Dog Friendly Caerphilly Town Centre
As the weather gets warmer wouldn't it be lovely to be able to take your dog on a long walk followed by a pint or cup of coffee? Or maybe you're in town with your dog and just want to pop in to a shop but you don't want to leave your dog outside...
Well, what follows is a list of the establishments in Caerphilly town that allow dogs. It is, by all means, not exhaustive and I will add to it as and when I find other dog friendly places.
When I first decided to write this post I expected to feature half a dozen shops and resturants in Caerphilly and that it would take an hour or so to write. Much to my surprise (and delight!) with the help of lots of lovely local dog owners and businesses I have a long list of dog friendly places in and around Caerphilly.
I am going to focus firstly on Caerphilly town centre and then do another post with surrounding areas. There are certainly other countries that are more dog friendly than the UK but we're not doing too badly!
According to PBS Pet Travel,( https://www.pbspettravel.co.uk/blog/best-dog-friendly-countries-in-2019/) the most pet friendly countries are Austria, Italy and France. These countries welcome dogs into many establishments including restaurants where it is perfectly acceptable to have your dog sit with you at the table! Small dogs carried in a bag can travel on public transport for free while all other dogs tend to need a half price ticket. In addition to this, a number of hotels also allow dogs to stay, often for a fee.
Why does it matter whether a country/city/town is dog friendly or not?
There's a reason why dogs are known as 'Man's best friend'. To many, their dog is like their child and it is only natural that they'd want to take their dog out with them. With a rise in dog theft, it is not advisable to leave your dog tied up outside a shop.
Research has also shown that being in the presence of a dog can reduce stress and lower blood pressure (provided you are not afraid of dogs!). Stress can be further reduced by stroking a dog as this increases the production of serotonin and dopamine.
Before I go on to mention the cafes, pubs, shops and places of interest, it's worth mentioning that not all dogs will be comfortable in these sorts of situations. Anxious, reactive, barky or bouncy dogs are not suitable candidates! It is your responsibility as the dog owner to ensure that your dog behaves appropriately. Have a look at this article by the Kennel Club, detailing proper pet etiquette: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/our-resources/kennel-club-campaigns/be-dog-friendly/petiquette/
1. Caerphilly Castle
The magnificent Caerphilly Castle (which just happens to be Wales' biggest castle!) stands right in the middle of Caerphilly town. Recent investment has made possible the addition of an interactive dragon's lair and a maze (both worth a visit!) and more improvements are in the pipe-line. A great place to take the kids and with frequent events, there's something for everyone.
Dog Friendliness: There are lovely places for dog walking around the outside of the castle. Dogs are welcome inside the grounds of the castle (on lead only) including the ground floor of the castle itself (with those narrow winding steps I wouldn't want to try and walk a dog upstairs anyway!) There is a water bowl by the entance for your thirsty pooch.
Caerphilly Castle, Castle Street, CF83 1JD.
2. The Old Library
A short walk behind Caerphilly Castle brings you to Morgan Jones Park and The Old Library.
This wonderful community cafe operates as a social enterprise with any profits generated over and above the amount needed to cover The Old Library's staff and running costs being be given to local good causes.
There is plenty going on here, aside from the delicious food and drinks, there are regular groups, board games and a designated toddler area.
Dog Friendliness: Large numbers of pet owners use Morgan Jones Park for their daily dog walk. This makes The Old Library's welcoming attitude to dogs perfect to rest your mutt afterwards. If it is particularly busy, you may be invited to sit in a quiet corner.
The Old Library, Nantgarw Road, CF83 3 FH.
3. The Court House
This grade II listed pub overlooks Caerphilly Castle and is one of the oldest buildings in Caerphilly. Having been built in the 14th Century, it was a place of residence and a doctor's surgery prior to being turned into a pub. (If you are interested in local history, have a look at the display in Caerphilly Library!) There are several seating areas and also a spacious terrace which is a great place to make the most of those views! Sport is shown regularly or if a good G&T is more your thing, new to The Court House is the gin club. A new gin will be available each month alongside their usual selection.
