With over 50 beaches and 186 miles of coastline, Pembrokeshire is the perfect location for a dog-friendly holiday.
It has it all – circular walking routes, breath-taking scenery and Wales’ oldest coastal rocks. We’re sure that your furry friend will love clambering over the St Davids’ peninsula as much as you do! Come rain or shine, there’s still no better spot for a bracing walk with your canine chum than this idyllic peninsula.
To help you narrow down the many choices for a hike with your hound, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 fab dog-friendly beaches. Hold on to your leads, grab the ball thrower and pack the towels, your dog-friendly holiday in St Davids is about to get sandy!
We start with the peninsula’s best-known and largest beach. Whitesands is just over 2 miles from the centre of St Davids. It’s popular with surfers chasing hollow waves, and kayakers who bob between the mainland and Ramsey island. The café and car park right next to the beach makes this an accessible beach for a good coastal day out.
Whitesands can become busy in the summer months, and so it’s completely dog restricted in summer. But don’t let this ruin your dog-friendly holiday! Outside the months of May to September, it’s the perfect place for your furry friend to stretch their legs.
Abermawr is one of north Pembrokeshire’s hidden gems and an absolute must for your dog-friendly holiday. It’s a twenty-minute drive north of St Davids, on the less populated stretch of coastline heading towards Strumble Head lighthouse. This rural location was not always such a secret spot; Brunel had earmarked Abermawr as his West coast port, complete with cable terminus and you can still see the cable cottage from the north car park. Alas, Brunel’s plans never came to fruition, and what’s left is an untouched area of rare coastal beauty, and a dream destination for your dog.
A vast bluebell-filled wood stretches from the south towards a marshland full of dragonflies and herons. Leading up from this is a steep meadow, sloping down towards a deep pebble beach, flanked by heather-capped cliffs. There’s a circular walk that takes in all elements of this alluring place, with plenty to preoccupy your pooch, too.
Abereiddy is more than the sum of its parts. It’s not just a beach, it’s a historic landmark and a scenic viewpoint. It’s the best place in Pembrokeshire to capture a sunset and a fascinating stop on your dog-friendly holiday. This picturesque cove is dripping with history. Slate was exported from here for generations, and the ruins of the slate houses sit just beside the beach.
A stroll around the cliff overlooking the beach with your furry friend brings you to the ruins of the slate quarry, sitting majestically above the now flooded mine shaft. This remarkable example of West Wales’ vast history is now known as Blue Lagoon. It has been used as the UK venue for the Red Bull Cliff Diving world series. The striking blue-green waters of the Blue Lagoon is a perfect paddling pool for your pooch, and there is plenty of coastal path for them (and you) to enjoy.
One of this coastline’s tastiest treats is a short walk from Abereiddy. Down a steep metal stairway that traverses the shale and sea pink covered cliff is the undisturbed sweep of sand called “The Smooth Beach”. When the more accessible beaches are full, this tranquil spot is the place to have some downtime with your dog. There’s no fear of disturbing anyone here. It’s one of the most accessibly secluded points along this coastline. This means your furry friend can run, swim, and bark to their heart’s content.
If you’re peckish after all that sea air, follow the coastal path north to the tiny port of Porthgain. Here you’ll find one of the peninsula’s most popular maritime pubs, The Sloop Inn. You and your dog can sit on the outdoor patio admiring the view of the much-filmed harbour. You can sample the area’s finest fish, washed down with a local ale as a reward for a refreshing walk on your dog-friendly holiday. Pawfect!
This isn’t technically a beach, but leads to one, and is far too beautiful to leave off our list. Solva is just how you’d imagine a Welsh fishing harbour to be. It’s full of ancient limewashed cottages, various sailors’ pubs, and maritime buildings that have now become coffee shops. Lower Solva is the place to be if you’re on a dog-friendly holiday. Park at the car park at the bottom of the hill to access this picture-postcard limestone port.
The boomerang-shaped harbour is drained when the tide is out, leaving plenty of sand for your mutt to meander across. Cross the bridge by the car park and follow the path up the wooded estuary, onto a steep headland called The Gribbin. This is one of the most stunning vantage points on the St Davids peninsula. It allows a view that takes in the whole of St Bride’s Bay on a clear day.
At the bottom of The Gribbin, tucked away on the other side of this sliver of land, is The Gwadn, one of the tiniest and prettiest pebble beaches in Pembrokeshire. It is the result of meltwater from the last Ice Age, and from here you can just imagine medieval trading ships arriving at Solva harbour, ready to transport lime out of St Bride’s Bay. Now, it’s a peaceful retreat for you to take in the best of the peninsula’s scenery.
So, there you have it – our Top 5 Best Beaches for your dog-friendly holiday in St Davids. As you can see, in Pembrokeshire, it really is a dog’s life. Not only can you and your furry friend enjoy long walks, sandy feet, and dips in the sea, but we can guarantee that you’ll all sleep like logs after all that sea air!