Edinburgh has plenty to offer visitors in the way of arts, history, and culture, but did you know it’s also one of the most pet friendly places you can visit? It’s not surprising, really, when you consider that Edinburgh’s most famous resident was Greyfriars Bobby; the Skye terrier who loyally guarded his owner’s grave for 14 years.
Perhaps it’s because of Bobby that Edinburgh has become such a friendly place for people who are travelling with their loyal companions. If you are planning a trip around Scotland with your pets, make the most out of Edinburgh with the following tips.
Have a dog?
If you’re travelling with a dog, Edinburgh website Dugs & Pubs is a must read. The website lists all of the dog friendly hotels, restaurants, bars, and places that Edinburgh has to offer. It also includes suggestions from local dog owners for great days out, so you can really make the most out of your trip to Edinburgh.
Walking in Edinburgh
If you’re staying in the city centre you’ll find that Edinburgh has plenty of green spaces for pet exercise.
Holyrood Park is a vast expanse of greenery behind Holyrood Palace, so if the Queen’s in town you might bump into her and her corgis. The park also backs onto the Scottish Parliament, and includes Arthur’s Seat: the city’s extinct volcano which boasts gorgeous views across the city.
The Meadows park lies behind Edinburgh University, and is a favourite summer barbecue destination. It’s also a popular dog walking spot for locals, and you can happily spend a few hours playing catch here.
The Water of Leith river blazes a 20km trail through Edinburgh and runs through Stockbridge, the Dean Village, and Inverleith before terminating at the port of Leith. The route is mostly wooded, and very scenic. It’s hard to believe you’re in the centre of a city. If you have a few hours to spare (and a very energetic dog) it’s worth taking the number 44 bus out to Balerno, where the route begins.
Eating & Drinking in Edinburgh
Although a lot of Edinburgh’s bars and dining establishments aren’t dog friendly, many places are starting to see the benefit in inviting pets inside. You can usually spot places that are dog friendly by the ‘dugs & pubs’ sticker on the door. There are lots of great dog friendly places, but these are among the best.
The Scran and Scallie gastropub in Stockbridge is run by Tom Kitchin, the Michelin award winning chef behind popular Edinburgh eateries the Kitchin and Castle Terrace. It’s well worth a visit if you want to sample some of the best cuisine coming out of Scotland’s capital.
Boda Bar on Leith Walk is a quirky Swedish bar with a lovely atmosphere. It’s also very dog friendly, offering snacks and drinks specifically for pups.
Artisan Roast is widely acknowledged as the best coffee shop in Edinburgh, and best of all they’re dog friendly too. Great place for a perk up.
Other Boarding Alternatives
Of course, travelling with pets isn’t for everyone. If your dog doesn’t have a cultural bone in his body and you’re cat isn’t keen on castles, never fear. You don’t have to put your pals into a boarding kennel; instead you can use a service like Trusted Housesitters to find a pet sitter to live in your home and look after your buddies while you’re away. Not only will your pal get to relax in the comfort of their own home, and enjoy their usual routine, the sitter may also take on other household tasks such as watering the plants and bringing in your mail.
It’s less stress for you and less stress for them, but don’t forget to send a postcard to let them know what they’re missing.