A few summers ago, I visited Wales for the first time. And what better place to visit? Since we had Ted with us, I needed to find as many dog friendly things to do in Pembrokeshire National Park as I could. As it turns out, I was in luck – there are loads of dog friendly things to do with kids in tow.
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This particular area in Wales is absolutely packed with castles! In one of the largest towns in the National Park is the dog friendly Pembroke Castle, which is a popular destination for a family day out.
We skipped Pembroke Castle and went to Manorbier Castle, the birthplace of Gerald of Wales. It’s a wedding venue as well as being open to the public, and there is definitely that classy, romantic aura, even though it is mostly ruined. But it wasn’t enough, and we paid a visit to Carew Castle and Tidal Mill too.
Carew Castle is quite exciting. Again, it’s dog friendly, but it has more interactive features for visiting children. I wouldn’t say it’s suitable for a pram, but if you’re willing to leave your buggy in the courtyard, it’s a place the whole family can enjoy.
Why not visit both?
Explore St David’s
Although dogs aren’t allowed in St David’s Cathedral, it’s still a lovely place for a day out. On a sunny day, you can sit on the grass in the cathedral grounds and have a picnic, surrounded by beautiful views. We saw lots of dogs and families playing together there when we visited.
There are shops, cafes, and pubs which are dog friendly in the city, so you could spend your time there finding a bargain, or sipping a cold pint. On the coast near the city is St Non’s Chapel and Well, which is a pretty site for a coastal walk if you (or your pup) are desperate for a little bit of exercise.
Walk the coastal path
Walking is always one of the most dog friendly things to do in Pembrokeshire and beyond. It’s a good job that the Pembrokeshire Coast Path stretches 186 miles, so you’re sure to find an area you like. Head down towards Marloes to walk around the Deer Park at Martin’s Haven and enjoy the views of Skomer Island. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed on the island at any time.
If you want something a little more exciting, the Castlemartin Range has a collection of fascinating cliff structures, including St Govan’s Chapel. It’s a small chapel carved directly into the rock of the cliff face! You will need to check the GOV website before you visit as it might be in use by the MOD. A little out of the National Park is Strumble Head, which was one of my favourite walking spots. It looks gorgeous on a sunny, summer’s day.
Take a boat ride to Caldey Island
A fun, dog friendly thing to do with the kids is explore Caldey Island. The island is accessed from Tenby Dock and reached by a short boat ride.
While there, have a picnic on the village green, find the lighthouse, and search for the chocolate shop. There are all sorts of hidden gardens and attractions that we missed. You could easily sell the island as a magical land to young children, and encourage them to look for fairies, or elves.
Frolic on the beach
Perhaps the best dog friendly thing to do with kids in Pembrokeshire is enjoy the beach. The Pembrokeshire Coast has some amazing sandy beaches that allow visitors to bring their four legged friends.
Tenby has a small dog friendly section, which is great for if you happen to be visiting the town, but there are better beaches. Saundersfoot, just 10 minutes away, has a large dog friendly section where you can pitch up your umbrella and spend the whole day. This section is a little bit of a walk from the shops and ice cream stalls.
Or you could go to Broadhaven, an enormous beach with a huge dog friendly section.
Enjoy fresh local fish for dinner
Lastly, it might not be something that the dog or the kids will enjoy, but it’s definitely something you will. Many restaurants serve locally sourced fish and seafood. What more would you expect from small, coastal villages?
I’m a bit of a foodie, and love trying fresh, local produce, so I jumped at the chance to try some fresh sea food. Luckily, some of these wonderful restaurants also allow dogs to join in. HARBWR Bar and Kitchen in Saundersfoot was my favourite of the holiday.
With so many dog friendly and kid friendly things to do in Pembrokeshire, you’ll have fun all day, every day. If you have any other ideas for a Pembrokeshire Coast holiday, let me know in the comments.