We’ve moved!

blogger_hires

You can now find us at http://southwalesdogwalks.blogspot.co.uk/

Hope to see you there!

Advertisements

Cyfarthfa Park

Cyfarthfa Castle - image courtesy of Martin289 at https://www.flickr.com/photos/martin289/4589340631/

Cyfarthfa Castle – image courtesy of Martin289 at https://www.flickr.com/photos/martin289/4589340631/

Cyfarthfa park is a magnificent green space in the heart of Merthyr Tydfil. A regular walking spot of my friend Sarah and Alfie the greyhound, and it’s easy to see why. There are 160 acres of gardens and woodland walks to explore, lake and sensory garden, and events being held all year round. The castle has a museum, shop and cafe, though dogs are not allowed in so go with someone who can pop in to get you a drink while you mind the hounds!

Alfie

Alfie

http://www.visitmerthyr.co.uk/attractions/cyfarthfa-park-museum.aspx

Useful Info

Free parking

Indoor Dog Walking – Just What Wales Needs!

Yesterday we took the dogs to Llwyn-On reservoir, but just as we got there the sky turned black and it hammered it down. Now we don’t mind getting soaked, but the hounds do! So we decided to try out an indoor dog centre we’d heard about recently (thanks Dilys!). After a quick phone google, we turned the car around and headed to Cardiff instead.

As we got to Action Petz (just off Newport Road) the sun came out (typical) but we were curious and decided to go in anyway. Our male hound Rosco can be a bit snappy with bigger dogs, so we muzzled him before going in. We half expected them to say he wouldn’t be allowed in, but they were very welcoming and made a fuss of both dogs. We filled out a form giving general information about our dogs and their temperaments, but we didn’t have their microchip numbers or vaccination certificates. Not to worry they said – we could still go in for a look around but we had to keep the dogs on a lead, and bring the missing details next visit. Brilliant!

We were shown in, and told to take the dogs straight to the outside yard to toilet, and to do this every visit. If they did have an accident on the artificial grass inside, not to worry, just clean it up using the bags and disinfectant provided on the walls. It’s huge inside, so much room for all the dogs to run, obstacles for them to navigate and toys to play with. The dogs off lead were happily scampering around and sniffing each other. There were other dogs on leads, and with muzzles on too. Roxie our other basset was trying to play with a group of beagles that were there. We can’t wait to go back and let her run free! Rosco on the other hand needs more socialising and training first, so we booked in with the on-site trainer Michelle while we were there. He was happy enough with the little dogs, but wary of the bigger dogs. With a bit of work hopefully we can snap him out of it and he can run free too! There’s a little cafe inside too, as well as a dog groomers and shop. We were there two hours without realising!

We’re so glad we went, all the staff were lovely, and we can see us being regular visitors. If you decide to go, here are some tips:

  • Bring your dog’s microchip info, vaccine certificates, and vet details.
  • Make sure your dog has a collar on, and I.D. tag with your name and their name.
  • There’s a one-off £10 joining fee. You can choose to do monthly membership, or pay to ‘pop in and play’ at £4.50 a time, plus £1 for each extra dog.

http://www.actionpetz.com/

Parc Nant-y-Waun

Parc Nant Y Waun - image from parcnantywaun.org.uk/

Parc Nant-y-Waun – image from parcnantywaun.org.uk/

We only discovered this place two weeks ago! Parc Nant-y-Waun in Brynmawr is one of the fourteen ‘Green Spaces’ on the Ebbw Fach Trail. The land and ponds here originally belonged to the Nantyglo Ironworks, but has in recent years been developed into a stunning park with fishing lake, woodland, and even a fitness trail. This is all thanks to the Friends of Parc Nant-y-Waun, and information about their projects at the park can be found on their website here: http://parcnantywaun.org.uk/

Useful Info

Free parking

Parc Bryn Bach

Parc Bryn Bach - image from www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk

Parc Bryn Bach – image from http://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk

At Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar you can take your dog on a scenic walk around the 36 acre lake where you might see the Model Boat Club in action, or even the dogs of the Welsh Newfoundland Club attempting mock rescues in the water. At the heart of the park is a visitor centre with a restaurant and gift shop. Be aware of the car park closing times when you go – the gates are locked at 4.30pm in winter.

http://parcbrynbach.co.uk/

Useful Info

Free parking
Wheelchair and buggy friendly
Visitor Centre
Restaurant
Gift Shop
Activity Centre

Chepstow Castle

Chepstow Castle - image from www.castlexplorer.co.uk

Chepstow Castle – image from http://www.castlexplorer.co.uk

Chepstow Castle is in a beautiful location on the banks of the river Wye. There is a fee to enter the castle itself, but the grounds are free to wander. Dogs on leads are welcome. There is an on-site exhibition, the high point of which are the original 800 year old castle doors. There is a gift shop and toilets on site, and if you’re gasping for a cuppa and hot snack after exploring with your dog, (shameless plug alert) my mum’s cafe The Orange Crate is a short walk up the road in Chepstow town centre!

orangecrate1

http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/daysout/chepstow-castle/?lang=en

Useful Info

Pay & display parking
Wheelchair & buggy friendly in parts
CADW entrance fee to castle
Gift shop
Toilets

Newport Wetlands

newport_wetlands_lagoon

Newport Wetlands – image from http://www.dragonfly-days.co.uk

Newport Wetlands is a nature reserve run by Newport Council, Natural Resources Wales, and the RSPB. We usually start our walk from the path that runs along the Uskmouth Power Station, near the car park exit. The initial walk isn’t particularly scenic, with views of heavy industry on your right, and noisy pylons on your left. But keep going and once you’re past the power station, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of the Severn Estuary. At the lighthouse you can cut back to the car park through the wetlands and past the visitor centre. Some of the footpaths do not allow dogs in order to protect the birds, but these are clearly marked. If you’re a nature enthusiast, the ‘Seasonal Highlights’ section of their website is worth a look before you go. The dusk starling display from October onwards is apparently not to be missed, with 50,000 starlings flying at the season’s peak (and now I have Hard-Fi’s ‘Living for the Weekend’ song from that Carling advert stuck in my head).

http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/seenature/reserves/guide/n/newportwetlands/

Useful Info

Free parking
Wheelchair and buggy friendly
Cafe
Visitor Centre
Guided walks