Outdoor activities in Wales you can do with your dog

Wales and dogs go hand in hand. This country is much loved for its endless outdoor adventures, be it sea swimming, kayaking or hiking in the mountains, and so many of the outdoor activities here are dog-friendly. There are spectacular beaches on its coastlines throughout Pembrokeshire to the south and Anglesey in the north, and precipitous mountains to tackle from the Brecon Beacons to the lofty heights of Snowdonia’s ranges. Make the most of the outdoors on your next dog-friendly holiday in Wales with these brilliant outdoors pursuits.

Written by Jem Brownlee

5 minute read

Canoe the Wye from Hay-on-Wye

Hay-on-Wye is world-famous for its literary festival, but when the globe’s brightest aren’t meeting on deck chairs in tents all over town, the river is the main event here. Hire a vessel from the “Hay Navy” – the locals’ name for the hundreds of canoes that launch on the river every summer – and paddle your way down the river. You can take on a half-day exploration to Glasbury, or get serious on a four-day odyssey from Hay to the precipitous Symonds Yat, crossing the border into England and paddling past Hereford and Ross-on-Wye.

Try paddleboarding in Bala, Snowdonia

Just a 35-minute drive from the glorious Copse Camp – an exceptionally dog-friendly holiday destination in north Wales – lies Bala Lake. Sitting on the edge of Snowdonia National Park beneath several of the country’s highest mountains, it’s a spectacular place for a stroll. But even better is a paddleboard atop its calm waters, where the dog can join you too – as long as you trust them not to capsize your board. Look out for the dog-friendly Bala Lake Railway, too, which is a delightful activity for post-paddling adventures.

Stay at Copse Camp >

Go hiking in Snowdonia

Snowdonia is famous for its tallest mountain, Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon), but its busy trails aren’t always best for dogs. Instead, head down to Aran Fawddwy, a 905-metre-high peak in the national park that’s perfect for a hike on your dog-friendly holiday. Arm yourselves with an OS Map (or use their app) and follow these directions by Walking in Britain to enjoy truly breathtaking scenery and views of the peaks of the Rhinogydd range on a 12-kilometre hike. Not confident on the trails alone? Nia from Wild Trails Wales welcomes dogs on most of her hikes.

Try wild swimming in Cardigan

If you’ve got a dog that loves to swim, dive in together at Lower Teifi Gorge, just outside Cardigan. This remote, lush gorge lined with fern-clad cliffs is a spectacular swimming spot, with a beach for easy access at ///defected.flashing.fights (park at the Cilgerran Lower Car Park and walk west along the river). Afterwards, dry off and make yourselves at home at Irma’s Cottage, less than 30 minutes away by car.

Stay at Irma's Cottage >

Go stargazing in the Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons is a spectacular dog-friendly holiday destination, but it’s not just hiking in the daytime that’ll keep you and the dog entertained. Nighttime stargazing sessions start at the Libnaus visitor centre and take you up into the hills on an evening hike, where the skies are so dark you can see millions of twinkling stars and, depending on the time of year, planets shining bright. Dogs on leads are welcome.

Soar high on a zipline in Snowdonia

If you’re planning a dog-friendly holiday in Wales, you might not consider the Zipworld parks in Snowdonia, where some of the UK’s fastest ziplines whoosh you over lakes and quarries, but these sites are indeed dog-friendly – to an extent. While the dog can’t join you on the ziplines themselves for obvious reasons, they are allowed on site so if one of your party isn’t “flying”, then they can watch you from below. There are also Pet Stop huts on site, where the dog can hang out (for a fee) with a professional dog handler while you all take on the towering ziplines.

Browse all of our dog-friendly places to stay in Wales >

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Written by Jem Brownlee

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