – Halfway along the circular walk from the top of Caerphilly Mountain, this is a popular stop for walkers, serving hearty meals and bowls of water for canines.
The Woodlands Tavern – Situated in the Monmouthshire village of Llanvair Discoed, this charming country pub welcomes four-legged friends with a treat or two in the bar.
The Dragon's Back – Located in Pengenffordd, this is the highest pub in the Brecon Beacons, standing at more than 1000ft above sea level. Dogs are allowed into the bar area of the pub.
The Black Lion – Welcoming dogs, muddy bikers and walkers into the bar area, this is a fantastic, relaxed country pub. It’s the perfect stop-off after exploring Brechfa forest.
Dog-friendly cottages in South Wales
We have a whole collection of dog-friendly cottages in Wales, from cottages for couples to large houses perfect for family gatherings. We have picked out a few of our favourites to help inspire your dog-friendly holiday in Wales.
Top of Lane Cottage - A truly idyllic cottage nestled in The Begwyns. With 580 acres of land surrounding you, there's ample space for your dog to roam free. Inside the cottage, snuggle up in front of the roaring open fire and immerse yourself in the cosy atmosphere of this tranquil Welsh cottage. Top of Lane Cottage is perfect for couples and small families planning a dog-friendly holiday, deep in the Welsh countryside.
The Lake House - A spectacular cottage just a few miles from the bustling market town of Hay-on-Wye. With space for 11 people and ample room for pets, it’s perfect for large family gatherings or groups looking for a traditional Welsh escape. Inside the cottage, the décor is relaxed and rural, with a spacious kitchen and dining area and huge oak windows overlooking the lake. We're sure your pet will enjoy roaming this grand cottage and its gardens.
Rhiannydd's Stable - If you're looking for added luxuries, Rhianydd’s Stable is perfect for small families, couples and pets. In a prime spot in the Brecon Beacons, the cottage has a gorgeous hot tub to enjoy the views. The large garden is the perfect place for energetic pets and children to burn off some energy, while inside the cool and cosy features make this the ultimate rural getaway. Your pooch is guaranteed to enjoy roaming the surrounding hills and mountains before taking a nap in front of the cosy wood burner, while you take a dip in the hot tub or enjoy the shared games room.
The Rest - 56 - If you're looking for style, The Rest - 56 is perfect for small families, couples and pets. Located in a prime spot neighbouring Rest Bay, The Royal Golf Club and a coastal walk that will take you straight to Kenfig Nature Reserve, this beautifully decorated apartment has all you need for a coastal break. Rest Bay is great for beach days with pets and children, while nearby Porthcawl offers watersports galore, along with fabulous restaurants and bars.
Dog-friendly glamping in South Wales
A glamping break in Wales can be possible with your canine companion too. We have a selection of shepherds' huts, yurts and wooden lodges that take you right back to nature for a few nights in the wilds. Our dog-friendly glamping escapes don’t compromise on luxury though; you can still expect hot tubs, wood burners and most importantly, some of the most exclusive locations and views in Wales.
Bluebell Shepherd Huts – This charming shepherd’s hut for two provides the perfect base for a romantic escape where your pooch is welcome too. Enjoy long walks in the countryside, stroll to the nearby pub or enjoy peaceful evenings beneath the stars. While your canine dozes peacefully, you can take in the views or snuggle up in front of the wood burner for a cosy night in.
Book a dog-friendly cottage in South Wales
Do you feel ready to take on South Wales with your best friend at your side? Whether you are planning a dog-friendly holiday in South Wales with the rest of the family, a group of friends or just the two of you, we have a large collection of dog-friendly cottages in South Wales that come in all shapes and sizes. If you are considering visiting another area of Wales, why not check out our guide to North Wales for some more inspiration?
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.