About Wales

Wales is the smallest of the three constituent countries that makes up Great Britain, 170 miles from north to south and 60 miles wide. It sits at the western side of Britain, bordered by the Irish Sea to the west and by the English counties of Cheshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire to its east. Like Scotland, Wales is sparsely populated, with much of its land given over to agriculture or left wild. Of the 3.2 million people who live in Wales, the majority reside on either the southern or northern coasts, with a third of the total population concentrated in the southern cities of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport alone.

A lady wearing a pink dress and walking two dogs on a beach in Burry Port, Wales
A woman walks two dogs at Burry Port, West Wales

What Sort Of Landscape And Natural Features Are There In Wales?

The famously green and verdant Welsh landscape is predominantly made up of mountains and grassy uplands, giving the country its characteristic hills and valleys. However, it also boasts unspoilt rivers and lakes and a total of 1,370 miles of coastline. The majority of Wales is dominated by the Cambrian mountains, but there are also three National Parks – the Pembrokeshire Coast and Brecon Beacons in the south and Snowdonia in the north – and several Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

What Are The Notable Parks, Beaches Or Wild Areas In Wales?

The Welsh landscape doesn’t just reflect its ancient geology but also its more recent socio-political history. The country is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all of which were built by human beings at various points in Wales’ storied history and encompass civil engineering projects, medieval castles and fortifications, as well as collieries, forges and quarries from the Industrial Revolution. Along the border with England you can also find and explore Offa’s Dyke, a vast 82-mile earthwork project built in the 8th Century by King Offa of Powys to both demarcate his territory and keep the English at bay.

Much of the centre of the country is given over to mountain ranges, undulating moorland and rough grassland areas and is largely uninhabited, with a population density of 0 to 0.1 people per hectare. Similarly, much of the extensive, beautiful and varied coastline remains largely unspoilt.

Dog Friendly map of Wales

Since Wales is so full of enchanting, enjoyable places to go on a dog friendly holiday, we’ve split our guide into two separate parts – please click the titles below to head to your guide of choice.

Dog Friendly Guide to North Wales

Dog Friendly Guide to South Wales