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The Pembrokeshire Tourism Blog

Why Pembrokeshire might just be the most dog-friendly place to holiday.

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Thursday, April 11, 2019

Why Pembrokeshire might just be the most dog-friendly place to holiday!

Do you find yourself worrying for months in advance about going on holiday, because you hate the thought of leaving your pooch in boarding kennels? Maybe you decide to take just a week’s break, rather than a longer holiday of two or three weeks, to minimise the time you have to leave your dogs behind? Perhaps you’ve even given up going on holiday altogether, because your beloved pooch just hates going into kennels! If all this sounds familiar, it’s time to look at Pembrokeshire for your next holiday - it’s possibly the most dog-friendly holiday destination in the UK, which means that Fido can come along with the rest of the family, to enjoy all that this amazing part of Wales has to offer.

If you look at the key elements that need to be in place for a really good holiday, it breaks down to where to stay, what to see and do whilst you’re there, and where to eat. With a four-legged friend in tow, it’s easy to assume that any one of those three things will be a potential nightmare, but in Pembrokeshire, that’s simply not the case. Let’s take a closer look…

Dog-friendly holiday accommodation in Pembrokeshire

Whether you fancy a cosy cottage in a tiny fishing village on the coast, or a campsite with facilities for the whole family, there really are plenty of dog-friendly choices across Pembrokeshire. A self-catering cottage is one of the easiest options if you’re taking your dog on holiday, but there are plenty of guest houses and B&Bs in Pembrokeshire that welcome dogs too, and of course, dogs love to go camping!. It always pays to check with the accommodation provider before booking, as occasionally there are restrictions on the number of dogs permitted, but on the whole, Pembrokeshire’s holiday accommodation providers have proved themselves to be both flexible and friendly when it comes to dogs on holiday.

Dog-friendly sightseeing and days out in Pembrokeshire

A fabulous holiday isn’t just about having a great place to stay, though. The best holidays always leave you with brilliant memories to take back home, and if Fido is going to go on holiday with you, he needs to share the holiday fun. We’ve got good news - Pembrokeshire welcomes dogs with open arms, so the whole family, including your dogs, can enjoy great days out together.

Of course, Pembrokeshire is famous for its stunning beaches, with more than 50 of them in total, ranging from tiny hideaway coves to vast stretches of golden sands. Whilst some beaches have partial bans on dogs during the summer months, only two beaches in the whole of Pembrokeshire have complete bans on dogs between May and September - Tenby North Beach and Whitesands at St. Davids. Dogs can still enjoy visiting both Tenby and St. Davids, however, as there are other beaches in both locations that remain open to dogs. At Tenby, the South Beach has a huge stretch of sandy beach for your furry pals to enjoy, and at St. Davids, the small beaches of Caerfai Bay and Caer Bwdy Bay are both open to dogs, as is Porthselau Beach, which is just along from Whitesands.

Some of the very best beaches in Pembrokeshire are open to dogs all year round. Watch your dog running free on the golden sands of Barafundle Bay, or splashing about in the water at Freshwater West, and you’ll know that you made the right decision to bring him or her on holiday with you! And if you like walking, you and your canine companions could tackle the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path - either in stages or in its entirety!

Days on the beach are brilliant fun, but everyone likes to see the sights whilst they’re on holiday, don’t they? With a huge range of visitor attractions welcoming dogs, it’s easy to plan some great days out for your holiday. If history’s your thing, take your pick from Pembroke Castle, Manorbier Castle, Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, or the Iron Age village at Castell Henllys - all of these amazing locations are dog-friendly, and you and your dog will love being able to explore together. Whilst some of the cafés and visitor attractions may not permit dogs inside, there are usually outside terraces where dogs can accompany their owners, and of course, a picnic in the grounds of a castle or a stately home will always go down well.

A trip to Solva, between Newgale and St. Davids, makes another great day out. Visit the Solva Woollen Mill, where dogs are permitted inside the mill and in the grounds around and about the mill buildings. This is Wales’ oldest working woollen mill, and it specialises in beautiful rugs and carpets, along with fabulous blankets and accessories, all available to buy in the mill’s shop. Once you’ve visited the mill and been mesmerised by the weaving looms in all their noisy glory, why not explore the River Solfach, which runs past the mill...perfect for letting your four-legged friend let off some steam before lunch in one of Solva’s dog-friendly bars or eateries. Choose from The Ship Inn, The Cambrian Inn, The Old Pharmacy or one of the other great places that have sprung up in this charming spot.

If there’s time left after that, why not head back down the coast to the long, long beach at Newgale? The part closest to the car park, and to Newgale’s campsite, has dog restrictions during the summer, but it’s just a short walk along the top of the beach to the stretch that permits dogs all year round. This is a popular beach for dogs, so yours is bound to find some furry friends to run with, or even to swim with!

We can’t talk about a holiday in Pembrokeshire without mentioning one of the area’s most unique dog-friendly attractions - Dr. Beynon’s Bug Farm. The name says it all, and this is no ordinary farm. Bugs in all shapes and sizes are the attraction here, in both outdoor and indoor exhibits, and a trip here is fun and educational for the whole family. There’s even a great restaurant, Grub Kitchen, and you can probably guess what’s on the menu there! With picnic benches outside the restaurant, your doggy pal doesn’t have to to miss out on this quirky experience!

Dog-friendly pubs and restaurants in Pembrokeshire

After a day spent out and about exploring the stunning beaches, magnificent castles or glorious countryside, what could be better than finding a cosy pub and enjoying a drink and something to eat, with the whole family? Most pubs in Pembrokeshire will allow dogs, although some may not let dogs into dedicated restaurant areas, so do check with each venue in advance. We’ve already mentioned some great dog-friendly choices in Solva, but there are plenty of other options right across the county. Try The Cottage Inn at Llangwm, near Haverfordwest, or The Brook Inn, at St. Ishmael’s. For a mouth-watering gastropub experience, head for The Brewery Inn at Cosheston, near Pembroke Dock or The Swan Inn, at Little Haven. Both serve sensational food, have a great atmosphere, and will welcome your pooch as happily as they welcome you.

So, with spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your next holiday or short break. Forget all about sending Mr Four Paws to the boarding kennels, and take a look at Pembrokeshire instead - the ideal place for a dog-friendly holiday.

About Wales Tourists Online

Wales Tourists Online (WTO) is a specialist holiday accommodation search engine, exclusively for Wales. With everything from self-catering cottages and B&Bs to glamping pods and campsites, it’s the first port of call for anyone planning a holiday in Wales.

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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