Friday, 18 December 2009 12:00 AM
With a versatile landscape covering beaches, mountains and hills, Wales is well suited to those seeking some outdoor adventure on their holidays in. And of course, if you have taken your four-legged friend with you, outdoor adventure is what you will be after.
Some 20 per cent of Wales is covered by three national parks, including Pembrokeshire Coast, where there is a lot of ground for you and your dog to explore.
Pembrokeshire is in fact a particularly good region for dog friendly holidays, as it has a lot of walks, pubs and accommodation where they are welcome.
A wide range of dog-friendly walks are managed by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
You can choose anything from the gentle one-mile Carew Castle and Tidal Mill walk (your dog is welcome inside the castle if kept on a lead) to the more challenging nine-mile route in Brunel Quay, which forms part of the National Cycle Network.
While dogs are welcome on many walks, bear in mind that you will generally need to keep them under control.
They can run free in some places all year round, such as the Freshwater West Beach where they can enjoy a dip.
It may be best for you to look at renting a house or cottage in Wales if you have dogs with you, as this will give you more freedom and there is no shortage of properties available.
Cottage holidays in Wales are popular and many places welcome dogs.
Southstack Cottage on the Isle of Anglesey is just one example. It is conveniently situated by a beautiful coast and in an area well suited to long or short excursions with canine guests.
If you like the idea of exploring Pembrokeshire, you might look at the Lower Coach House that gives easy access to the coastal path, or the Quarterdeck in Burton Ferry.
Try looking at the online Woof Guide to browse the large number of dog-friendly cottages for rent in the country. If you have more than one dog, make sure the house permits them all.
It will also help you to find a lot of dog friendly hotels.
Wales also boasts a number of dog-friendly pubs in areas including Caerphilly, Cardiff and Denbighshire, while Pembrokeshire is listed on Doggie Pubs as having a particularly strong concentration of such institutions.
If you are taking your dog on a car journey, remember always to have water with you and to take regular stops to prevent accidents or restlessness.