A Dog’s Guide to Scotland

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 8, 2016

From picture-perfect forest walks in Stirling to pretty meadows in Fife, there’s plenty for you and your waggy-tailed friend to see and do in beautiful Scotland. So, to make things a little easier when it comes to planning your doggy day trips, we’ve put together a taster of all the pooch-welcoming highlights around the country.


This place has all the excitement of the city with easy access to stunning country park walks, meaning it ticks every box with us here at BarkPost – and we’re willing to bet it’ll have your pooch’s tail wagging too! From beautiful botanic gardens through to fun sandy beaches, there’s a dog walk to suit every mood. Head for the Water Of Leith Walkway for a beautiful stroll through the heart of the city or hit the beach and play chase at Cramond Island.

Water Of Leith

When you and pup have worked up an appetite, refuel at one of Edinburgh’s top dog-welcoming cafes. Dog-friendly Edinburgh eateries have been on the rise in recent years, and with plenty of cute family-run delis and traditional cosy pubs to pick from, you’ll easily find somewhere that suits both you and your four-legged friend’s tastes. For a scrumptious brunch and a good cup of coffee, check out Blue Bear Café.

The owners have let dogs inside from day one, mainly so they could have Mango, their Rhodesian Ridgeback, with them!

cafe blue bear

For the ultimate in dog-friendly Edinburgh, head to Leith. Here, you’ll find a whole host of cafes, bars and top walking spots for you and your furry friend to enjoy – look out for the Dugs N Pubs ‘Dugs Welcome’ stickers on Easter Road. Plus, if dog-walking wasn’t enough exercise for you, there’s even a pup-welcoming gym here! Griffin Fitness is Edinburgh’s first dog-friendly fitness studio, where you can work out while your pup cheers you on from the sidelines… or waits patiently for you to give up!



The pawfect city for chilling out with your pooch in the park on long summer days, Glasgow is super welcoming to woofers. A hot spot for a pet-friendly pub crawl, many openly encourage canine companions to step through their doors by laying out dog bowls and tasty treats.

13th note

Grab a beer at 13th Note on King Street, a cool open pub space that regularly hosts live music, theatre and art exhibitions. It’s an awesome dog-friendly place that will tick all the boxes for you and your pup. When hunger strikes, why not try their traditional dish of haggis, neeps and tatties?

Mugdock Country Park

While in Glasgow, a visit to Mugdock Country Park should be on the top of your walking list. Take in the fresh air and enjoy beautiful walks through the woodland with your four-legged friend by your side. Only 10 miles from the city centre, there’s plenty to explore at this historical site, including Mugdock castle ruins and meandering countryside trails. Another treasure trove for dog walkers is Kelvingrove Park, a stunning city park located just 5 minutes away from Byres Road. Here, you’ll find everything from gorgeous riverside walks to panoramic views.



This place is a real treat and definitely worth a visit with your pooch. Inverness often fills with visitors intent on catching a glimpse at the mysterious monster at nearby Loch Ness, but there’s more to the pretty city than that! There’s scenic dog walks to be found around every corner and plenty to see and do with your pup.


The Ness Island Walk is the perfect way to explore your surroundings. Starting in the city centre, follow the footsteps on the painted Inverness City Centre map along the banks of the River Ness. Look out for the footbridges along the river, where you can cross from one side to the other to take in different views.


For some tasty grub, visit The Benleva Hotel, Loch Ness. This hotel and pub is totally dog friendly and the owners aim to make sure your best friend is as welcome as you are during your visit. We recommend trying the knockout Fresh North Sea Haddock, lightly beer-battered using their very own premium lager. Just a short walk from the shores of Loch Ness, it also has almost an acre of grounds for your pooch to run around in. If you’re spending the weekend in Inverness, this is also a top spot for a night away with your dog as it has everything you need for a stress-free stay.



With its rolling hills, cliffs, mountains and beautiful coastline, Aberdeen is perfect for exciting dog walks. For a sure-fire way to set tails wagging, make sure you head to pupular Aberdeen Beach. You and your dog will be sure to have a wonderful walk at this award-winning beach. Every year since 2007, it has received the Resort Seaside Award, which recognizes excellent litter management, safety, and water quality.

There’s also a whole host of pup-welcoming pubs in Aberdeen, so you can chill out with a beer and your pup by your side after a day of exploring. Brewdog, the Queen Vic, Moorings and the Double Tree are all great options.


At end of the day, hit the hay in an awesome forest lodge that’s totally dog-friendly. Cairngorm & Cabins are five star luxury eco-lodges set amidst the tranquil Scottish pine forest of Royal Deeside – perfect for a relaxing break with your pooch away from city life.



With a royal history and atmosphere distinct from the rest of Scotland, it’s no surprise this city has styled itself as ‘The Kingdom of Fife.’ We suggest heading to the eastern region, where you’ll find rolling green farmland and quaint fishing villages are prime turf for exploration with your dog.


It’s also worth packing your pooch’s poop bags and opting for a day spent at Lochore Meadows Country Park. With the loch as its heart, your dog has the chance to cool down in the summer months as well have a fun grassland and oak woodland environment for them to discover. There are also woodlands, meadows, ponds, a Nature Reserve and of course Loch Ore itself to go walking around – what more could you want from a doggy day trip?


For more picturesque surroundings, you can head to Cambo House set in a Victorian country estate, which has open gardens all year round. Dogs have access to the whole gardens, but they must be on leach due to pigs, cows and sheep wandering around! Drinks and snacks are also available from the house’s tea room, should you and your pup need a pit-stop.



The city of Dundee is beautifully historic, with a sleek modern twist. It’s a great area for food, entertainment and the arts, so you and your pup will never be bored of something to do here. There’s plenty of outdoor space, whether you choose to go walk along the hills and glens or explore the city to take in the views of the new waterfront and the old buildings with your furry friend by your side.

Situated just 3 miles from the city centre of Dundee, Camperdown Country Park is a top spot for a summer stroll. It’s the largest public park in Dundee, meaning plenty of ground for you and your pooch to explore, and it’s open to the public come rain or shine.


For a lively end to a peaceful walk, check out the dog-friendly Drouthy’s for some pub grub and the chance to catch some pawsome live music. Music nights take place in the bar, and downstairs in the basement club, where you’ll find jazz, rock, acoustic and big bands. You name it, they’ve got it! Plus, if you’re wanting to grab your food and go, they also have an easy takeaway service.



Stirling’s preserved Old Town is a nirvana of postcard-perfect historic buildings and cobbled streets winding up to the city’s enchanting castle.


Head to the David Marshall Centre, just outside Aberfoyle, for a good choice of pooch-friendly walking trails. You can pick up a guide of all the trails on offer from the friendly staff at the visitors centre. You’ll soon find yourself strolling through beautiful forested areas, while your dog is free to sniff around off his leach in most areas. Walks range from a couple of miles to about 8 miles, but you can extend this by joining trails together. There are also picnic areas in cosy, tranquil spots along the way, should you want to pack a lunch for yourself and set down a water bowl for your pup while taking in the outdoors.

David Marshall

The family-run The Birds And The Bees café is a great place to chow down, whether it’s for a light snack or something a little more hearty. Housed in a converted farm, a stone’s throw from the historic Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle, you and pooch will receive a warm welcome, award-winning food and real ales. Relax by the roaring fire in the bar, enjoy a coffee in the lounge or sip wine in the garden terrace with your pooch resting at your feet.

Birds And Bees

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 8, 2016