Your Definitive Dog Friendly Guide to Scotland

DOG FRIENDLY GUIDE TO SCOTLAND

In this dog friendly destination guide, we help you plan your perfect pet friendly holiday in Scotland. Inside you will find our hand-picked selection of the very best pet friendly hotels and accommodation where canine (and human) guests stay in style, pubs and restaurants where your pooch will be welcome, as well as stunning walks and dog friendly attractions to enjoy with your canine companion.

Whether you’re exploring the craggy wilderness or sipping whiskey in Edinburgh, Scotland is home to many charms. There’s something to suit every type of human and dog – or dug, as the Scottish say – depending on how much energy you have to burn. Laid-back pooches can head straight for a lie down in the pub, while excitable hounds can enjoy running about the Highlands. Here’s our top picks for your dog friendly holiday in Scotland. 


WHERE TO STAY

Kilcamb Lodge Dog Friendly Hotel Scotland

Kilcamb Lodge, Strontian

Kilcamb Lodge , Strontian

If your Scottish holiday dreams involve dramatic scenery, then this is the hotel for you. There’s loch and mountain views from every angle, and no shortage of wild wanders nearby. All dog-friendly rooms open straight onto the grounds. To make your four legged friend feel right at home, they will be given a warm Kilcamb welcome with doggy treats, their own bowl and food mat, towels to dry off after their many adventures, plus covers for your bed if they simple can’t resist! Dog sitting is also available on request for when you require some pooch-free time. Book here

trigony house dog friendly hotel scotland

Trigony House Hotel, Dumfries and Galloway

Trigony House Hotel, Thornhill

Trigony House Hotel is a charming dog friendly hotel, set in the heart of Dumfries and Galloway. Standing in 4 acres of woodland & garden, this beautiful Scottish Country House has been welcoming four legged friends since 1999. With its combination of wonderfully relaxed style, award-winning rustic cuisine, and friendly local staff, dogs and dog owners keep coming back to this pet friendly Scottish gem time and time again – they even offer therapeutic Reiki sessions for dogs! Book here

tigh na leigh dog friendly hotel perthshire scotland

Tigh na Leigh Guesthouse, Perthshire

Tigh na Leigh Guesthouse, Perthshire    

Once a Victorian doctor’s office, this five-room guesthouse is all charm. There’s plenty of nearby greenery for you and your dog to explore, including Europe’s oldest living tree. Pets are welcome in all rooms, although not during dinner, and there’s on-site pet-sitting if you need it. Book here

prestonfield house dog friendly hotel edinburgh

Prestonfield House, Edinburgh

Prestonfield House, Edinburgh

Unashamedly opulent with impeccable service to boot, Prestonfield House is luxury dog friendly hotel, just ten minutes drive from Edinburgh city centre. The lush and meticulously manicured gardens are completely enclosed, meaning dogs can run around without getting into trouble. Plus staff can show you a handy side entrance for when you want a quick route to walkies, or when nature calls. Book here.

coul house dog friendly hotel scotland

Coul House Hotel, Contin

Coul House Hotel, Contin

It’s all period architecture and perfect lawns at Coul House, which is happy to welcome pets alongside humans. Choose between a garden or mountain view, with all rooms open to dogs – for a £7.50 nightly fee. Pooches will love the nearby forest trails first thing in the morning. Book here


WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK

rye and soda

Rye & Soda, Aberdeen

Rye and Soda, Aberdeen

Aberdeen has no shortage of dog-friendly eateries, but gin and whiskey enthusiasts should head for Rye and Soda.  There’s quite the menu of spirits to browse, as well as some tempting dishes including an updated take on the essential haggis.

Kimchi Cult

Kimchi Cult, Glasgow

Kimchi Cult, Glasgow

Kimchi comes with almost everything at this Korean fast food spot in Glasgow’s West End – which is much-loved by the locals. Your dog (as long as it’s small and well-behaved) can look on while you enjoy steamed buns filled with slow-roasted pork, burgers topped with fermented cabbage, and Korean rice bowls with a side of fried chicken. Visit www.kimchicult.com

The Refinery

The Refinery, Edinburgh

The Refinery, Edinburgh

After the long climb up Arthur’s Seat, relax at The Refinery with a cocktail in one hand, and your canine companion by your feet. There’s water and dog treats for well-behaved pups, and a hearty menu for hungry humans. If you’re lucky, your dog might even make it onto their pooch-friendly Instagram page as well. Visit www.drakeandmorgan.co.uk

