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Wales is a beautiful country with plenty to offer visitors, and if you’re lucky enough to have a furry friend to bring along, there are plenty of great things to do in Mid-Wales that are dog-friendly. From walks along the stunning Wales Coast Path to visiting some of the best beaches in the UK, here are our top picks for things to do in Mid-Wales with your dog.
1. Walk the Wales Coast Path
One of the best ways to explore the Welsh coastline is by walking the Wales Coast Path. Launched in 2012, this 870-mile long trail goes around the entire coast of Wales, allowing you to take in some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country.
Of course, you don’t want to walk the entire 870 miles so you can hop on and off and many different points along the way.
I personally enjoy the section between Aberystwyth and Borth which both have a train station so you and your four-legged friend don’t need to walk back again afterwards as they will be pretty tired after the 5-mile walk (see recommendation no.11 for dog-friendly places to grab some food in Aberystwyth before or after your walk).
2. Explore the Grounds of Powis Castle
Powis Castle is a spectacular castle located in Powys, Mid-Wales. The castle has been home to the Herbert family for over 700 years and is now owned by the National Trust.
The castle grounds are extensive and include formal gardens, a kitchen garden, parkland, and a deer park. During the summer months, dogs and their owners are welcome to explore the woodland, gardens, and the courtyard, as long as they are kept on a lead1 (National Trust – Powis Castle). Obviously, they are not allowed inside the castle itself though.
There are plenty of walking trails to explore with your dog and you can also visit the onsite café which has a lovely outdoor seating area where your dog can relax while you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.
3. Visit Hay on Wye
Hay on Wye is a picturesque town situated on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. It’s well-known for its many bookshops, but it’s also a great place to take your dog for a walk.
There are plenty of trails to explore in the surrounding area, and you can even stop for a coffee or lunch in one of the many cafes and pubs that welcome dogs. In particular, the Blue Boar pub is a great spot to take your pet with a cosy atmosphere perfect for relaxing after a day outdoors.
4. Pistyll Rhaeadr
Pistyll Rhaeadr is the tallest waterfall in Wales and can be found in Mid-Wales near the English border with Oswestry. At 73m tall (240ft), it is truly a sight to behold, earning itself a place in the Welsh 7 Wonders.
Whilst we humans will enjoy the waterfall, your dog will be more intrigued by the adventurous walking trail which leads from the foot of the waterfall through quarry heaps and hillsides. The 3-mile round circuit will be the perfect length for your dog to enjoy and leave them all tired ready to go home.
I love to stop for a picnic lunch on the way around, although there’s a cafe at the bottom of the waterfalls that’s open during peak tourist season and they will be happy to provide some water for your friend.
5. Aberporth Beach
Aberporth Beach is a great option if you’re looking for a dog-friendly beach in Mid-Wales, it is the top-rated beach for taking your dog according to Tripadvisor reviews too.
This sandy beach is located on the Cardigan Bay coast, and it’s a popular spot for both locals and visitors. There are plenty of things to keep your dog entertained, including a stream that runs through the middle of the beach and a variety of rocks to explore.
There are also a few cafes and pubs in the village if you fancy grabbing a bite to eat or a drink after your walk.
6. Hafren Forest
Hafren Forest is located near Newtown in Mid-Wales and is part of the Cambrian Mountains. It’s a great place to take your dog for a walk with plenty of trails to explore, including an easy 1-mile trail that’s suitable for all abilities.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, there are also longer walking trails that will take you farther into the forest and up into the hills.
There are also some great views to be had from the top of the hill, so make sure you bring your camera and brush up your photography skills.
7. Visit Lake Vyrnwy for Afternoon Tea
Lake Vyrnwy is a man-made reservoir situated in Powys, Mid-Wales. It’s a popular spot for both walkers and cyclists with plenty of trails to explore.
The lake has lots of trails for exploring which are all well signposted and the main roads have regular doggy poo bins. You can walk around the lake or explore the nearby Dyfnant forest which has woodland routes2 (Show Me Wales – Mid-Wales Tourism).
There’s also a bird hide near the RSPB visitor centre at the lake where you can spot goldfinches, woodpeckers, and more (this is dog-friendly too).
One of my favourite things to do here is to enjoy afternoon tea from Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa. Although not the best afternoon tea you’ll find in Wales, the view across the lake whilst you bite into a scone is unbeatable.
