Inverness is renowned for being the arts and culture hub of the Highlands and a scenic city to explore. Set right on the Moray Firth, there’s plenty of coastline to ramble with your four-legged friend by your side, dog-friendly attractions to investigate and cosy eateries for evening dining.
Head to Loch Ness to see if you can spot the legendary monster, or spend time playing games on wonderful, sandy beaches. There’s a whole host of adventure waiting and scenic places to explore on a holiday with your dog to pet-friendly Inverness.
Discover our Canine guide to Scotland for more dog-friendly days out across this fantastic country or get to know this wonderful city and the surrounding landscape in our guide to dog-friendly Inverness. Read on to discover the best of pet-friendly Inverness!
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Dog-friendly things to do in Inverness
Loch Ness cruises
For monster hunters: Has your dog got good sea legs? Then Fido might enjoy joining you on a cruise on Loch Ness where you can look out for the mysterious Loch Ness Monster while your dog snoozes on the deck. Jacobite Cruises is a great dog-friendly attraction in Inverness offering a range of boat trips that welcome pups aboard – check out the ‘Reflection, Contemplation and Inspiration’ tours. They provide commentary and even have on-board sonar on some boats so you can search for Nessie. Amazing views of the loch await.
Why your dog will love it: There’s so much to see on a loch cruise; keen-eyed dogs will love taking it all in.
For a glimpse into history: This ancient historical site is a beautiful place to explore. Clava Cairns is a Bronze Age burial site with impressive ring cairns, kerb cairns and standing stones to admire as you walk around, dating back over 4,000 years. It’s a remarkable setting with picturesque scenery all around and the perfect place for exploration with your four-pawed companion.
Why your dog will love it: History-buff doggos will love sniffing out the mysteries of this heritage site with their human.
Falls of Foyers
For experiencing the magic of the Highlands: An enchanting place to escape to, Falls of Foyers is a spectacular waterfall with a 140ft drop. It falls into a gorge which then winds its way to Loch Ness, which you can see as you traverse the area. There are steep gradients to conquer as you navigate this waterfall walk on your dog-friendly day out, while a great time to visit is after heavy rain when the waterfall is at its most impressive – although be aware the ground may be slippery. There’s also a lovely café on-site for when you’re ready to treat yourself to a sugary coffee and cake.
Why your dog will love it: A wonderful walk and the potential for a doggy paddle in the river along the way? Your dog will have a fantastic time!
Dog walks near Inverness
Ness Islands walk
For a unique dog walk: These enchanting islands are connected to each other and the mainland by bridges so you can stroll from one to the next on a dog walk – a unique way to explore the area on two feet or four! Look out for the wide range of wildlife which visits these idyllic islands such as birds and squirrels, and soak up views across the water too during your route around the Ness Islands.
Why your dog will love it: There’s woodland to explore and your dog will love spotting wildlife in the treetops and discovering the many sticks that litter the forest floors, perfect for a game of fetch.
Craig Phadrig walk
For a dog walk with a view: Another delightful dog walk near Inverness, this Craig Phadrig hill fort is an impressive, forested site to explore with your canine companion by your side. It has a fantastic history, believed to have been first built around 300 BC during the Iron Age before being abandoned and burned, then later reoccupied by a powerful Pictish king. From the site, you can take in views of Inverness, the Beauly Firth, and even spot Ord Hill, another hill fort set across the water.
Why your dog will love it: It’s an easy walk for old dogs and puppies with little legs as you don’t need to walk far to enjoy the views and heritage of the place.
The Caledonian Canal and the River Ness
For a riverside dog walk: Follow along the banks of the Caledonian Canal and the River Ness on this circular route around pet-friendly Inverness, which can be broken up into smaller, manageable sections, and take in the best of this city. Winding right through the heart of the city, these two waterways both offer the chance to spot wildlife, watch boats pass by and get to know the city itself. Best of all, if you are staying in the city, it’s bound to be within walking distance of your cottage escape.
Why your dog will love it: We’ve no doubt you and your dog will both enjoy a peaceful stroll alongside the water on your dog-friendly Inverness holiday.
Top dog-friendly beaches near Inverness
For a lochside beach: Not your traditional seaside beach, Dores Beach is set on the shores of Loch Ness so you can take in this famed body of water. With stunning Highland views and a shingle shoreline, this dog-friendly beach near Inverness is 9 miles out of the city and ideal for a quiet stroll surrounded by nature. You might even spot boats and cruises which pass by on the loch, and can keep an eye out for a glimpse of Nessie on your visit.
