10 dog-friendly places for excursions in Snowdonia

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<p><img src="https://azure.wgp-cdn.co.uk/app-yourdog/posts/10_Snowdon_rocks2388926_1920.jpg" width="671" height="447" /> </p><p>For those of you with dogs, finding accommodation who welcome them when planning a holiday is only half the challenge...</p>

For those of you with dogs, finding accommodation who welcome them when planning a holiday is only half the challenge. Hence Wales Cottage Holidays is proud to offer this selection of destinations that you, your family and the pet can enjoy while in Snowdonia.

1. Betws-y-Coed

The main town in the Snowdonia National Park, it has many dog-friendly shops, and a railway station. There is even a chance for dogs to swim in the river. You may wish to keep them on the lead for visits to nearby Swallow Falls, which look even more spectacular after a rain shower. There is also the smaller Conwy Falls, which has a dog-friendly café.

2. Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park

Set within the Snowdonia National Park, this is an ideal location for families where some but not all have a need for speed, especially downhill on bikes. The park has a variety of mountain bike trails of different difficulty levels. For the more sedentary of the family there is a gift and craft shop, and café adjacent to a wild play area offering den building and dam construction.

3. Criccieth Castle

The Castle was built by Llywelyn the Great in the latter part of the 12th century and later improved by Edward I. Ownership of the castle has frequently passed between Welsh princes and English kings through the centuries. It stands perched on a headland overlooking the town with its twin-towered gatehouse. The town takes its name from the castle as it translates as jail on the hill, but you won’t get it trouble these days for bringing a dog on a lead!

4. Dinas Dinlle

This lovely sandy beach lies between Porthmadog and Caernarvon, and there is a large dog-friendly area where dogs can have great fun chasing tennis balls across the sand, occasionally going to the water’s edge to cool their paws from the hot sand. The facilities for their human companions are just as good with free car parking, public toilets and perhaps most important – a fish and chip shop!

5. Greenwood Forest Park, Y Felinheli

Voted the best attraction in Wales on several occasions, this park offers all types of attractions to keep children of all ages occupied. From archery to ascending turrets, from sledge runs to shoes and socks off for a barefoot trail. Dogs are welcome in the park, just keep them on a lead for the protection of the native and wild animals that have made the park home.

6. Llandudno and the Great Orme

Llandudno is a great Victorian seaside resort, but a visit up the Great Orme will show you this area of Wales has been inhabited for thousands of years. The climb up and down the Great Orme is made far easier by the tramway, which welcomes dogs on leads and takes visitors up the Great Orme from very near the centre of town. This will lead you to a Bronze Age copper mine and a Stone Age fort, plus the chance to drink in the fresh air and admire the beautiful Welsh scenery.

7. Penryn Castle

Owned and operated by the National Trust, this Victorian castle is built in Neo-Norman style. This is a marvellous site for families who appreciate a choice: those members interested in history can tour the house and admire the restored rooms, while those more interested in investigating the grounds with the dog can set off on top-quality trails. Between you, your imaginations can run wild.

8. Black Rock Beach, Porthmadog

This two-mile-long sandy beach takes its name from the cliffs that tower over its western edge. Here is a beach for the active, with either kiteds on the shore or windsurfers over the sea. It is great for dogs to stretch their legs and for a family game of rounders. The beach is fringed by the Morfa Bychan Nature Reserve so there may be a chance for bird-spotting. For music fans it featured on a Manic Street Preachers album cover.

9. Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, Porthmadog

These two heritage lines offer a true chance to unwind in the marvellous scenery of the area. The lines take you past mountains through tranquil pastures and magnificent forests, lakes and waterfalls. From a new combined station is Porthmadog, you can either ascend 700 feet to the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, or breeze along the coast past the foot of Mount Snowdon to Caernarfon. Both lines are happy to carry dogs for the flat fare of £3 in certain carriages.

10. Snowdon

Snowdon is the eponymous mountain that towers majestically over this area and dogs are most welcome to accompany their owners in walking the mountain – fitness depending, of course. Long- and short-legged walkers who love exercise will revel in it. As some of the paths are stone and slate consider those poor paws and how you can protect them.