Get the perfect picture of your pooch at one of North Wales’ many stunning locations with our latest scoop on dog-walking routes…
Rolling mountains, endless seas, and fruitful forests – it’s easy to see why North Wales is a nature lover’s paradise. Including those with four legs and a tail! The region is best known for its landscapes and footpaths, perfect for a day of adventure and for those seeking lengthy dog-walking routes.
In this digital age, finding time to make the most of nature can be quite difficult. This is why we’ve combined both of these aspects to bring you the best spots known to man (and his best friend) to capture Instagram-worthy pictures of your dog. You’re guaranteed to get a sense of wanderlust after viewing our top ten picks below (and you may want to start puppy-proofing your house or holiday home too…)
Our top 11 Insta-worthy dog-walking routes in North Wales
Have you been to any of the following? Or have you and your four-legged friend visited other dog walking routes and you’d like us to know about it? Tag us on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #mylyonsparks for the chance to be featured in our stories this weekend!
1. Halkyn Mountain, Flintshire (featuring Alfie)
Discover untrodden paths and secret coves in the vast areas that make up Halkyn and Brynford Mountains, located just off the A55 at Junction 32A. This disused quarry, which boasts views of the River Dee and Merseyside (and even Blackburn on a clear day!) is also an SSSI, meaning there’s plenty of wildlife, flora, and fauna to explore.
Our tip: farmland animals graze here year-round, so do mind the sheep poo!
Alfie says: “This is my kingdom, and my home. I come here lots – sometimes with my owner, and sometimes on my own when I can hear the sheep calling me out to play. There are so many rabbits and birdies to chase, I’m so happy when I’m here, and sometimes me and my owner go over the sheep-keeping-out-grid to see the other humans where they all drink from see-through tall bowls and get really happy and laughy! I’ve heard my human tell another human how I run so fast when I’m on this mountain, and all they can see is my bushy tail wagging in the prickly gorse. I love this mountain and I want to stay here forever.”
2. Snowdon Summit, Gwynedd (featuring Bailey) @steph_zac87
Not for the faint-hearted or short-legged pooches, the summit of Snowdon is one of the most Instagrammed spots of 2021! We hope you enjoy this picture of Bailey being king of the clouds for a moment, and we hope him and his owner Steph had a wonderful day hiking the tallest mountain in Wales.
Our tip: carefully plan your route, wardrobe and essentials as there’s increased pressure on mountain rescue teams during peak season due to unknowing and ill-prepared tourists taking a wrong turn!
Bailey says: “Other doggies would be scared of this because it’s so high, but not me because I’m a brave boy and I had my human Steph with me the whole time. There were lots of other good boys and girls on this walk, and we all stayed on our doggy-ropes because I’ve heard there’s sheep and goats and lambs and we don’t want to scare them off because we’re all friends.”
3. Moel Famau, Flintshire (featuring Arnie aka Simba)
Easily accessible from our stunning countryside park, Lyons Woodlands Hall, Moel Famau is always a hit with locals and tourists alike, whatever the weather. There are three possible routes to walk up this regal Clwydian hill, but the views from the top spanning all across North Wales are well worth the 45-1.30 hike.
Our tip: research parking beforehand as this is a popular pooch and walker destination year-round.
Arnie says: “I’ve never been so high, I’m the King of the Hill! I feel like the giant cat in a movie I saw when I was a pupper. I can’t say the name of this big hill, but it’s a good job my human had an Arnie-shaped backpack because my little legs would be too tired to walk all that way. So much fun!”
4.) Llanberis, Snowdonia (featuring Murphy the rescue Staffie)
This adorable doggo visited the lovely town of Llanberis with a volunteer at North Clwyd Animal Rescue on his final day at the rescue before being taken to his forever home! Llanberis, located in the foothills of Mount Snowdon, is a quaint tourist town with plenty of amusements, walks, sniffs and sounds to keep any dog (or child!) happy.
Our tip: fancy visiting Snowdonia but not quite queen on the hike? Take a walk around Llanberis and get some snaps of the historic steam train before it sets off on its ascent!
Murphy says: “I loved the car ride from Trelogan to Llanberis, I’d never seen so many hills! My human gave me lots of water because we walked a lot, and when it was too hot, we went inside a me-friendly cafe for a nice little lie down before seeing the choo-choo train!”
5) Tryfan, Ogwen Valley (featuring Paddy)
Paddy visited the most recognisable peak in Britain, Tryfan, which is part of the Glyderau group in the Snowdonian Mountain Range. Standing at 918m above sea level, this hill was no mean feat for the rambling Paddy – but the views at the top of the sunset and clouds were well worth the hike.
