Doggy Things to Do | Caernarfon
Here comes the fun bit from my recent week away in Aberdesach because I get to tell you all about the dog friendly places I went to.
Black Rock Sands
The first thing I did was to catch up with some friends I met last year via the Cockapoo Owners Club (UK). It made sense to meet them back at Black Rock Sands in Porthmadog where we had our first official COCUK walk while I was on my travels.
It's one of the best doggy beaches I have ever been to, with birds to chase, waves to paddle in, sands to dig, dunes to hide in for some down time, two miles to scamper along, and the smallest non-doggy area in existence. Yes my fellow hounds, non-doggy people get cramped into a small part of the beach while we get to roam wild and free. I love the Black Rock Sands people who decided that.
The beach is so long that the humans disputed the number of steps we did from one end to the other, but it ranged from 9,000 to 11,000 so we all got an amazing walk on silky sands. I have a feeling Tilly the Red Rocket and Rosie the Ball Retriever did treble to everyone else though.
One of the best things about being a member of the COCUK, or any other doggy group, is that anyone can arrange a group walk wherever they go, and friendships are made. I love all the Poos I spent the day with as I have been able to meet them on other beaches throughout the year. Mummy has made friends with their humans too and the beach dunes are perfect for picnics (even if a few sausages got stolen and sand was scooped into the potato salad by the naughty Poos - not me of of course).
Back to one of my favourite beaches...
Humans can drive their cars onto Black Rock Sands so they don't have to carry all the picnic kit down onto the beach. It really is one of the best beaches in existence. The sand is easy to walk on and although the waves can sometimes be a bit crashing, they are usually very gentle on the shore line. An ice cream vans drives up and down the sand and there are loos near the car park. I could live on this beach for EVER.
One word of caution (from Mummy not me) is that as cars are parking, little doggies (like me) might try to chase them so be careful. I do love a moving set of wheels and have almost killed myself a few times, although I am getting much better at resisting my urges.
Every girl needs a little bit of 'Castle" fantasy in her life and it isn't often us hounds are allowed in one, but this particular castle was already a bit stinky so I am guessing we couldn't have done much damage to it if we decided to relieve ourselves in the moat-water.
Beaumaris is however, a sweet little castle of ruins and I was allowed in on the ground level. It was against the rules for me to go to the highest levels where men with bows and arrows once used to hide in order to shoot the enemy, through the heart, dead ... poof ... (if they were any good). I did try to get up the stone steps but even I knew my little legs couldn't quite manage them. I did mooch around the lower grounds and sniff out where the stinks were coming from though. I deduced that I too would smell if I were that old and had been baking in the sun for two months without a drop of rain. I bet it would be even worse if I managed to find some fox poo!
The area around the castle was rather pretty too and I was allowed to go shopping with Mummy which thrilled me.
To make things even better, we found a cafe by the not-so-dog-friendly beach that let me go in for a sausage and a tummy tickle.
The cafe was really cool and chilled out. They had quite an extensive menu and didn't mind me bringing my own packed-lunch. It is opposite the very small unfriendly beach that doesn't welcome us doggies, but we didn't mind that as we knew of better beaches were grumpy non-doggy people were shoved onto the small bits.
Caernarfon Airworld Aviation Museum
Dogs aren't allowed in museums, and this pleases me because they are sooo boring, right? Imagine if every museum allowed us in ... my Mummy would have me seeing all sorts of tedious things when all I want is to be outside having fun. It was Mummy's big birthday though so I guess she got to choose the day (meh). As it turned out, I rather enjoyed myself at Airworld.
I was allowed in the shop too, as well as in the outside area when humans can eat cake and drink cups of tea while watching the planes taking off. There were lots of things for me to sniff, steps to climb and tummy tickles to be had. It might not have been a beach but Mummy is a history geek so she was happy.
