The Canine guide to Edinburgh holiday cottages

Towns and cities

The Canine guide to Edinburgh

Ed Roberts 09 September 2020

A city break may not be your first choice for a dog-friendly holiday but look closer and you’ll see that Edinburgh is worth checking out. Those that operate the city’s many attractions, pubs and eateries consider dog owners more than you’d expect. For instance, you’d never dream that you could take your dog out for a night at the movies, or for a stroll around a gallery, would you? Well, in Edinburgh you can. Dog-friendly Edinburgh is a lovely historic city that charms all of its millions of visitors each year, and here’s why.

Places of historical interest dominate the skyline including the iconic Edinburgh Castle on the Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Abbey ruins, and the National Galleries of Scotland; there are festivals and celebrations galore including the Edinburgh Tattoo, The Fringe and not to mention Hogmanay. There are many open spaces in the city too like Princes Street Gardens, Holyrood Park, and Queen Street Gardens. There’s no good reason why a trip to Edinburgh would involve leaving your faithful hound behind with friends or relatives. Book one of our dog-friendly self-catering holiday cottages in Edinburgh and show your pup a good time.

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Top days out

Top walkies

Top dining spots

Top places to stay

Top days out with dogs in Edinburgh

The city parks

Right at the heart of Edinburgh is the famous Princes Street Gardens. At the foot of the cliff below Edinburgh Castle, it’s a lovely public park full of byways and lawns to discover. Sniff out the best spot to play fetch or enjoy a picnic of tasty treats found in the nearby dog-friendly shops. Running along the length of one of the main shopping streets in Edinburgh, you are close to pubs and cafes galore. Beyond the National Gallery and over North Bridge, and past the Royal Mile is the huge Holyrood Park which by contrast to the ordered flower beds and borders of Princes Street Gardens, is a wild, exposed, hilly tract of land with trails and wildlife galore. It’s so good to feel out in the countryside when you are this close to the city centre! 

Why your dog will love it: Older dogs and pups will love an amble along the level pathways and the chance to meet other dogs.

Dog-friendly movie screenings at the Picturehouse

Yes, it’s true: movie addicts can take their dog to the cinema with them in Edinburgh. The Picturehouse, which is one of the main locations for the annual Edinburgh Film Festival, welcomes canines! Check the listings for special dog-friendly screenings for you and your pet. A blanket for the adjacent seat is provided so your four-legged chum can enjoy the show too. It’s the perfect choice for a rainy afternoon!

Why your dog will love it: There’s a possibility of seeing canine classics like Isle of Dogs, Turner and Hooch or Cujo on the big screen! What’s not to love?

Forth Boat Tours

Take a boat trip on the Firth of Forth to see the magnificent bridges that span this graceful yet tempestuous body of water. There is a variety of cruises to choose from including the popular Three Bridges cruise where you can set sail and see the Edinburgh skyline. Also, look out for the island of Inchcolm with its ancient abbey and several other wild outcrops in the Firth of Forth. Your sea dog is welcome to accompany you on board for a small stipend, so wrap up warm and take to the water. It’s a bracing trip but one we’d recommend so you can get a fuller picture of this wonderful city and its surroundings.

Why your dog will love it: Some dogs have wonderful sea legs and it’s a great experience for all.

Top walkies in Edinburgh

Arthur’s Seat 

Arthur’s Seat is the highest point around Edinburgh and the focal point of Holyrood Park. Sitting at 251 metres above sea level, Arthur’s Seat is Edinburgh’s most eye-catching natural landmark. Your dog will definitely be interested in sniffing out the wildlife because there are probably millions of bunnies living up there and all across the park; it’s a bounder’s wonderland and a fab place to run, play, walk at heel and take in the fantastic views of the city below.

Why your dog will love this: It’s a wonderful wild spot for play and scent sniffing.

Corstorphine Hill 

Corstorphine Hill is a great place for walkies with the hound as it’s one of Edinburgh’s largest open spaces offering woodlands and gentle hills to investigate with your dog. At 161 metres high, the hill is found at the western edge of the city. It’s not really a place for views because of the tree cover, but it’s a nice, cool place to stroll with your furry friend when the weather is very hot, or in the autumn when the trees are golden. Look out for Corstorphine Hill Tower which was built as a memorial to the writer Sir Walter Scott. Corstorphine Hill is also a good place to spot birds or enjoy a jog.

Why your dog will love this: There are trees galore! All dogs love trees for myriad reasons.

Water of Leith Walkway

This lovely inner-city walking trail is just under 13 miles in length. It is managed by a conservation trust that upholds the importance of preserving the city’s wildlife and heritage for future generations to enjoy. The path follows the course of the river with the occasional diversion, and it’s a worthwhile pursuit for seeing how gorgeous the city can be. There is even a visitor centre on the Water of Leith where you can learn about the places the trail passes through. It begins at Balerno and runs through the heart of the city intersecting with the Union Canal, and takes in the sights like Saughton Winter Gardens, Murrayfield Stadium, and The Royal Botanical Gardens on its way to Leith Harbour and the Firth of Forth. 

Why your dog will love it: There’s so much to see along the waterfront. 

Top dog-friendly places to eat and drink in Edinburgh

Falko Konditormeister 

Falko Konditormeister is a German bakery, specialising in some very tempting cakes and fancy baked goods. Four paws are welcome inside this dog-friendly place to eat whilst you enjoy a spot of breakfast or lunch. Try out the sourdough bread and the brioche, as well as the endless choice of sweet delights.

Why your dog will love it: This place is very friendly; your hound is bound to get a tasty treat as well.

The Stockbridge Tap 

One of Edinburgh’s best-known dog-friendly pubs, The Stockbridge Tap was the first to display the famous ‘dugs welcome’ stickers in its window. There’s your proof of its commitment to welcoming our four-legged friends as genuinely as possible. Enjoy a pint or a whisky at the bar, and the menu is very good as well, fortified with Scottish and English favourites.

Why your dog will love it: if your pooch is a pub dog, then this is a good place to watch the world go by.

Filament Coffee Roastery 

Filament Coffee Roastery is an amazing Edinburgh coffee destination and its blends are something kind of magical. So, roll up with your fang-faced fellow holidaymaker for some coffee. There’s a water bowl on hand for the pooch to refresh too (decaffeinated!) Something of a local institution nowadays, Filament is a good spot to enjoy a ‘cup of Joe’. 

Why your dog will love it: The wonderful scent of roasted coffee beans will get every nose twitching. 

Stay in Edinburgh

Three of our wonderful cottages in or near EdinburghDunesk Lodge (top), The Cooperage (bottom right), and Blue Spruce Cottage (bottom right)

With so many dog-friendly places to visit and things to do in Edinburgh to discover, it’s quite likely that you’ll want to spend a bit of time in the area! We have a whole range of dog-friendly holiday cottages where you and your four-legged buddy will find a fine welcome and all sorts of features which will make a holiday in Edinburgh with your pet a fantastic experience. Choose your ideal self-catering dog-friendly holiday cottage from our collection. Where will you stay in this marvellous city in dog-friendly Scotland?

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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