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Dog-friendly getaways: 48 hours in Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Monday, April 15, 2019

Dog-friendly getaways: 48 hours in Pembrokeshire

For many of us, our four-legged friends are as much a part of the family as anyone else, and we can’t bear the thought of leaving them behind when we head off for a summer holiday or even a weekend away. Most dogs cope well in kennels but some just don’t enjoy it, so owners can be reluctant to choose that option. Whether kennels work for your dog or not, most owners would agree that taking their pets on holiday with them would be by far the best option. Whilst not every holiday destination scores highly when it comes to dog-friendliness, venues and businesses across Pembrokeshire have worked hard to offer dog-friendly services right across this wonderful county. If you’re considering a long weekend away in a spectacular part of the country, check out our suggestions for how to spend 48 hours in Pembrokeshire - with your dog!

Friday

Take the afternoon off work and drive down to Pembrokeshire early, arriving in time for a good walk on the beach before dinner, to reward your pooches for their good behaviour on the journey. Whilst some Pembrokeshire beaches have restrictions for dogs during the summer months, these often only apply to a small part of the beach, and most beaches have no restrictions at all, throughout the year. You are bound to find a great beach close to where you choose to stay. Some particular favourites for dogs and their owners include Marloes Sands, Barafundle Bay, Freshwater West and Tenby South Beach.

When it comes to accommodation, many dog owners opt for camping, choosing either a caravan or motorhome for the ultimate home from home holiday experience. There are certainly plenty of dog-friendly campsites to choose from in Pembrokeshire, but for those who don’t want to camp, there are still lots of other options available. Many of Pembrokeshire’s holiday cottage owners appreciate that their customers want to bring their canine companions along on holiday, which means that there is an unrivalled choice of dog-friendly holiday accommodation, from beachside chalets to away-from-it-all cottages on working farms.

Saturday

Start the day with a morning spent exploring the idyllic Stackpole Estate, with its gorgeous beaches, woodland walks and spectacular parkland. Dogs need to be kept on leads in certain parts of the estate, because of grazing livestock, but there are plenty of wide-open spaces to explore and trails to discover, and both human and canine family members will have a great time. Don’t forget to stop for refreshments, or even lunch, at The Boathouse tearooms, overlooking Stackpole Quay.

After lunch, it’s time to take in some of Pembrokeshire’s rich heritage, with a visit to one or two interesting historic sites. From Stackpole, head north-east to Lamphey Bishop’s Palace, which, in medieval times, was a retreat for bishops from across Wales, where they could escape the pressures of Church life and take rest in luxurious surroundings. Nowadays, the Palace is a ruin, but it still has an imposing air about it, and makes for an interesting and engaging visit.

From the Bishop’s Palace, it’s just a short drive to Pembroke, whose castle is also well worth a visit, and dogs are welcome on leads in most parts of the site. Your furry friends would appreciate it even more if you were to include the Mill Pond Walk, which takes you from the Commons car park right along the estuary to Pembroke Castle, taking in Barnard’s Tower, and Pembroke’s medieval walls, as well as stunning views across the marshland and river.

There are plenty of dog-friendly venues in Pembroke for dinner. Pubs like The Hope Inn, The Old Cross Saws Inn and The Watermans Arms are all great choices, and dogs are welcome at all of them.

Sunday

After a leisurely breakfast on Sunday morning, it’s time to head over the Milford Haven waterway towards the western coast of Pembrokeshire, in order to take in a stretch of the fabulous coastal path. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park publishes guides for a wide range of circular walks on the coastal path of varying lengths and levels of difficulty. One good choice is a stretch of coast near Lochvane, between Newgale and Solva, which takes in a good stretch of the coastal path and then brings walkers back to the start via inland footpaths and quiet lanes. Alternatively, try the walk from the centre of St. David’s down to the beach at Caerfai, taking in a stretch of the coast path and visiting St. Non’s Well and the ruined chapel of St Non, before heading back to St. David’s via a different path.

After that refreshing walk, it’s time for lunch in St. David’s, and there is certainly plenty of choice here, with lots of restaurants, pubs and cafes in Britain’s smallest city offering a warm welcome to both dogs and their owners. Try The Farmers Arms or Cwtch.

No visit to St. David’s would be complete without an exploration of the magnificent cathedral and its grounds. Back in medieval times, St. David’s was so important that two pilgrimages here were deemed to be as significant as one pilgrimage to Rome. The site is huge, and as well as the Cathedral, there is the ruined Bishop’s Palace to explore, as well as the extensive grounds. Dogs are welcome in all outside areas, but not inside the Cathedral itself. Even so, there is plenty to see and do in the areas where dogs can go, so it’s definitely a must-see destination.

If your trip extends into Sunday evening, why not head back to Solva, for a gentle walk along the river, before dinner in one of the many excellent pubs in the village? The Cambrian Inn has plenty of outdoor space if your pooches prefer a little more room to relax, but the other pubs and cafes in Solva are also dog-friendly, so there’s plenty of choice, including The Ship Inn, The Old Pharmacy and Harbour Inn. After a weekend spent exploring Pembrokeshire’s stunning coast and inspiring heritage, what could be better than watching the sun go down over the estuary, with a quiet pint and a hearty meal?

Of course, one visit to Pembrokeshire is never enough. But once you’ve seen how dog-friendly Pembrokeshire really is, you’ll soon be eager to book a second trip...and a third!

About Wales Tourists Online

Wales Tourists Online (WTO) is a specialist holiday accommodation search engine, exclusively for Wales. With everything from B&Bs and self-catering cottages to campsites and glamping venues, it’s the easy way to plan a holiday in Wales.

https://www.walestouristsonline.co.uk

Note: The Dog Friendly Pembrokeshire Tourism project has received funding via the Tourism Product Innovation Fund (TPIF) supported through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government, the Fund aims to encourage new innovative product ideas working in partnership which will have a greater impact and attract more visitors.



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