Llanberis Lakeside Railway
I love a good commute as you know, but I don't think I ever want to go back to the London tubes now I have been on a real steam train. I always thought humans were a bit crazy for saying 'choo-choo' when they talk of trains that burp out a continuous stream of silver wind, but that's really the sound they make. It did make me jump a little bit I must admit, but I felt a bit like Paddington Bear because I had my own doggy ticket for £2.00 and although I might not have had marmalade sandwiches, I did have a wiggling sniffing nose as the little steam train pulled out of the station.
Rumour had it that we had to book our tickets but that's not really true. They actually don't book all the seats for a day so random travellers like us can turn up. Sometimes it is too busy to get on but it runs so regularly that there is no harm in sitting down for a coffee, cake, or sausage, in the local station cafe. We were really lucky and had a little compartment to ourselves so I could sit on Mummy's lap the entire time. It was safe for me to put my nose out the window and I got to sniff the air all the way. I absolutely loved my steam train journey and was so thrilled that I was allowed to do something that I don't normally get to do. The train driver and guard were fun, and I got lots of attention from everyone. I think I need to carry some Marmalade sandwiches with for next time though because I'm just as adventurous as Paddington.
Us hounds weren't allowed in the castle, which was most annoying, but we didn't let that spoil our day. Instead, we walked around the edge of it and then escaped the historical perils of war and headed to the pretty parts of Caernarfon itself. Who wants to see another smelly castle anyway, when there are people to wiggle up to for cuddles.
On our wanderings, we found a cool water station outside the Anglesey Arms, and the faces of two gorgeous Poos. This obviously meant we had to support the local business and sat outside for some refreshments. I was very impressed that I had my very own barrel of beer ... oh ... water!
There are lots of pretty things to look at in Caernarfon, and I realised the prettier a place is, the longer the walks are that I get, which also means that there are more things to sniff and more possibilities for some holiday food (always more interesting than my usual food at home).
I was even allowed in the local souvenir shop where Mummy bought some very unnecessary gifts for herself. I didn't actually get a gift but apparently I'll be using her gifts for photos at some point. I rolled my eyes at this because we all know what that means!
We couldn't visit every dog friendly venue that Caernarfon has but one thing we found was that asking if I could come in often received a yes reply, making it much easier for us to move around the town and enjoy it more.
Ty Coch is a little hidden gem that must must be visited.
There are two carparks to park in. One is the golf club and the other is National Trust. Both have different routes to the Ty Coch Inn, which is the destination of the visit. The Golf Club route literally takes you through the golf course and is a pleasant stroll with lovely views that takes about 15 minutes. The National Trust carpark leads onto the beach itself, but if the tide is in (it doesn't come in all the way), there is a small muddy clay area that needs to be passed which can be slippery. We saw quite a few people struggle to cross the mud covered rocks because they were in beach shoes. Our advice is to either go when the tide is out so you can walk on the beach around that area, or wear something other than flip flips ... and shoes that you don't mind getting dirty.
We walked the golf course route down to the Inn and then along the beach on the way back.
The Ty Coch Inn is on the small beach itself. It's just a pub, with average pub food and you may wonder why it is worth the visit when you first arrive but oh, the view is incredible while you eat your lunch or supper, and the sea is a gentle lap, like a pond, on the seashore of fine golden sand. Little boats come and go, or bob on the water, while children (and hounds) happily play safely in the water.
The walk back along the beach is so peaceful because of the pond like water, and although it is busy, most people are walking rather than sitting. We sat though, so I could play with my ball and paddle to cool down. It is a wonderful place for nervous dogs to swim, and Tilly the Red Rocket bravely spent a whole day learning to swim there.
On the return journey, if you need some refreshments, walk past the National Trust carpark and up the hill to the Golf Course carpark. Just before you start the hill walk there is a cute little cafe where dogs are allowed inside as well as outside.