Holyrood

The Holyrood 9a, Edinburgh

The Holyrood 9a, Edinburgh

The Holyrood is everything you’d expect from an Edinburgh pub – warm, cosy, and it serves haggis (as well as an extensive list of burgers). Dogs can look forward to bowls of water, doggie treats and even rehydration salts if they’ve had an especially long romp. Visit www.theholyrood.co.uk

Bird and Bear

Bird and Bear, Dundee

Bird and Bear, Dundee

It’s not just swanky interiors at Dundee’s Bird and Bear, there’s also a robust menu to back them up. If you turn up at the weekend there’s a hip hop brunch on offer as well, which means pancakes with a side of old school cuts.


THE BEST DOG WALKS

Arthur's Seat

Image: visitscotland.com

Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

It’s a tough climb to the top of Arthur’s Seat, so save this one for the long-legged hounds. The view is worth it once you get to the top though.

hermitage

Image: visitscotland.com

Hermitage and Black Linn Falls, Dunkeld

One of Visit Scotland top dog-friendly picks, this is a rare chance to spy leaping salmon and take a wander around the tallest Douglas Fir in Britain – surely a prime marking spot for any self-respecting pooch.

Castle Mey

Image: visitscotland.com

Castle and Gardens of Mey

Once home to the Queen mum, the Castle Mey gardens offer a refined walk for doggies that don’t need too much exercise. They have to be kept on lead, but there is a shaded dog parking area to shelter in on warm days.

Sandwood Bay

Image: visitscotland.com

Sandwood Bay, Sutherland

Adventurous pups and humans will enjoy a hike around Sandwood Bay, which has giant sand dunes, lighthouse views, and a supposedly haunted sea stack.

Glen Etive

Image: visitscotland.com

Glen Etive, Glen Coe

The star of Bond film Skyfall, Glen Etive has all the dramatic Highland scenery you’d expect from Scotland. Rough Guides describes it as a “walk to end all walks”, which suggests it’s not for the lazy dog.


DOG FRIENDLY ATTRACTIONS

Loch Lomond

Image: visitscotland.com

Loch Lomond

Scotland is famous for its huge stretches of water, and at Loch Lomond doggies are allowed to get their paws wet as well.

Melrose Abbey

Image: visitscotland.com

Melrose Abbey

A trip to Scotland isn’t complete without taking in some history, and these ruins date back to the early 15th century. The views are spectacular, and dogs are permitted on-lead in the grounds – the perfect place to take appreciate this beautiful building from afar.

Dryburgh Abbey

Image: visitscotland.com

Dryburgh Abbey

Indulge in some gothic fantasy at Dryburgh Abbey, which is an especially impressive example of the architectural style. The grounds are open to on-leash pooches, and offer a place to enjoy a peaceful walk.

Invarary Jail

Get a taste of the outlaw life at this nearly 200-year-old jail, where dogs and humans can wander freely through the remarkably well-preserved cells.

Hogwarts Express

Image: visitscotland.com

The Hogwarts Express

Cross over the Glenfinnan Viaduct – known to many from the Harry Potter films – in grandeur, on-board West Coast Railways’ Jacobite steam train. Medium-sized dogs are welcome.


WHAT TO PACK

Scottish weather is unpredictable, which means being able to dress or undress is key to surviving a long hike. If you’re heading to the Highlands, or any other remote areas, you’ll definitely need to be prepared to face the elements. Don’t rely on your phone signal, take a map, and a backpack to stash some snacks and an umbrella. Good walking shoes are essential, especially if you’re hiking up Arthur’s Seat.


WHEN TO GO

Winter in Scotland is only for the hardiest hounds and humans, with enough snow to close many attractions and hotels. However, early November is a good time to avoid the crowds and catch the country at the height of its autumn foliage. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is on in August, which means an influx of visitors, but head further north in the country to enjoy some of the longer days. We can’t promise roasting hot summers, but temperatures in June and July are generally milder.

Have you had a dog friendly in Scotland? Got some favourite pet friendly places to visit? Share with us in the comments below!

Emma Tucker is a London-based writer and editor, who's been covering all things design-related for the past six years. After studying English Literature she spent several years working at magazines including Dezeen and Creative Review, before going freelance. Emma's now a regular contributor to several magazines, including The Spaces and Pitch, and also works with design brands on copywriting and editorial projects. On a day-to-day basis she's assisted by puppy PA and cockapoo Bear.

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