Let the Welsh Woodlands Take You to Another World


The Magic of the Welsh Woodlands is the stuff of folklore. Home to some of the last remaining temperate rainforests in Europe with unique flora and fauna, the stories of Mabinogion come to life. No matter when you visit, these beautiful and varied woodlands will provide you and your four-legged friends with so much to discover (and sniff). 

We are delighted to be partnering with Visit Wales to showcase our top-dog destination for Summer 2024 for ulti-mutt memories together. 

These ancient woodlands, with the power of the natural world, are places to make memories forever. Keep reading to discover details on how to win a trip to this magnificent country…

South Wales

Adventurous pups and their humans will never want to leave the wondrous woodlands that are found in South Wales – in particular, The Spirit of Llynfi Woodland with its dedicated dog activity trail! Developed by the Kennel Club, there are 5 activities to try, all whilst being surrounded by the epic Welsh Woodlands. If you are driving here from Cardiff, Green & Jenks will ensure you are caffeinated (puppacino anyone?) and full of pastries and delicious treats before your adventure begins!

In the words of Goldilocks, the Fforest Fawr Three Bears Cave walk is “just right”. A steady 2.6km through the woods, you will discover the dramatic Three Bears Cave mine remains – the caves are too dangerous to visit but you can see them from behind a fence. Or wander with your pooch by your side along The Sculpture Discovery Trail and spot the unusual residents in the forest. Fforest Fawr is on the Taff Trail, which is an epic route that runs 55 miles between Cardiff and Brecon along a mixture of riverside paths, railway paths and forest roads – a real Welsh Adventure!

Your best furry friend will be welcomed with open arms when visiting Tintern and especially when stopping for a bite to eat at the dog-friendly Anchor Inn. After fuelling up, a walk around the famous Tintern Abbey through woodlands will be sure to get tails wagging. 

You are spoilt for choice with dog-friendly hotels in South Wales.  Coed-y-Mwstwr Hotel, Glamorgan is a firm favourite, or closer to Cardiff is the majestic New House Country Hotel Thornhill, Glamorgan. For a more unusual stay, check out the Shepherd’s Huts, at the Parkway Hotel and Spa in Cwmbran nestled in over seven and a half acres of gorgeous gardens.

Mid Wales

For those looking for the ultimate challenge, celebrate Welsh cultural and natural history in the footsteps of Owain Glyndŵr on the Glyndŵr’s Way! This 135-mile route travels through the heart of Wales, passing through incredible scenery and ancient forests. 

History continues into Dyfi Forest – the Forestry Commission began planting the woodland after the First World War to boost Britain’s timber reserve. Planting continued through the Second World War with Land Army Girls, known as Timber Jills, carrying out the work. 

Dyfi Biosphere

Other incredible dog-friendly trails to explore with your canine companion in the woodlands of Wales include The Cascades Walk at Hafren Forest, Dolgoch Falls, Little Milford Wood Walk, and many more!

Tails will be wagging when it comes to trying Welsh gourmet delights in Mid-Wales. Stop for a drink at The Fforest in Presteigne, a traditional little rural pub that welcomes well-behaved pooches in the bar. Coffee lovers will want to return again and again to Fig Tree Expresso, serving up the best locally roasted coffee & homemade cakes in Abergavenny. And for a delicious home-cooked meal, that also immerses you in history and culture, head to The Black Lion Inn, a 16th Century Inn and Grade II listed building. 

Stay at The Lake Country House Hotel & Spa, in Powys, an elegant retreat that the finest of pups with love! It has a spa, swimming pool and 50 acres of grounds for you and your furry friend to enjoy.

West Wales

Tails will be wagging when visiting Pengelli Forest – it is part of the largest block of ancient Oak woodland in West Wales! It was once very important to the local economy as a source of timber and was grazed by livestock, but now it is host to a plethora of walks and adventures for you and your canine companions.

For moments where water meets the wood for a truly mystical outing, the Cleddau Woodlands will not disappoint. Follow along Cleddau River, passing in and out of the woodlands – perfect for pooches who need a quick cooling dip whilst out on a dog walk. Or seek out  “Pembrokeshire’s hidden waterway” where you will pass through tranquil, ancient woodland, expansive salt marsh and heritage-rich tidal creeks. Travel to the magical & special Penllergare Valley Woods, ideal for a quick stop for light refreshments just off the M4 near Swansea.

Cleddau River

Looking for a bite to eat in a peaceful setting? Quayside is a multi-award-winning tearoom set in the heart of the Pembrokeshire National Park. It is the perfect starting point for a dog walk too. Take the 2.8-mile circular walk from the tearoom, along the shoreline, through shaded woodland and back through the unspoilt village of Lawrenny, with its attractive cottages and ancient St. Caradog’s church. Lawrenny comes to life with festival vibes in June when it’s home to the Big Retreat Festival.

Stay in the best dog-friendly hotels in Pembrokeshire. Choose from Llys Meddyg, a traditional Inn, where you can enjoy dog-friendly dining in their heated outdoor pods! Or stay nestled amongst the trees at Penbontbren, a luxury bed and breakfast converted from an old Welsh farm with five luxurious suites, each with its own garden and a spacious living room.

North Wales 

Holding endless hidden stories and secrets, the woodlands covering Wales are mystical, and none more so than Gwydir Forest Park. This expansive forest surrounds, Betws-y-coed, one of the prettiest villages in Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park, almost keeping it a secret from the outside world – but don’t worry, you and your dog are in on the secret! Curious canines will love following the Coed Tan Dinas Walk, an easy trail that passes under tall and majestic Douglas fir trees – some are up to 100 years old! 

Swallow Falls, Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park

Described as a treasure trove of walking and cycling routes, Beddgelert Forest should not be missed. Whether you take the Gelert’s Grave Walk and learn about the legend of Gelert and Prince Llywelyn, or the Llyn Llywelyn Walk (a trail nearly all on forest road), you and your four-legged friends will have otherworldly scenery surrounding you everywhere you go. Be sure to listen out for the sound of the Old Welsh Highland railway trains, which run through the forest on the route from Caernarfon to Porthmadog. 

For when you need to rest your paws, we would recommend enjoying a local ale and a bite to eat at Y Stablau (only a 5-minute drive away from Gwydir Forest Park).  For a quintessential Welsh Pub, we love The Brondanaw Arms,  the former home of the famous Architect Clough Williams Ellis (and it is only a 5-minute drive away from Beddgelert Forest). For the true Welsh Food experience, visit Bodnant Welsh Food! With a delightful farm shop, local larder and more, you can fill your bag full of treats and doggie delights before your next adventure. 

A dog-friendly welcome is guaranteed at our hotels in North Wales. We recommend staying at Caer Rhun Hall, Conwy, Llandudno Bay Hotel, Conwy, and Palé Hall Hotel, Gwynedd – there is something for every breed and budget!

As with any adventure with your canine, make sure to plan your route, be safe, research the Dog Walking Code and check the conditions before beginning.

Check out our hand-picked collection of dog-friendly escapes in Wales, and your chance to WIN a holiday voucher worth £500 for a break in Wales! All the details you need to enter are HERE>>

For endless adventures, splashing in sparkling bays, feasting with friends and family, and unwinding in nature, start planning your holiday in Wales today!