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Visiting rural Pembrokeshire with your dog

A pony stands on a hill looking at the camera, its tail caught in the breeze. The land slopes away into the distance where the coast and a beach can be seen
Pony conservation grazing at St David's Peninsula | © National Trust Images/Emma Ryan

Well-behaved dogs are welcome at our coastal and rural places in Pembrokeshire all year round, and there are plenty of places to take your four-legged friend while you're here. Please help keep Pembrokeshire enjoyable for everyone by keeping your dog under close control, cleaning up after them and following the guidance below.

Our pawprint rating system

We’ve been working on making it easier for you to find out how dog-friendly your visit will be before you and your four-legged-friend arrive. To help with this, we've created a new pawprint rating system and given all the places in our care a rating. You can find this information in the National Trust members’ handbook.

Our rural and coastal places in Pembrokeshire are one pawprint rated places.

Dogs are welcome here, but facilities are limited. They'll be able to stretch their legs in the car park and walk in the nearby open spaces. There are likely to be seasonal restrictions. Access with your dog might only be in certain areas.

What do I need to be aware of in Pembrokeshire?

Pembrokeshire is teaming with wildlife and in rural areas livestock. Along the coast and in some of our countryside places there are herds of Welsh Black cattle and Welsh Mountain ponies used for conservation grazing. While visiting please pay attention to any local signage relating to dog walking. For example whether your dog needs to be on a lead.

You are advised that much of the coastal path is unfenced with sheer cliffs.

You are also advised not to leave your pet in the car, as our car parks offer very limited shade.

Dogs around wildlife and livestock

Dogs should be kept on leads around livestock, ponies and areas with nesting birds, but if cattle or other large animals try to chase your dog then it is safer to drop the lead until you are clear of the area.

Guidelines when coming across seals

If you come across either a group of seals or a lone seal or pup, please follow these guidelines:
• If in a boat on the sea stay at least 50m away from a seal
• On land keep your dog on a short lead and stay at least 20 metres away from seals on beaches
• Never approach a lone seal or pup either on water or land

Dogs on the coast and seals

Many places on the coast are home to seals, which usually breed from late summer through to mid November. The parents and their pups can be seen lounging on the beaches in Pembrokeshire especially the smaller shingle beaches from Strumble Head down to the St Davids Peninsula and the Marloes Peninsula. Often the mother seal will leave her pup alone on a beach. She has not abandoned her offspring and it is of paramount importance that lone seals and pups are not disturbed by dogs, people, boats or children. Contact with humans or other animals can result in the pup being rejected by its mother.

Running dogs at Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
Running dogs at Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire | © National Trust Images/ Hugh Mothersole

Where can my dog go in Pembrokeshire?

Dogs at Freshwater West and Gupton Farm
Dogs are welcome at Freshwater West Beach and at Gupton farm campsite and surf lodge under close control. No dogs are allowed on the permissive paths and trails on the farmland at Gupton farm due to sensitive wildlife.Plan your visit to Freshwater West
Dogs at Southwood Estate
We require all dogs visiting Southwood Estate to be kept on a short lead at all times to minimise disturbance to wildlife and livestock that inhabit the thousand acres that make up the estate.Plan your visit to Southwood Estate
Dog Walker on the footpath at Southwood Estate, Pembrokeshire
Dog Walker on the footpath at Southwood Estate, Pembrokeshire | © National Trust Images/John Millar

The Canine Code

We’ve worked with our partner Forthglade to come up with this Canine Code, which helps to make sure everyone can enjoy their day:

  • Keep them close: using a short lead helps to keep your dog from disturbing ground-nesting birds and farm animals. It's essential to use a short lead around sheep. But if cattle approach you, it's best to let your dog off the lead, and call them back when it's safe to do so.
  • Pick up the poo: please always clear up after your dog. If you can't find a bin nearby, take the poo bags home with you.
  • Watch the signs: keep an eye on local signs and notices wherever you're walking. They'll tell you if a beach has a dog ban, for instance, or if a path has been diverted, or if you're in an area where dogs can run off-lead.
  • Stay on the ball: remember that not everyone loves dogs, and some people fear them. So make sure your dog doesn't run up to other people, especially children.

Keeping control of your dog

Our definition of close or effective control is: ​

  • Being able to recall your dogs in any situation at the first call
  • Being able to clearly see your dog at all times (not just knowing they have gone into the undergrowth or over the crest of the hill). In practice, this means keeping them on a footpath if the surrounding vegetation is too dense for your dog to be visible
  • Not allowing them to approach other visitors without their consent
  • Having a lead with you to use if you encounter livestock or wildlife, or if you are asked to use one

Follow the countryside code

Help keep our world-famous coast and beautiful inland rural places in Pembrokeshire safe and enjoyable by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the countryside code.

Respect other people

  • Consider the local community and other people enjoying and working in the outdoors
  • Park carefully so access to gateways and driveways is clear
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Follow marked paths and local signs
  • Be nice, say hi

Protect the natural environment

  • Leave no trace of your visit, take all your litter home
  • Take care with barbecues and fires – only use in designated areas
  • Keep dogs under control

Contact us


Abereiddi: SA62 6DT, Abermawr: SA62 5UX For more information

A family walking their dogs in the park at Erddig, Wrexham, Wales

Find your next dog walk in Wales

There are plenty of dog-friendly places to visit in Wales. From mountains and beaches, to gardens and parklands, discover where to walk and explore.

Our partners


We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade so that you and your dog can get even more out of the special places we care for.

Visit website 

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Pick up the pace in Pembrokeshire’s walking country; this rugged and remote expanse of towering cliffs and rocky outcrops is punctuated with coastal paths and soaring sea views. | Camwch yn gynt ar lwybrau cefn gwlad Sir Benfro; ymysg yr ehangder garw, anghysbell hwn o glogwyni uchel a cherrig brig, ceir llwybrau arfordirol a golygfeydd di-ben draw ar y môr.

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Cliffs and the sea at Abereiddi, Pembrokeshire

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