Finding dog friendly accommodation that accepts more than two dogs can be a challenge. As a three-dog family (two whippets Misty and Sparky and a blind lurcher, Scout) we do struggle but in July 2018 we spent a glorious week in a 17th Century stone cottage in North Wales. Y Bwthyn is nestled amongst the hills of Cwm Bach Valley near Harlech and forms part of a working farm. For that reason, dgogs must be on a lead and under control at all times. The cottage was everything we could have hoped for and more. As you enter the property there is a useful ultility room, ideal for storing muddy boots and all manner of dog paraphernalia . A stable-type door leads into a spacious kitchen where we were welcomed by the sight of a huge Victoria sponge cake and a dozen fresh farm eggs. Bottled water was also left for us in case we did not want to drink from the tap as the water for the cottage was filtered from a spring and could sometimes be a little discoloured, something that didnt bother us at all. Stairs led off from a comfortable lounge area, with a log burner to two well proportioned bedrooms and a large bathroom.
Criccieth is on the south side of the Llyn peninsula so benefits from a beautiful late afternoon sun and is an ideal time to walk one or both of it's two beaches and in mid September the tide is at it's lowest around 15:00 revealing miles of open sand. We headed for the east beach so parked up on the esplanarde, if this is full there is also a carpark at the far end. The beach directly infront of the esplanarde is Blue Flag awarded so not open to dogs, so walk eastwards down a concrete ramp infront of Dylan's Resturant and the pitch & putt coarse, the first hundred yards or so is shingle and pebbles so take apropriate footware but after that it's barefoot all the way on gorgeous golden sand. Behind you are the snowdonian mountains providing a shelter from the westerly winds and infront of you the water is shallow and warm, benefiting from the gulf stream passing close by which brings in seals, porpoises and dolphins along the surf if your lucky. With the tide at it's lowest you can walk all the way to the neighbouring beach of Black Sands, passing rock cliffs with caves and rockpools to explore, just remember when the tide comes back in it will cut off the beach side access from one to the other. There are numarous beaches in Wales but for me this is one of the finest for it's view's of Cardigan Bay, the snowdonian mountains and miles of walking at low tide.
We took Ace and Billy again to a dog friendly B&B guest house in Llandudno . The guest house is called Ashdale guest house which is run by Peter and Linda. The food is fab and the dogs each got a sausage for breakfast.
Randall had the most amazing holiday in Wales and particularly enjoyed Newborough beach! Running up the sand dunes and sliding back down again was by far his favourite thing to do! He also went in the sea for the first time, which he loved!
We stayed in "The Tardis" an aptly named cottage about 5 miles from the coast. The cottage itself is very well appointed and spacious, comfortably sleeping 5, and very dog friendly, with an attractive large safe garden. For the humans there's use of a fab hot tub, bbq, and games room. Rufus, our 5 year old labrador was made wholly welcome, there were welcoming treats from the owners for us all. The owners, who live next door are enormously helpful and friendly, helpfully offering advice about local great dog walks, dog friendly pubs and activities, even where to spot the best sunsets! The cottage is in the tiny village of Eglwysbach, its almost next door to a great little pub, which while it doesn't welcome dogs, does a great takeaway pizza! Conwy itself is a scenic harbour town with a castle, range of shops and a good range of eateries, including many which are dog friendly, and go above and beyond, with treats and a warm welcome. Rufus got through quite a few freshly cooked sausages! Conwy Morfa beach is about a 5 minute drive, and is dog friendly all year round. A little further on is Talacre, very scenic with a great pub nearby. We live near the coast, and whilst we love our beaches, wanted to explore more of the National Park itself, so ventured more inland. Here you're on the edge of Snowdonia, and again we found some great walks. The walk from Beddgelert, along the river Afon Glaslyn, through some beautiful woodland was lovely, and Rufus had his picture taken of the heroic hound Gelert, after whom the village is named. Betws y Coed is hugely scenic, if very busy, with bus loads of tourists. Take it easy at the fab Alpine Cafe, then check out Canine and Co billed as the ultimate dog shop, for good reason. Ru just loved their dog deli and happily tucked into some doggy ice-cream! Retail therapy satisfied, walk time: from the A5 out of Betws y Coed, pass the Swallow Falls Hotel on your left and take the minor road on the right before the Ugly House tearoom. From there you can park up, and there's a fantastic walk through woodlands and forest, descending to stunning views of the Swallow Falls themselves. Another great walk is to head inland to Trefriw, where you'll find Llyn Crafnant, a huge reservoir, where your dog can enjoy a dip, and there's a great little cafe, about half way round, on the shoreline. It'll take about 2 hours to walk all the way round the lake, but is well worth it, as the views of the mountains are jaw dropping. And if you want to see some of the best of Snowdonia, but without too much hard work, find Llyn Idwal, near Capel Curig, and the mountain face known as the Devil's Kitchen. Obviously you're in Snowdonia, so wear appropriate footwear and clothing, and be cautious and responsible, watching for livestock, horses, and ground nesting birds.
All in all, we had a truly great holiday, Ru loved every minute, and we have rebooked for next year.