Walking your dog every day can be good for your physical and mental wellbeing. And just like your four-legged friend, the regular dog-walking route is an important part of your daily routine – it’s always near and ever dependable.
But as with all routines, the regular stroll with Fido can have its limits, as far as lifting the spirits is concerned. The time inevitably comes when you and your canine companion must venture beyond the comfort zone and discover pastures new.
That’s why we’ve sniffed out these six pawfect dog walks in Cardiff, including some of the city’s best parks and most scenic pathways, perfect for exploring further afield. Find out where you and your furry friend can run wild – or stroll gently – in and around the Welsh capital.
This long, linear park, north of Cardiff city centre, is one of the Welsh capital’s most popular public spaces. Built around a 30-acre man-made lake, the tree-lined Victorian pathway is a great place for taking your dog for her daily stroll. Canine companions must be kept on a lead, but don’t let that stop you exploring this busy and sociable corner of Cardiff city (dogs can be let loose in the neighbouring playing fields). Don’t miss the park’s café, serving a good selection of meals, snacks and drinks.
The main path through Cefn Onn, among the tall trees and rhododendrons, is a short and pleasant stroll, ideal for those who enjoy being close to nature. Beautiful all year round, the designated Country Park is particularly splendid come autumn, with vivid colours on display. There are dedicated areas for keeping your dog on a lead, and others for letting her run free, as well as plenty of paths leading to adventures further afield, if you want more of a hike.
Woodland and wetlands make up this diverse park, good for letting your dog off the leash and run free. Home to a wide range of wildlife, this Cardiff ‘green lung’, with its pond and playpark, is a pleasant spot for taking pampered pets for a good old gallop around, sure to discover other damp dogs en route.
Right in the heart of the city, Bute Park is a must for dog walkers and tourists alike, with its riverside walk, tree-lined paths, and neighbouring Cardiff Castle. Some of the park’s areas require you to keep your dog on a lead, but don’t let that hold you back. Stop off at the Summerhouse Café for a refuel, where doggy water bowls are provided year-round.
Another city centre park, with views of Cardiff Castle, Sophia Gardens is perhaps best known for being home to the Glamorgan County Cricket Club. It’s also a good place to take your four-legged buddy for an afternoon out and about – a relatively quiet spot where you can see squirrels, swans and more.
Insole Court is a Grade II listed mansion house with superb grounds at the outer edges of Cardiff city. Formerly home to the wealthy Insole family, who gained their fortune as coal-shippers and mine-owners, the house has been restored over the years and is a popular attraction. Check out the Potting Shed Café for a cup of coffee and a cake, where dogs are welcome in the walled courtyard garden.
Spring has sprung, which means it’s time to step outside and stretch those legs. Head down to Devon, where you can enjoy long beach walks, peaceful country strolls, fun-filled zoos and welcoming campsites.