Why your dog will love it: Dogs can cool their paws in the waters of Loch Ness, just make sure they don’t get snuck up on by the legendary Loch Ness monster!
Nairn East Beach
For a classic day at the seaside: This sandy dog-friendly beach is 17 miles from Inverness and boasts wide open spaces for beach games or for your dog to race about enjoying the ultimate freedom that comes with lots of space! Families will love this beach too as it’s perfect for sandcastle building, backed by dunes and has a marina to wander around while there. The Moray Firth is also known for its resident dolphins so watch out for these creatures who are occasionally spotted at the mouth of the River Nairn.
Why your dog will love it: Your dog will have a wonderful time playing fetch or splashing through the waves on this impressive dog-friendly beach near Inverness.
For a quiet coastal walk: Another serene and peaceful place for a walk with your four-pawed pal, this dog-friendly beach is 13 miles from Inverness and set on the north bank of the Moray Firth, so you may be able to spot dolphins from this beach too! Avoch is a small fishing village with a harbour offering dolphin-spotting trips while the beach itself is a quiet sand and shingle place for a seaside walk.
Why your dog will love it: Your pup can enjoy exploring the harbour and peaceful village streets by your side after having a good run around on this dog-friendly beach.
Dog-friendly places to eat in Inverness
Scotch & Rye
For stylish gastropub dining: This dog-friendly restaurant in Inverness is in the heart of town, right near the River Ness, so you and Fido can enjoy a riverside stroll before settling down for a burger and chips. The Scotch & Rye is a stylish gastropub with a menu that includes everything from loaded fries to cotton candy cocktails.
Why your dog will love it: Riverside walkies before dinner means Fido will enjoy this dinner out as much as you!
For a light lunch: If you’re searching for dog-friendly eating places in Inverness with the family, this delightful tearoom is just the place for tea and cake during your holiday. Set right beside the Caledonian Canal, Jammy Piece offers up light bites and homemade goodies to tempt tastebuds. There is also a wood burner inside for cosying up in winter, and seating outside so you and the dog can watch boats pass on the canal during warmer months.
Why your dog will love it: Its sociable relaxed atmosphere means your pup may be in for a lovely fuss by others during a visit.
The Snow Goose
For a traditional pub vibe: Set on the outskirts of the city, this dog-friendly pub in Inverness has the feel of country pub yet is easy to reach. Dogs will love stretching out on the carpeted floors at The Snow Goose, while their humans can savour a tasty selection from their menu which includes handmade lobster fishcakes, slow-cooked beef and porcini bourguignon, and their roasted butternut squash and mushroom tart.
Why your dog will love it: Your dog will no doubt appreciate a tasty titbit saved from this pub’s delectable menu when you return to your cottage retreat.
Dog-friendly towns and villages to explore near Inverness
For seaside exploration: Best known for its remarkable beach, this beautiful coastal town is a delightful spot for a day by the sea with a bar and restaurant to drop by during your day out. Enjoy traditional ice cream and fish and chips on a classic seaside day out or soak up the exquisite coastal atmosphere on a long rambling walk along the coast and through the town.
Why your dog will love it: Let your faithful friend race across the golden sands of dog-friendly East Nairn Beach before sharing a chip supper.
For dolphin watching: Set on the Moray Firth, the delightful town of Fortrose is known for its crumbling 13th-century cathedral – the perfect place for a coastal dog walk – and for being the home of the Brahan Seer. Chanonry Point is a spit stretches out at the end of Chanonry Ness and is possibly the best place in the area for dolphin watching, with these majestic creatures sometimes only metres from shore.
Why your dog will love it: Any keen-eyed pups will love watching and barking at the dolphins as they play out in the firth.
For getting to know the local legend: Take a trip inland towards the famed Loch Ness to find this delightful waterside village. It sits on the western shore of Loch Ness and is popular for being home to the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, and the exquisite ruins of Urquhart Castle which overlook the loch. If you’re travelling with youngsters, Nessieland is a fun dog-friendly family attraction, while the Falls of Divach is a magical waterfall just south of the village.
Why your dog will love it: They can stay by your side as you visit Nessieland and explore the unforgettable landscape.
Dog-friendly places to stay in Inverness
Clockwise | River Lodge, The Coorie-In, and Garden Cottage
You and your canine companion are sure to have a ball of a time on a holiday to dog-friendly Inverness. If you’re ready to begin planning a fun-filled break to the Highlands with your pup, get inspired by browsing through our dog-friendly cottages in Inverness today.
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.