Our tip: plan your trip around the sunrise and you won’t be disappointed with the Insta-worthy photo ops!
Paddy says: “It was really cold in some places, and that windy my ears were flapping like a flag! We walked a lot over lots of hills though so I kept up my pup-warmth, and my human made sure we stopped to look at the sunny sun and big views.”
6) Talacre Beach, Flintshire (featuring Sonny, Hank and Renley)
One of the most Instagrammed spots in North Wales, Talacre Beach sits near the River Dee, not far from the Wirral across the border! The recognisable Point of Ayr lighthouse provides an ample photo opportunity, and the long sandy beach is always a hit with the hounds!
Our tip: park in the allocated car parks and walk across the custom-made walkboards towards the beach (don’t try scrambling down the dunes – you will be on your bum!)
Renley says: “My human and me have been on lots of adventures – one time I even ran over a cliff! – so she was really happy that there was only sand and water for me to play in. Because I’m part-blind, my sniffy nose was really happy with all the shells and seaweed and rocks to smell. I got extra sandy too but it was great!
7) Penmon Point and Lighthouse, Anglesey (featuring Tobie)
Penmon Point Beach, or Trwyn Du (Black Point) in Welsh, sits on the eastern tip of the beautiful Isle of Anglesey around 3 miles from the historic town of Beaumaris. This working lighthouse sits proudly on the coast which overlooks Puffin Island, and during the evening the sky is so clear that sometimes, the northern lights are visible!
Our tip: take a pair of binoclaurs as this spot is famous for spotting seals and porpoise.
Tobie says: “So.many.fishies.to.see. There were lots of pebbles too, but they don’t move as fast as the fishies! We walked on the beach and the water for ages and when it went dark, the big stone tower lit up! My human said it was to guide the ships in the night, but I think it was a nightlight for all the fishies.”
8) The Great Orme, Llandudno (featuring Bennie)
Referred to as ‘The Sea Monster’ due to it’s scaly exterior, size and Viking origin, the Great Orme is a wondrous natural phenomenon located in the popular resort town of Llandudno. This huge chunk of limestone rises 207m/679ft straight out of the sea, and is home to some beautiful flora and fauna in many different natural habitats.
Our tip: walking an older pooch who loves views and wanders but who’s not a fan of long treks? Hop on the cable car or the Great Orme tramway to discover the views at the summit, and ramble slowly on down.
Bennie says: “I love walking up the Great Orme, seeing all the little animals and plants which are amazing to sniff and chase! My human likes to keep me on a lead because of this, but I don’t mind, because we get to spend time together. She loves taking my picture at the top because I look like the King of the Castle!”
9) Alwen Reservoir, Conwy (featuring Piper)
Nestled in the border of Denbighshire and Conwy counties, Llyn Alwen is a beautiful nature reserve boasting an impressive dam which sits alongside the reservoir. Many walkers, cyclist and runners use the dam as a starting point for the 7 mile round-trip of this mostly flat and fairly easy ramble.
Our tip: get your camera ready as there’s plenty of wildlife, from hen harriers to black grouse, cuckoos to crossbills, red squirrels or ospreys that live near the Alwen.
Piper says: “I only have little legs, but boy do I love walking around this place! Lots of other doggies, not just the sausage ones like me, and loads of humans on two wheels whizz past us. Sometimes we play hide and seek in the forest, and sometimes my human lets me dip my pawsies in the river, which my human says is very famous and pretty.”
10) Llyn Vyrnwy, Powys (featuring Wilma)
The beautiful Berwyn Mountains is home to this manmade lake, located on the edge of Snowdonia National Park and to the south of Lake Bala. This site boasts 24,000 acre of an RSPB Reserve, and plays host to plenty of water activities for the kids – or pooches – to get stuck into!
Our tip: it may look serene and calm on a sunny day, but the water is anything but inviting – steer clear of wild swimming in reservoirs, as guided in our Water Safety Campaign in conjunction with Rhyl RNLI last month.
11) Beddgelert Forest, Gwynned (featuring Jasper)
Ending this pawsome blog post with a story about a legendary hound seemed like the right thing to do! Learn more about the story of Gelert, the faithful dog in the folk story about Llewelyn in Llyw Olaf, by clicking this link here.
Our tip: for an extra touch of culture and history that you and your pooch will love, visit Gelert’s Grave, which starts on the footbridge over the River Glaslyn.
Jasper says: “Had my first little paddle on my walkies in Wales. Haven’t learnt to swim yet but my parents have said we’re going to the beach later so I can swim in the sea. I hope it’s as fun as it sounds.”