Dog-friendly holidays in Scotland

Dog-friendly holidays in Scotland

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Embrace the rugged wilderness with holidays in Scotland with a dog

It's time to get your tail wagging with a holiday you'll never forget! Bring your pup north of the border to the wildest part of the UK. Scotland is known for its lush green Highlands, rugged mountains and dramatic, windswept coastline. It's also a great pet-friendly destination, particularly if you've got an energetic pooch who just loves long walkies. Grab the lead and take your very own four-legged Braveheart on a fabulous Scottish getaway!

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It's time to plan a dog-friendly holiday in Scotland

Why should you take your dog to Scotland?

You'll find all kinds of pet-friendly holiday lettings in Scotland. Some are located close to bustling, exciting cities like Edinburgh or Glasgow, while others are far more remote. If you want to get away from it all, it's hard to beat the Scottish wilderness. Out in the Highlands, you can take your dog for long walks without seeing a single soul - except maybe a stunning bird of prey soaring far overhead. Whether you're a city slicker or you just want to lose yourself in nature, Scotland has it all. It's also a very dog-friendly country. Many pubs, restaurants and cafés are happy to welcome four-legged customers, and there are even plenty of shops that will let well-behaved dogs in.

Where are the best places to go for a walk around Scotland?

The best dog walks in Scotland will depend on where you're staying. You can find something to suit every taste. For example, if you want to combine a day out with a bit of history, try walking to the William Wallace monument near Stirling. This tribute to one of Scotland's greatest heroes acts as a beacon, so there's no chance of getting lost as you follow the trail. Prefer something a bit wilder? Head for Loch Lomond National Park. This is a dog's dream come true, with dozens of trails to explore. If your pooch likes to get wet, make sure you bring a towel, as there are plenty of spots for him to take a dip! You can even take your dog for a walk at some of Scotland's pet-friendly castles. Dunottar Castle in Stonehaven, Tantallon Castle in North Berwick and Caerlaverock Castle in Dumfries are just a few of the sites which welcome dogs. You might want to check with each individual castle in advance, as some just allow dogs to explore the grounds and gardens, while others actually let pooches wander into the building itself.

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FAQs: Pet-friendly holidays in Scotland

What's the best time of year to take my dog to Scotland?

Scotland is a great choice for a summer holiday with your dog. The daily highs hover around 20°C, and there's not a single part of the country that becomes unbearably hot. If your dog is sweltering in the heat elsewhere, then heading north of the border will come as a real relief. Winters may be a bit too chilly for comfort unless your pooch loves to play in the snow. If you're planning a holiday that focuses on nature, make sure you're aware of the annual hunting season dates. Between September and February, the sound of gunshots is a regular feature in the Scottish countryside, which can be alarming and even dangerous for your dog.

Where are the best dog beaches around Scotland?

Even at the height of summer, Scotland's beaches are not exactly popular with swimmers! This is good news for dog owners, as it means that there are few restrictions on canines. In fact, there are so many great dog-friendly beaches in Scotland that it's hard to know where to start. Some are located near cities, like Cramond Beach, which is close to Edinburgh; others are out in the wilderness of the Highlands and Islands. If you want to really get away from it all, try Balkaneil Beach in the far north. This windswept expanse of sand and grassy dunes is picture-perfect and offers plenty of interesting places to sniff around. At St Cyrus Beach in Aberdeenshire, you'll often see seals playing in the surf. It's a great place for a walk, but make sure your dog has excellent recall, as there's a nature reserve with nesting birds nearby.

Can I take my dog on public transport in Scotland?

Usually, yes. Scotland is a very dog-friendly country, and dogs on buses and trains are a common sight. However, drivers can turn dogs away at their own discretion. Small dogs in carriers are the most likely to be accepted. If your dog doesn't have a carrier or is too big to fit, make sure that he's on a lead. Well-behaved dogs that remain under control are welcome almost everywhere in Scotland. Be warned that some drivers may not accept dogs that are wet or smelly, so you might want to bring a towel on your wilderness walks.

Can I bring my dog to a pub, café or restaurant with me in Scotland?

Yes, there are plenty of dog-friendly establishments all across the country. In fact, most pubs and restaurants are happy to accept well-behaved dogs - just always check first! In the colder months, there may even be an open fireplace where your dog can warm himself up as he snoozes. Some of the best specifically pet-friendly establishments include the Long Dog Café in Aberdeen, which offers canine snacks and even has its very own dog boutique where you can browse for jackets and collars. Brew and Chew in Perth even has ice cream for dogs on the menu!

Are there any laws about dogs in public in Scotland?

Legally, your dog must remain under your control at all times. If your dog is out of control and alarms another person, you may face legal action. While walking your dog, be mindful of both wildlife and farms. Keep your dog on a lead when you're close to fields of sheep and cattle, or if you are on the edge of a protected area.

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