I would generally recommend self-catered facilities for anyone travelling with a dog. However, if you’re looking for a hotel, this one has dog-friendly rooms with a charge of £15 per night per dog3 (Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa). However, keep in mind that they aren’t permitted elsewhere in the hotel except for the on-site pub called The Last Grouse.
8. Walk to Admiral Rodneys Pillar
Admiral Rodney’s Pillar is an iconic stone column that was erected in 1782 to commemorate the victories of Sir George Brydges Rodney (Admiral Rodney) during the American War of Independence. It’s situated on top of an extinct volcano near the border of Mid-Wales and Shropshire.
The walk is approximately 2-3 hours round-trip from the car park. At first, there isn’t much to see, but as you progress up the hill, the views open up so you can see the rolling Welsh countryside.
The walk is moderate and suitable for dogs, although you’ll need to keep them on a lead for most of the walk.
Note: the pillar itself is currently fenced off as it’s become dangerous, although funding for its restoration is being funded.
9. Bwlch Nant yr Arian Walking Trail
The Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre is located in the Cambrian Mountains of Mid-Wales and is a great place to take your dog for a walk.
There are several walking trails to choose from, all of which are signposted and well-maintained. The main trail is 3 miles long, but there’s also a shorter 1-mile loop if you don’t fancy doing the whole thing.
This is doggy heaven, as well as the trails, your four-legged pal is allowed in the shop and inside the café. There are also lots of doggy bins around the visitor centre. However, keep in mind that they do insist that dogs are kept on leads4 (Natural Resources Wales).
This is also a particularly great thing to do for families in Mid-Wales as they provide activity leaflets such as an animal trail where children can tick off the animals as they see them. There is also a red kite feeding station which will be interesting for the whole family to see.
10. Constitution Hill in Aberystwyth
I’ve already mentioned Aberystwyth as the gateway to a beautiful section of the Wales Coastal Path (see no.1), however, the town itself is also full of great dog-friendly activities.
It has a dog-friendly beach where your pups can run through the sea. But one of the best things to do here with your dog is walk up Constitution Hill. This is a short but steep walk that takes you up to an old fort at the top. The views from the top are amazing, especially on a clear day when you can see all the way out to sea and there’s a dog-friendly cafe at the top too.
There’s also a funicular railway that takes you to the top if you don’t fancy walking (or if your dog isn’t up for it) and dogs can ride for free.
Plus there are a ton of dog-friendly restaurants and pubs in Aberystwyth including The Glengower, White Horse, Little Devil’s Café, and more.
11. Walk the Four Falls Trail in the Brecon Beacons
Our next recommendation takes you just south of what I’d consider Mid-Wales, but I had to include it as an excellent day out with the dog.
The Four Falls Trail is an easy walking trail located in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It’s a 4-mile loop that takes you to four different waterfalls which you can admire from afar or, on a warm day, strip down to your swimwear and take a swim.
If you want to let the dogs roam freely without a lead, this is a great option as it’s all public walkways and totally dog-friendly. This is a great walk for families as it’s not too strenuous and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the views (or take photos).
12. Coed y Brenin Forest Park
Coed y Brenin Forest Park is a large forest located in Snowdonia National Park. It’s a great place to take your dog for a walk with plenty of trails to choose from.
Coed y Brenin is super dog-friendly. Dogs are allowed on all of the walking trails if they are kept under control and there is no livestock nearby so you don’t need to worry about them bouncing off into the wilderness. There are water bowls provided and they are welcome in parts of the cafe too.
There are also some great views to be had from the top of the forest and if you’re lucky you might even spot some red kites.
13. Clywedog Dam
Last on our list of the best things to do with dogs in Mid-Wales is Clywedog Dam, a man-made reservoir just outside of Llanidloes in Mid-Wales. It’s popular with walkers, cyclists, bird watchers, and, of course, dog-walkers.
The dam itself is impressive, a 72m high structure that holds back 50,000 megalitres of water5 (Hafren Dyfrdwy). There are some great views to be had from the top and it’s also a great place to take your dog for a walk with plenty of trails to choose from.
There are two main trails to choose from, the Clywedog Gorge Trail and the Llyn Clywedog Scenic Trail. It’s also very close to Hafren Forest (mentioned in no. 6) so you could combine the two for a paw-fect day out.
Kieren is the founder and editor-in-chief of Wales Guidebook. Originally from rural Mid-Wales, he has lived all over the country from Cardiff to Wrexham. A true Welshman, Kieren created this site to share his passion for Wales and help others discover this beautiful country.