North Wales is a haven for walkers and dog owners alike. From the Llyn Peninsula to the Snowdonia mountain range, North Wales boasts a diverse landscape to traverse, with breathtaking vistas to enjoy at almost every turn.
Not only is regular exercise good for mind and body – human or canine – it’s also great fun. We think there’s nothing more motivating than an exercise partner who’s always ready to go, waiting by the door with a wagging tail!
Top tips: the North Wales countryside is largely agricultural and, in our neck of the woods, that equals sheep country. Whether you’re local or a visitor you must ensure your dog is kept on a lead anywhere he may come into contact with livestock. In addition, local authorities in North Wales have strict regulations concerning dogs in public places, especially during high season. The penalties for ignoring the rules can be steep so we recommend you check in advance where your dog can or can’t roam.
Abide by these simple guidelines and you and your best friend can enjoy some fantastic walkies throughout North Wales. We’ve compiled a few suggestions (many of them favourites of ours) to get you started:
Great Orme, Llandudno
The Great Orme is an imposing prehistoric monolith, comprised of interesting rock formations, ancient relics, a tangled history and incredible sea views. On a clear days walkers will be treated to views of Anglesey and Liverpool Bay and there are several, well sign-posted walks to choose from, depending on your interests or fitness levels. Kashmir goats and farmed sheep freely roam the hillsides of the Great Orme so keep your dog on a lead if you’re worried about bumping into the ovine residents. Also, keep an eye on dogs near cliff edges as not all are safety-fenced.
Aber Falls, Abergwyngregyn
Just off the A55, on the Colwyn Bay to Bangor stretch, Abergwyngregyn is a tiny hamlet with a long history. This walk, which meanders up to the stunning Rhaeadr Fawr waterfall, is a favourite among locals. There are plenty of opportunities to connect with nature along the way – if you’re lucky you might even get a glimpse of the elusive Carneddau Mountain ponies. With a gently sloping incline it is an ideal walk if you’re a dog owner with a pushchair or mobility scooter as the only real obstacles are the gates, which are fully accessible. There are several delightful picnic stops along the way, as well as an interesting exhibition on how the surrounding area was worked during ancient times.
Anglesey has a 124 mile coastal path, so your options for a great walk with amazing views are vast! To narrow it down we suggest walking in the direction of the lighthouse in Amlwch where you can follow a short, circular route. This is an easy and enjoyable walk with some fabulous photo opportunities. It’s an ideal choice if you’re not super fit, or if you own a laidback or older dog.
Tal Y Fan to Foel Lwyd, Tal-Y-Bont
Experience wild, untamed Wales on this atmospheric and historic hike – this challenging walk is an ideal choice for history lovers or fit dog walkers. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking for some peace and quiet, as you’re unlikely to see many people up here! Foel Lwyd is one of the few remaining Welsh Roman roads which traverses its namesake, the most northerly hill in Wales. Walkers will get the blood pumping on the rapid ascent and enjoy viewing the prehistoric stone circle and standing stones along the way. Preparation for this walk is a must – take plenty to drink (for you and your dog) and wear suitable footwear.
These are just a few ideas to get you started – North Wales is so dog friendly you’ll be spoilt for choice when choosing where to go for walkies. Whether you choose hill or dale, beach or forest, remember to check for local authority restrictions in advance and keep your dog on a lead, unless it is safe and legal to let him roam free.