As we love sharing our holiday adventures we thought it would be nice to write a blog talking about our recent holiday to Wales with our pack of 6 and talk about the dog friendly places we went to visit!
We stayed at a lovely holiday home in Llandysul, Wales called Happy Donkey Hill Holiday Cottages. Our cottage had four large bedrooms so could sleep eight and had a lovely sized garden, well fenced off front and back decking areas and a private hot tub for the humans! It is based on a farm so there are lots of different animals too! In the pen next to our garden were Emu's, down the road by the entrance are the donkeys and ponies and then further into the land there are horses and pygmy goats in connecting fields. The owners own a huge amount of land which has paths and fields for us to walk the dogs in, the only field off limits with dogs was the donkeys as they don't like dogs in their field but with the walks around it really wasn't an issue! There are tracks past the fields leading up into a small woodland area and there is also a fenced off field with benches in it specifically empty so the dogs can have some off lead time without there being animals with them. The owner was so welcoming and pointed out to us the best places to go dog walking, the nearest dog friendly beach and the local amenities like takeaway food and the village shops - we couldn't have asked for a friendlier host!
The dogs are allowed anywhere in the house however are not allowed on the furniture which our pack weren't too upset about. They had their beds scattered around and if we wanted a cuddle we just sat on the floor with them with a blanket! The house is a lovely size with plenty of room for all of us quite comfortably - even with our 6 dogs pottering around! There is a large main sitting room, a smaller reception room, a large dining room with attached kitchen and a decked area out the back leading down to the garden. Upstairs had three bedrooms, one king size with attached bathroom, another smaller king room opposite the main bathroom and one double room. The basement has been converted to make the fourth, double room again with an on suite bathroom. It was a beautiful cottage and very homely!
On one of our days we visited Dolaucothi Gold mines in Pumsaint about 40 minutes from our cottage. It is a Natural Trust site so fairly cheap to get into and dogs are welcome anywhere onsite except for the tour into the actual mine! There is plenty to see and read about whilst walking around the surface level of the mines remains as well as a longer walk through some neighbouring fields and tracks to see some of the older structures. The actual mine tour is only an hour long so the pack went for a long walk and then were more than happy to sleep in the van for the time, it was a cold day so they were happy to be in the warmth and out of the spitting rain for a bit! We spent about half of the day there and then walked to the village of Pumsaint for a bit looking at the little shops and local pub.
The next day we went to Kidwilly Castle in Kidwilly which is a lovely castle by a large river with a lot of it's main structures still standing. Again it was about a 40 minute drive from our cottage but was definitely worth it! Dogs are allowed onsite however aren't allowed up the steps onto the walls as they are very thin and quite steep. There are lots of different sections to look at and read about and it is close by a nice walk down to the river as well as a lovely tea shop which we stopped at for a warm drink and a slice of cake! The Welsh Heritage staff were very friendly and accommodating and even asked to give each of our dogs a treat which they were all more than happy with!
For a whole day out we decided to go on a steam train ride to Devil's Bridge to then have a walk around the waterfall and then get the train back! We met the train at Aberwystwyth, it was an hours journey to Devil's Bridge and then an hours ride back. Devil's Bridge is a lovely walk although has very steep steps around the waterfall. It is well worth the trek if you are up for it as the waterfall is just beautiful and you can get really close thanks to the viewing platforms scattered around the paths. Even the dogs enjoyed the walk and were able to cope well with the uneven surfaces and steep steps, although they weren't so interested in looking at the waterfall!
The train ride was lovely too, the carriages were big so it was easy for us to find ourselves a comfortable corner for the pack to be in so that it was a bit less crowded for them. The dogs were more than happy watching the world go by, listening to the train and looking at the random animals that we passed! We saw a lot of sheep and cows as well as some horses ans other dogs and people walking in the fields as we passed. It was a little scary for some of them at first, with new sounds, smells and movement it's not a normal thing that we do everyday but with some direction and encouragement from us they all enjoyed it in the end!
On our last day we decided to go to the Llansteffan beach and then take a walk up to Llansteffan Castle ruins on the top of a hill overlooking the beach below. Another 40 minuite drive from our cottage you park at the beach and then walk up a hill track to the castle. The beach is dog friendly on the far left hand side and there is plenty of space for the dogs to run and play without going onto the non-dog side of the beach. When we went the tide was quite far out but it was a nice walk to the water and we were the only ones there so the dogs enjoyed having the beach to themselves! There is a fairly steep hill to get to the castle but it is a nice track to walk up and honestly the views themselves are totally worth it! The ruins themselves are lovely and although there isn't much information onsite to read you can get a little guide book from the little shop by the beach and it is totally free to have a look around and explore the castle.
All in all I have to say it was a lovely holiday and it was great to be able to find so many places that allowed dogs and were more than happy to accommodate them! We had plenty of choices on places to go that were both interesting for us and also fun the dogs which meant choosing where to go each day was a nice task rather than scraping the leaflets and internet to find any place that would allow dogs and looked okay. The dogs had a great time and it is definitely a place we would go back to having found so many other dog friendly places we didn't have time to visit on our holiday!
For those of you looking for a dog friendly holiday - we would definitely recommend Wales and so would our pack!