Looking for some dog-friendly activities for your next holiday in North Wales? These are some of our dog’s favourites.
We love our four-legged friends here at Dioni, and we know you do too. Almost half of all our holiday cottage bookings are made by fellow dog lovers who are looking for a pet-friendly place to stay. Dogs are very much valued members of our holiday tribe.
You probably already know that North Wales is a fantastic place to holiday with your pooch: our rural community is very dog-friendly, with a large majority of pubs, cafés, shops and other attractions that are welcoming to well-behaved pets.
And of course, with all its big mountains-and-coasts landscapes, North Wales is a wonderful place to go walking with your four-legged friend too – there’s so much space to run and sniff around. Just remember to keep your dog on a lead whenever you are near livestock. We love our farm animals too.
We’re never sure if our own little dog (he’s a Jack Russell called Cariad) actually realises he is a dog at all – he goes almost everywhere with us, and throws himself into all sorts of activities with our kids with complete enthusiasm and abandon.
We thought it was time we shared some of his (and our!) favourite doggie days out. Maybe you can tell us about your favourites in the comments below!
Paddleboarding in Barmouth
This is guaranteed to get our dog’s tail wagging furiously. In fact, whenever we get the paddleboard out of storage, he goes completely nuts with excitement. Our favourite place for a day’s paddleboarding is the Mawddach Estuary at Barmouth – we love it for its fabulous mountain backdrop, golden sandy beach, traditional seaside feel and sense of space. Our Jack Russell will happily sit on the paddleboard for hours, yapping at the odd seagull, directing operations and taking the occasional dip. Doggy bliss.
Don’t have a paddleboard of your own? Try hiring one from SUP Barmouth from £25 per hour.
A day’s walking in the Gwydyr Forest, Betws y Coed
Ever driven down the Conwy Valley and admired the rather magnificent forest that accompanies you right into the heart of Snowdonia? That’s the Gwydyr Forest Park.
Our dog loves a day’s walking here (and it’s is largely fine to walk off lead, though do always be conscious that farmers move their livestock around and it may vary according to the time of year). Expect to find cascading waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, awe inspiring mountain vistas and – it goes without saying perhaps – lots of trees. There are some delightful forest paths for dogs to explore, and a whole smorgasbord of delightful scents to get excited about.
Find out more from Natural Resources Wales.
A doggie pilgrimage to Beddgelert
Now this may serve as a bit of a cautionary tale… but as well as being one of Snowdonia’s prettiest villages, Beddgelert is also home to a doggie legend which your pooch might like a sniff at (but definitely shouldn’t be sniffy about). It is a must-do activity for your next holiday in North Wales.
Take a walk along Beddgelert’s beautiful Glaslyn river to ‘Gelert’s Grave’ – the final resting place of the faithful hound of Welsh Medieval King Llewelyn the Great. It’s a bit of a tragic story (no spoilers here – you’ll have to walk the walk to find out why), and a fine reminder of how loyal our animals are and why we love them so much. The river is also a great place for paddling and stick retrieval. There are plenty of pet-friendly cafés and shops in Beddgelert, but if the weather is right, you can’t beat a picnic on the riverbank.
Fit as a Fido? Try the Canicross trails at Coed y Brenin
Officially, Canicross is the sport of cross country running in the company of a dog. Usually a largeish breed dog at that. Canicross runners usually run with their dog out in front of them, attached on a harness. The owner shouts directions and instructions from behind. It’s a bit like being a human sleigh.
Whilst our little fella is largely oblivious of his size, we appreciate that harnessing him to anyone in the family would look more comedy than anything else, so we stick to our own free-range style of this sport.
If you have a larger dog and would like to have a go at Canicross – it’s a really popular sport here in North Wales – one of the best places you could head for is the Coed y Brenin Forest Park near Dolgellau. It’s the UK’s first bespoke trail running centre, and has fantastic bike, walking and running trails. Coed y Brenin is also home to the Goldrush Trail event – a hugely popular canicross race which takes place every April. It’s a great spectator sport too!
A day out in Llangollen
There are loads of great walks in and around Llangollen, plus some fab places to eat and drink. That makes it one of our favourite dog-friendly days out in North Wales! You can do lots of whole-day hikes in the big hills that surround the town, but for something more friendly for little legs, head to the ruins of the Valle Crucis Abbey just outside the town. This is a great place to explore whilst your dog has a good sniff around 800 years of history.
The Llangollen canal towpath is another great place for doggies to roam (many like to come here for an invigorating dip in the canal too) and it’s always a sociable day out for the pups. We love to finish our Llangollen walks with a late lunch at the Corn Mill – a dog friendly gastro pub which looks out over the Dee River (there’s fabulous outdoor terrace over the river). The Corn Mill has a great food and real ale menu – it is a deservedly popular place to eat and drink, and one of our favourite weekend jaunts.
Find a beautiful dog-friendly holiday cottage in North Wales
As dog owners ourselves, we know how important it is to be able to include your dog on your hols in a cottage that will suit their needs. Here are some of our favourite pet-friendly cottages in North Wales; TOP 5 PET FRIENDLY HOLIDAY COTTAGES