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, and is popular with surfers chasing the hollow waves, on their way down coast to Newgale and kayakers who bob between the mainland and Ramsey island. The nearby campsites, golf course and café, as well as the car park right next to the beach makes this an accessible beach for a good coastal day out. It can become incredibly busy in the summer months, and this means that it’s one of the few dog restricted beaches in Pembrokeshire when children swim in the water. But don’t let this ruin your dog friendly holiday – outside the months of May to September, Whitesand’ sandy curve, a Blue Flag Award beach sheltered under the mighty cairn of Carn Llidi, is the perfect place to let your furry friend really stretch their legs after your drive to Pembrokeshire.
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 – 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. Unusually, a vast bluebell-filled wood stretches from the south towards marshland that’s filled with dragonflies and herons. Leading up from this unusual coastline setting 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.
As this area is particularly off the beaten track and is surrounded by farmland, you’re asked to keep your dog on their lead. But just around the corner is a dog friendly holiday spot you’ll all enjoy – the famous Melin Tregwynt. As well as producing some of the most lavish and recognisable Welsh blankets, they also offer excellent food, and even cater for dogs with a special dog café – fur real!
Abereiddy is more than the sum of its parts. It’s not just a beach, it’s a historic landmark, a scenic viewpoint, the best place in Pembrokeshire to capture a sunset, a coasteerer’s paradise, 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. Just a quick 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, where men cut a living from the rock, is now fondly known as Blue Lagoon, and is often 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 get in your daily exercise.
A short walkie from Abereiddy is one of this coastline’s tastiest treats. 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, then this tranquil spot is the place to have some down time with your dog. There’s no fear of disturbing anyone here, as it’s one of the most accessibly secluded points along this coastline. This means your furry friend can run, swim and bark to its heart’s content. And if you’re peckish after all that sea air, then follow the coastal path north for just over two miles to the tiny port of Porthgain. Here, you’ll find a fine example of a granite quarry, along with 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, sampling 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 vernacular Welsh fishing harbour to be. It’s full of ancient limewashed cottages, 10 lime kilns, various sailors’ pubs and cool 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 often drained when the tide is out, leaving plenty of sand for your mutt to meander across and plenty of puddles for a good paddle. What most people don’t know is that if you cross the bridge by the car park and follow the path up the wooded estuary, it takes you up onto a steep headland called The Gribbin. This is one of the most stunning vantage points on the St Davids peninsula, and 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 and Wagger 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!
For more information about Summer Beach Bans for dogs in Pembrokeshire, please click here.
Convinced that St Davids is the perfect spot for your dog friendly holiday? We have a great selection of cottages that will suit your pooch here.