Dog Friendliness: The Court House wholeheartedly welcomes dogs into all areas. They provide dog treats and water is always available too. Ideal to go for a bite to eat or a pint after a walk around the castle with your dog.
The Court House, Cardiff Road, CF83 1FN.
4. The Visitor Centre
This is another place to go to really appreciate the views of the castle.
This isn't your run of the mill visitor centre. As well as tourist information, this building is home to a popular cafe too. As well as the usual coffee and pastries, Caerphilly Visitor Centre sells wine and cheeses.
Dog Friendliness: I love how passionate Martin and his team are about welcoming dogs! There is a water bowl and staff are also happy to give dogs a biscuit too. There is seating available outside overlooking the castle. The Visitor Centre have regular doggy customers and admit that they know the names of the dogs more so than their owners!
The Visitor Centre, The Twyn, CF83 1JL.
5. Y Galeri
In the downstairs part of the Visitor Centre building you will find Y Galeri. Home to a wonderful mix of contemporary art work including paintings, ceramics and jewellery showcasing local artists/makers. Exhibitions are regularly changed which makes each visit interesting and varied!
Dog Friendliness: Dogs are welcome to come into the gallery and, owner Jan tells me treats are on offer.
Y Galeri, Ground Floor, The Visit Caerphilly Centre, The Twyn, CF83 1JL.
6. Nicola Downie Florist
A member of the Good Florist Guide, Nicola sells a variety of beautiful flowers and works hard to keep the shop looking great both inside and out. Look out for her window displays which change with the seasons. The high quality flowers are delivered from Cardiff flower market and Dutch flower markets.
Dog Friendliness: Nicola is a dog lover and welcomes dogs into her shop (in return for a cwtch!)
Nicola Downie Florist, Portcullis House, 18 Cardiff Road, CF83 1JN.
7. The Kings Arms
This popular pub has only recently started to allow dogs inside. There are a number of seating areas both inside and out (in the beer garden next to the pub). The Kings Arms has a pool table, regularly shows sport on one of 6 HD televisions and serves food.
Dog Friendliness: The outside seating area is ideal to sit with your dog in nice weather but you and your dog are welcome in all areas of the pub. Dog treats and water bowls are available.
The Kings Arms, 46, Cardiff Road, CF83 1JQ.
8. Help4Wales Foundation (charity shop)
This wonderful charity finds temporary foster homes for pets when their owners are unable to look after them due to domestic violence, homelessness or mental health issues. This enables the owner to access the help they so desperately need to get their life back on track and then be reunited with their pet when they are ready.
Dog Friendliness: The fact that Help4Wales is a pet orientated charity incorporating 'Animal Safe Haven' is reason enough for inclusion in this list. The charity shop is close to Caerphilly train station and welcomes dogs.
Help4Wales Foundation, 81 Cardiff Rd, Caerphilly CF83 1FQ.
9. Cafe Tyfu
This little cafe, just down from St Martin's Church, is a social enterprise. It is a not for profit business which is in part run by volunteers who need help to return to/start work. Volunteers receive accredited training and learn important life skills while at the cafe. The cafe also provides the homeless with a much needed hot drink/breakfast. They have a 'shared coffee' fund where customers can pay towards this.
Dog Friendliness: Dogs are made very welcome.
Cafe Tyfu, 97 Cardiff Road, CF83 1FQ.
10. The Vegan Box Limited
I believe this is the first exclusive vegan food vendor in Caerphilly which can be found in the indoor market. Their mission statement is: "Committed to producing & stocking food that is plant-based, cruelty-free, sustainable & BANGIN’." With a small seating area, The Vegan Box Limited provides an exciting and varied selection of both sweet and savoury food. Why settle for risotto or bland sandwiches, when you could have vegan ribz, BLT or a doner kebap?! These local guys are so creative and talented!
Dog Friendliness: Vegan - 'nuff said! Dogs are welcome to join you as you munch on their animal product free fare.
The Vegan Box Limited, Caerphilly Indoor Market, 5 Pentrebane St, CF83 1FR
And that's not all! With a dog cafe opening soon, Caerphilly is the place to be!!