Posted on 19/07/2017 by David
Most pooches enjoy a good paddle. Even if yours doesn't, we all love a good riverside walk. So even if your fave North Wales beach has a dog ban in high season, here are five alternative places where your Best Friend can still get his (or her) paws wet...while you enjoy the view.
Most of these walks are away from roads and livestock - but please respect local signs and the presence of other people and animals.
Betws-y-Coed along the Afon Llugwy to Miner's Bridge
This beautiful walk includes open pastures, a forest boardwalk and a gnarly, woodland path to a striking foot bridge and a fine-mist waterfall. Plenty of spots for picnics and opportunities for the dog to go swimming too - but as with all these walks, keep your pet out of the river if it's in spate.
Start at the very popular spot by Pont-y-Pair bridge in Betws-y-Coed. On the north side of the river (the other side from the High Street), find the boardwalk that leads off into the stand of conifers. Follow this as far as a gate and then keep following the well-trodden path through fields, with the river to your left.
Sometimes there are sheep in the fields so please keep your dog on a lead under close control. Later on, the path enters more woodland and here you will need to be confident walking on uneven ground.
A short walk later and you reach Miner's Bridge with its remarkable, almost 45-degree angle. Sure-footing is needed to cross it, especially if it's wet. Depending on the weather, a low cliff here provides an unusual, fine-mist waterfall - and a wonderful rainbow if the sun's in the right place!
To return to the start you have three options - across the Miner's Bridge and along the A5 (there is a pavement all the way back to the village); by retracing your steps; or by heading uphill south into the woods and then following the minor lane back to Pont-y-Pair bridge.
Beddgelert along the Afon Glaslyn
The beauty of this riverside walk is that you can make it as long or as short as you want - with one option to do a huge loop via a low mountain pass. The Afon Glaslyn can be very fast-flowing after rain so do be careful.
Start in the picture-postcard village of Beddgelert and head for the footbridge that crosses the Glaslyn. You can start on either side. As far as the next footbridge, alongside the Welsh Highland narrow gauge railway, the path on both sides of the river is flat and suitable for those less mobile or wheelchair users. It's perfect for a short amble. Make sure you look for Gelert's Grave by the big tree.
Again, there can be sheep nearby so please read the signs and keep your dog under control and on a lead if sheep are present.
Beyond the railway you can follow the Glaslyn on its eastern bank, all the way into the Pass of Aberglaslyn. The Fisherman's Path follows boulders into the ravine. It's been improved recently with steps and sections of boardwalk, but you still need to be sure on your feet.
The roaring beauty of the Glaslyn river will pull you on. If you and your dog are still raring to go, follow the path through the woods to Nantmor car park and then walk the path into the hills towards Llyn Dinas. This is a long walk but is filled with interest, including the remains of old mine workings.
Once at Llyn Dinas you can follow the Glaslyn again back to Beddgelert.
Conwy Estuary - Deganwy to Conwy Quay
This may not be an obvious riverside walk on your map, but this is a flat, well-surfaced and off-road walk that is filled with interest and wonderful views. In season you can even turn this into a loop by hailing a river taxi between Deganwy and Conwy.
If you start in Deganwy you'll find parking is a little easier. Join the path from the beach as it follows the railway line, past Deganwy Quay and then along the waterside as far as the road and rail embankment. The views across the water towards Conwy and its imposing castle are sublime.
There are plenty of benches to stop for a breather and to take in the scene. The path loops around the estuary and briefly meets the road over the bridge before bringing you to Conwy Quay. Look out for the mussel men who may be returning with their catch.
If you don't fancy retracing your steps, now's the time to hail a taxi - but not just any old taxi! The Water Taxi service is available from North Wales Cruising Club. Click here for details.
Llanrwst along the Afon Conwy to an historic bridge
This is a short walk along a surfaced path, with plenty of benches for you to sit on and enjoy the peace while the pooch explores. Park in the car park at the back of the Glasdir Centre and follow the path to the left.
After a short distance you'll see the famous Pont Fawr bridge (dating back to 1635) and the picture-perfect Tu Hwnt i'r Bont tea rooms on the far side. Far be it from us to recommend this walk without partaking in a hot beverage and a tasty Welsh cake too. In the autumn months the creepers covering the tearooms turn a stunning shade of red. No wonder this scene is one of the most photographed in Wales!
To return to the car park simply retrace your steps or amble back via the town centre.
Nant y Pandy (The Dingle), Llangefni
The Dingle is a hidden gem in Anglesey's market town. Hidden behind the church and rows of terraced houses in Llangefni is a low wooded valley teeming with wildlife.
The path follows the Cefni River - and the disused railway track that once connected Amlwch to the North Wales line - as far as the Cefni Reservoir.
Recent investment in this 40-acre nature reserve has led to many sections of the path being turned into boardwalks, with interesting sculptures dotting the route. There's no easy circular route so however far you walk, be mindful that you'll need to come back the same way!
This leaflet describes the route and the wildlife and shows the two town car parks that make the best start-and-finish point.
And if you're planning a holiday to North Wales with your four-legged friend this summer, why not read our doggy guide to packing and our comprehensive guide to beaches without dog restrictions? Both really handy!
Images courtesy: Miner's Bridge, © Copyright Nigel Williams. Afon Llugwy, © Copyright Dot Potter. © Copyright Michael Maggs. © Copyright Keith Williamson. © Copyright Herbert Ortner.