South Wales is a great place to visit – from buzzing Cardiff, to the mountains, forests and coast – and the ideal destination for a dog friendly holiday. We’ve got some great recommendations for you and your dog for a dog friendly holiday in South Wales.
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Eight Things For You And Your Dog To Do In South Wales
Visit Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle stands at the centre of one of Britain’s most exciting, welcoming and vibrant cities. Originally built by the Normans in the 11th Century on the site of a 3rd Century Roman fort, there is almost a millennium’s worth of history to discover here, surrounded by a collection of parks, pubs and restaurants that will leave you spoilt for choice.
Gower Heritage Centre
Located at the heart of the Gower Peninsula, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Gower Heritage Centre is based at the site of a 12th Century mill and has craft workshops, blacksmithery demonstrations and gardens to explore.
Doggy Mondays at the National Botanic Garden of Wales
Every Monday and Friday – plus the first weekend of every month – are designated Doggy Days at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthney. You and your four legged friends can roam all around the 568 acres of gardens and parkland. Look out, too, for any special experts or activities that may be around.
A trip down the Mon and Brec Canal
At the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park, a boat tour down the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is the ideal way to enjoy the breathtaking Welsh landscape without expending too much energy – you are on holiday, after all! Both Dragonfly Cruises and Brecon Park Day Boats offer free travel for your furry friends.
Visit Blaenavon Ironworks
The Blaenavon Industrial Landscape, formed of collieries, ore mines and iron forges, was of such cultural significance to the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain that the whole area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You and your four-legged friend can learn all about it at the old Ironworks building, now a dedicated museum.
Ride on the Brecon Mountain Railway
If canal boat tours are not your scene, the Brecon Mountain Railway runs narrow-gauge steam train services through the National Park, starting at Pant (three miles to the north of Merthyr Tydfil) and calling at Torpantau and Pontsticill. Dogs are permitted to travel, though will need to pay a small fee.
Visit Colby Woodland Garden
Owned and operated by the National Trust, Colby Woodland Garden is a quiet and tranquil 8 acre site of walled gardens, woodland and wildflower walks.
Heatherton World of Activities
Heatherton is a day out for all the family – including those members with four feet. In addition to more human-friendly activities such as golf, mini golf, archery, watersports, shooting, escape rooms and go-karts; Heatherton also boasts dog-specific pursuits such as a dedicated agility course and doggy refreshments.
Eight Walks For You And Your Dog To Enjoy In South Wales
Bute Park, Cardiff
Cardiff is overflowing with wonderful and sprawling parks throughout the city centre, but Bute Park is our favourite. Set just past the castle, it acts as a green oasis in the middle of the bustling city centre. Your dog will be able to run through fields, explore woods or even take a dip in the River Taff.
Mumbles Beach, Swansea
A seaside resort just west of Swansea and near to the Gower AONB, Mumbles is a great place to visit for dogs who love to spend time at the beach. There’s plenty for people, too, with luxury boutiques, craft stores and award-winning refreshments on hand.
A National Trust property with stately homes and castles, set in the beautiful Brecon valleys countryside with nearby nature reserves. The castle is one of 427 in Wales, a country that boasts more castles per square mile than any other in Europe.
Craig Y Nos Country Park
Set around a country house built in the Scottish Baronial style, Craig Y Nos is one of the most picturesque parts of the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park.
Locally known as the Sleeping Giant, Cribarth is a three-and-a-quarter mile signposted trail that rises above the Craig-Y-Nos Country Park. This rocky, hilly ramble provides incredible views of the valleys and castles that lie beneath.
A sandy beach backed with dunes to the West of Tenby and within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Manorbier is a favourite with tourists, walkers and surfers alike.
Trefin to Porthgain
A rocky coastal path connecting two villages on the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, this route offers good off-lead areas, picnic spots and even some cove areas where your dogs can have a paddle in the sea.
Martin’s Haven, Haverfordwest
A beautiful, hilly, coastal walk around the pebble beach which sits right on the most westerly tip of the Pembrokeshire Coast. There are great views to be had of the uninhabited islands just offshore and you may well be lucky enough to spot some wildlife: the area is notoriously good for both birds and also seal colonies.
Where To Stay In South Wales
Exactly where you want to base yourself for your stay is obviously dependent on exactly what activities you and your dog plan to get up to. However, here are some suggestions.
Wales’ capital city, Cardiff is one of the most vibrant and modern places in Europe and one where visitors can expect a warm welcome. There is enough to do that, should you wish to, you and your four-legged friend could happily spend your entire holiday within the city alone. It is also the country’s best travel hub and a great spot to base yourself to move around the south of the country or even beyond.
Cardiff’s great rival, Swansea stands 45 miles to its west, near the Gower Peninsula AONB. Where Cardiff is a great starting point to explore the valleys and the Brecon Beacons, Swansea is the perfect location for those of you wanting to discover the Pembrokeshire Coast while also staying surrounded by all modern comforts.
Abergavenny describes itself as “the gateway to Wales”. It is a pretty town in the Monmouthshire valleys on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, just 6 miles from the English border. It’s a great base of operations for anyone wishing to investigate the Brecon Beacons, on foot, by canal boat or by heritage railway; as well as for anyone keen to learn more about Wales’ industrial heritage.
An attractive town which stands roughly in between the Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast National Parks, Carmarthen is an underrated gem. Base yourself here and you will quickly find that you are surrounded by things to do and places to see.
One of the UK’s newer cities, St. Davids stands on the far west of the Pembrokeshire Coast. Despite its status, St Davids – which has a cathedral but a population of just 1,500 – is really more like a village, retaining much of that charm. It’s a great base to go out and enjoy the beautiful landscape and countryside of the National Park.
A beautiful and picturesque seaside town, surrounded by a medieval stone wall. Tenby stands at the easternmost point of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and is an ideal base for those wanting to visit many of the best parks, beaches and gardens that the area has to offer.