I was so shattered from all the adventures of the day that I fell asleep on the small coffee table. Despite me guarding Mummy's camera so she couldn't disturb my slumber, she somehow managed to get yet another photo of me.
Our trip to Pwllheli was brief because it was at the end of a long day. It was Mummy's 50th birthday and she wanted a fish and chip supper from Allports because she'd read that they were the best in the area. Apparently, the reviews were true and there wasn't an ounce of fish left, or batter, or any chips come to think of it. Being 50 seemed to have made her a bit of piggy.
Pwllheli beach does have some strict doggy restrictions and at first, we didn't think I'd be allowed to run free and feel the sand between my paws. It wasn't until we drove right up to the end of the promenade that we found a dog friendly section. It isn't marked that is is dog friendly but the clue is that there are no MASSIVE red signs with dogs on them and then a big red line struck through the middle of them. We also asked the locals just to double check. The promenade itself seemed the best place to eat so we didn't get sand in our food; we had both eaten a lot of sand after the earlier picnic at Black Rock Sands and I was pooing sandcastles again. I love pooing sandcastles because it means I've got evidence that I have been to the beach. I need evidence because we all know Mummy is a compulsive liar about my beach attendance.
To be very honest, the beach wasn't much fun after all the others we had been to. It is a fine shingle so hard to walk on, and although there was quite a long space for us hounds to run about on, there's just so many better ones in the area. That said, with the nicest fish and chips on offer, it made for a lovely drive through the mountains, and to see a little bit of the sun setting before heading back to the cottage. The supper definitely made it worth it.
Colwyn Bay is one long stretch of light shingle and golden sand. It isn't all dog friendly so ask a local and they will point you in the right direction. It's an interesting beach because it doesn't have an abundance of facilities along the promenade, yet there was lots of activity: especially sporting ones, where families were playing golf onto the sand, groups were doing work-outs with some type of metal blob-bomb looking things, and children were getting involved in yoga. What this meant was that it seemed like a family and community beach that had retained some of its simplicity.
There's a lovely ice-cream van where the lady helped me find the dog friendly part of the beach (left of the pier ruins as you look out to sea).
If your human needs facilities because they can't wee and poop on the beach like we can, there are public loos five minutes along at the large Centre (you can't miss the new building).
Llangollen and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
You can either visit Llangollen on the way into Caernarfon or on the way out. We chose to do it as a stop on the way out because apparently there is some kind of building thing there called an aqueduct. Boring!
I found more interesting things to discover other than some bricks plonked on top of each other ... like sniffing out some witchcraft in the forest.
Once Mummy had satisfied her aqueduct fascination, we drove into Llangollen to seek out light refreshments before our real journey home started. We wanted something pretty to cheer up our saddened hearts because it was all coming to an end.
I didn't get to go on the big steam train, nor on the station, but my best girlie – Tilly the Red Rocket – did, a week before me. I can't believe my Mummy missed an opportunity to make me feel like Paddington Bear again.
After staring in wonderment at the roaring stream and the steam train that puffed its way out of the station, we found somewhere I was allowed to eat my lunch. We forgot to ask if I was allowed inside because it was such a lovely day but there were lots of hounds hiding under tables for shade, and I was even given a sausage for being such a good girl, and not barking at everyone.
There were so many doggy adventures to have and so many places to see that we could never have squeezed them all in, or ever have seen enough. This means that we have to go back! But, one thing I know for sure is that as a little dog, I had a happy holiday with beaches, places to eat, castles, museums, pubs and friends. We never take for granted that everyone will love having a dog in their shop or cafe but we tend to live by the rule that they will soon boot us out if they don't like us and for that reason, we often discover that I am more welcome than we expected.
The best part of my holiday has to be having Aberdesach Beach literally thirty seconds from my front door. There is nothing more exciting than running to the sea every morning to do a wee and poo. It's a little dog's dream after all, and I never get to the beach.
Thank you for sharing my adventures with me.
Little Rea 🐾