Hey Gang, It’s been a while! With everything getting a bit more back to normal and lock down restrictions finally being lifted, we’ve been very busy bees with lots of lovely doggos coming to visit while their owners get back to work, or are lucky enough to get away.
While we haven’t been up to our usual exploring habits this year, we’ve managed to incorporate a couple of staycation nights away and day trips into our busy spring summer schedule, which has been AMAZING! It feels so nice to be able to explore a little bit now we can doesn’t it?! Last month, while out and about on our last little exploration before getting back to pupcations and alike, it occured to me that lots of the little breaks we were taking were dog friendly, and all the lovely little day trips we’ve been on, we’ve been lucky enough to take a pup or two along for the ride! So, Seen as the summer holidays are here, and the time to get out and explore is NOW I thought it’d be pretty cool to give you a run down of the places we’ve visited this summer, that you and your pup can enjoy. Everywhere listed is within a 3 hour drive, so you can day trip, or try out some of the lush places we stayed.
Rest Bay — Porthcawl (approx 50 mins from Barry)
Back in April when we were finally able to travel more than 5 miles, we took Sid and Woody on a day trip to Porthcawl. This was to be Sid’s last adventure with us. He sadly passed away in June this year.
We Love Porthcawl! there’s lots of lovely places to eat, drink and potter around that are all dog friendly. We took Sid and Woody to the dunes above rest bay for a potter and along the sea front. It’s a really nice place to stop for the day and have a picnic, or grab some take away coffees and ice creams and wander around.
Obviously a trip isn’t a trip without eating lots of lush food. and Tom and I flipping love a pizza so we always head down to the Harbour for Double Zero Pizza, a seat outside on the harbour front on a nice day is the best!
Cardigan and surrounding areas (approx 2 and a half hours from Barry)
A few months before I turned 30, Tom and I went on a very fancy, very exciting US road trip for almost 3 weeks. We met friends in Las Vegas and then flew to Portland to travel around the Pacific Northwest. It was LUSH. But when the big 3–0 came we’d spent all our holiday money and while I wanted to go away, I really couldn’t go very far. So we found a cute cabin to stay just outside of Aberaeron and I fell in love! 2 years later when lockdowns finally seemed behind us, Tom and I managed to snap up a super swanky dog friendly cottage called Cwtch Wennol on Sea and Slate just before boarding bookings took off. It was a lovely cottage, run by really lovely people in Llangoedmor.
We fell in love with this part of West Wales because there’s so much to do, see, and eat! If you’re visiting for a day or a weekend here are some of the highlights:
- Mwnt — a GLORIOUS National Trust beach, there’s lots of costal path to explore here and even a very sweet 13th Century church.
- Poppit — Poppit is HUGE! You can walk for miles when the tide is out, so it’s great for dog walking (there’s a section that dogs need to stick to, but there’s still plenty of space.) Poppit is also home to one of our favourites Crwst, where they serve proper lush ice cream and baked goods.
- Ffynone Waterfall — This took us sometime to find, but the locals seem to know it well, It’s just outside the village New Chapel, which have some pretty sweet pubs. There’s a couple of routes you can take to the waterfall, one pretty easy flat one, but of course, we went the long hilly way round! a great dog walk with the potential of a pint at the end!
- Crwst — I’ve already mentioned it’s Poppit home, but the main shop is in Cardigan, and I think we went every single day of our trip this year! My favourites are the vanilla glazed doughnut (which is flipping vegan!) and the cookies, any cookies…with a side of tea obvs. Now you can sit inside (we couldn’t!) brunch is firmly back on… So pancake stacks or french toast is essential eating! It’s of course dog friendly and their Instagram has a very sweet ‘dogs of Crwst’ highlight!
- Pizza Tipi — Dog friendly Pizza venue? SIGN ME UP! this place is a fforest resturant and it’s in such a nice location — just on the banks of the Teifi River. We went for Lunch, just before our trip to Ffynone Waterfall and it hit the spot!
- El Salsa- Not Dog Friendly, but you can order to take away and walk down to the river to eat — which is exactly what we did. OH MY GOSH this place is amazing! Tom’s sister recommended we try here as we both flipping love a burrito, and it did not disappoint. They even do take away margaritas. It’s in the centre of Cardigan, so its really easy to find and make a stop at.
- Habourmaster, Aberaeron. Ok, it’s not dog friendly, but I couldn’t mention this part of the world without mentioning this place. If you get to go there with out your pup (maybe they can stay with us?!) this pub/hotel is LUSH. We haven’t been lucky enough to stay, but we’ve eaten here a few times, and would absolutely recommend!
Artist Residence, Oxfordshire (approx 2 hours 10 mins from Barry)
We flipping love the Artist Residence hotels! they’re lovely relaxing places, perfect to unwind for a weekend. We’ve been lucky enough to stay in this one twice, and made a trip to the Penzance one in early 2020 BC (before Corona). We love the relaxed vibe, and there are always so many friendly pooches to say hello to! We had an overnight stay in Oxfordshire on the May bank holiday this year, and it did not disappoint! This particular location is very rural, but you don’t need to worry, there’s everything you need on site, from a lush pub restaurant, to herb gardens you can stroll around. There are even bikes you can borrow if you fancy venturing out and exploring! Dogs are allowed in all areas of the pub and gardens, and there are 2 main walks you can take in the area. The staff are really knowledgeable about routes, and the locals are always very helpful! If you don’t fancy a big walk or bike ride, you can potter round the local village (which is BEAUTIFUL) or just stay put and chill out with a glass of wine and a good book. BLISS!
Llangattock, Powys (approx 1 hour 17 mins from Barry)
Now for something a little different! This was something we’d never done before. Of course we’d visited around this area, (If your dog is active and used to long walks I absolutely advise you spend a morning walking Pen Y Fan with them, and get an afternoon booking at Hills… What a day that would be!) but we’d never explored this area in a narrow boat before!
In early July we took a leisurely narrow boat trip with my family (and my brother’s sweet pup Norma) around Crickhowell. We navigated narrow tunnels, locks and the odd paddle boarder! This is certainly a more lesuirely pace than I imagined (most of the places we could walk faster too!). But if you enjoy the slow life and want something to do that’s dog friendly and a little bit different, this could be for you! Most places on all of our stops catered for pooches, and as the area is very rural, there’s plenty of stop offs in between being on the boat that had lovely walks for Norma. We even met a lovely Labrador who liked swimming alongside his boat! While narrow boat life can be quite hard work and not for the faint hearted (narrow tunnels and locks! Eeeek!) if you have a sense of adventure and want to see mid Wales in in a different way it’s a great way to spend a weekend. We used Brecon Park Boats, who were great, and really helpful when it came to easing our nerves about having to navigate a very long boat around lots of canals! You can check out our reel to get a taste of it here.
And that’s what we did this summer! In between looking after lots of puppers of course! We’re now in the thick of boarding season, so no more exploring for us for a while, but we hope you can use this little guide and find some new places to explore!
Have you got any day trip or weekend exploring go tos? let us know!