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Horgabost beach, Isle of Harris © William Fawcett fotoVoyager / istockphoto


Pet Friendly Holidays, Dog Friendly Breaks & More

Have you ever been on holiday and not enjoyed it because your furry - and, let's face it, quite possibly favourite (!) - family member was left at home?

Scotland's got everything you'll need for relaxing pet friendly holidays, with dog friendly attractions and scenic walking routes, as well as lots of pubs and cafés where your pooch will feel right at home!

Whether you're looking for a cat or dog friendly hotel or somewhere with on-site stables so that you can take your horse on holiday, there is a wonderful range of pet friendly accommodation in Scotland with options that will make your trip really special.

From dog friendly self-catering cottages and woodland lodges, to coastal hotels, B&B's and more, there is plenty of pet friendly accommodation in Scotland for you to choose from.

Check out our 10 dog friendly accommodations that will get your tail wagging!

Dog friendly pubs restaurants and cafés 

For a pet friendly break to remember, why not visit one of the many pubs, restaurants and cafés in Scotland that will happily welcome you and your dog. Many will offer your dog a bowl of water and a treat too!

Visit dugsnpubs to find dog friendly places to visit or go for a walk (N.B. dug is the Scots word for dog!) or check directly with the pub, restaurant or café you want to visit to see if they welcome dogs.

Visiting historic attractions with your dog

Melrose Abbey interior
Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders

Organisations such as Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland offer the perfect dog friendly holiday activity, as they allow dogs on a number of their properties. Take your dog with you as you discover the history of printing at Robert Smail's Printing Works in Innerleithen, enjoy the quiet splendour of Melrose Abbey or Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders, or explore Fort George, the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain, based near Inverness.

Dog friendly walks in Scotland

Dog walk Braemar
Braemar countryside, Cairngorms National Park

Thanks to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, you and your dog have the right to walk almost anywhere in Scotland, so long as you stick to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. From sweeping countryside and thriving woodland to rolling hills and sandy beaches, Scotland's jaw-dropping landscapes will get your dog's senses working overtime. Here are some 'pawfect' options for a dog friendly trip:

  1. See leaping salmon at the Hermitage and Black Linn Falls in Dunkeld, where you and your dog can enjoy a beautiful walk past the tallest Douglas Fir in Britain.
  2. Explore Scotland's first National Park on a stroll with your dog. Explore Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park on many of the paths - but keep your dog under control.
  3. Enjoy delicious ice cream on a summer's day at Cream o' Galloway near Gatehouse of Fleet and head along the 0.75 mile dedicated dog walk, where you can let your dog off the lead and admire the young ash, oak and crab-apple trees. Some of the green and purple nature trails are also suitable for dogs. 
  4. For a dog friendly adventure trip, head over to the Isle of Arran, which is home to the UK's only island-based country park. Brodick Castle, Garden & Country Park is great for dog walking and dogs are allowed into the garden.
  5. Admire the plants and flowers of both Victoria and Westburn parks in Aberdeen, which are not only great for dog walking but are opposite each other so you enjoy a whole day out.
  6. Take a walk around the former home of the late Queen Mother, the Castle & Gardens of Mey, where dogs can be walked on a lead. There's also a dedicated shaded dog parking area in the wood, if your dog needs a rest or you want to visit an area where you can't take your pet.

Horse friendly accommodation

Horses stable block Craigengillan EstateCraigengillan Estate & Stables, Ayrshire

There are plenty of horse friendly estates and equestrian B&Bs in Scotland. Some of the fantastic options around the country include:

You can also find great equine bed and breakfast accommodation by checking out The British Horse Society's Horses Welcome Scheme.

Useful information for pet owners

Dog at LossiemouthEast Beach at Lossiemouth, Highlands

Before you book your pet friendly accommodation

  • Check what the walks are like in the local area. Do you want beaches, woodland, lochs, mountains or rolling countryside for your pet friendly break?
  • If you want to take your dog with you when you go for a meal, check whether there are any dog friendly places to eat close by.
  • Think about whether you want your accommodation to have an enclosed garden.

Things to bring with you

  • Meals and bowls.
  • Toys and treats.
  • Your dog's bed.
  • Old towels - to dry wet paws before you come in from a walk.
  • Blankets - to cover furniture if you think your dog is likely to jump up on vacant chairs and sofas. (It'll make tidying up at the end of your holiday a lot easier too!)

Can I take my dog on public transport?

Most bus, train and ferry operators will happily let your dog travel with you. Find information about transport providers that allow dogs on their services.

Outdoor Access Code

In Scotland you can walk your dog or hack your horse almost anywhere, provided you stick to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Find out how the code applies to dog walkers and horse riders.

Bringing your pet to Scotland from abroad

All pet dogs, cats and ferrets can enter or re-enter the UK from any country in the world without quarantine, provided you follow certain rules:

Pet travel: entering and returning to the UK
Pet travel: travelling with assistance dogs

Travelling with cats

Believe it or not, you are more than welcome to bring along your kitty on a cat friendly holiday in Scotland. Many dog friendly accommodation providers will also welcome your cat too - just make sure you check with the place you've chosen before you book.