Five Exciting Dog Walks in Dumfries and Galloway/Scotland

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As an incredibly dog-friendly region, Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland proves to be a top holiday destination for the entire family, even pets. This region features some of the best dog-friendly beaches and dog-friendly holiday cottages, making it a worthwhile destination.

When planning out your holiday, it’s essential to schedule activities the entire family will enjoy, including your furry friend. No pet-friendly holiday would be complete without scenic walks in the area. As a bonus, these walks provide an easy way to explore Dumfries and Galloway without leaving your pup behind.

Here are five exciting dog walks in Dumfries and Galloway to include in your next Scotland visit.



Larry the dog looking over to the sea!


1.    Galloway Forest Park

If you have extra time in your itinerary, you’ll want to visit Galloway Forest Park, the most expansive park in Great Britain, with your pup. This dog-friendly park features rare and wonderful wildlife, like red squirrels, making it an exciting spot for dog owners and their pets. This park includes routes for various skill and activity levels, so it’s a top choice for everyone. Routes extend from 0.5km to 9.2km, depending on the trail chosen. Within the park, expect to see diverse landscapes, including rolling hills, lush forestry, and more.

2.    The Wigtown Martyrs Walk

One of the most famous dog walks in Dumfries and Galloway is The Wigtown Martyrs Walk, steeped in history. Unfortunately, the history behind this route includes a sad tale of taking the lives of multiple “Covenanters”. Learning about the route more in-depth before walking along this trail will provide deeper insight into the area’s history.

You’ll need to walk with your dog through the car park to begin this walk, then follow Harbour Road and continue through a farm gate. Along this route, you’ll encounter pastures, woodlands, livestock, and a memorial for the “Covenanters”. Should you choose to explore Wigtown (aka Booktown) afterwards, you can take your pup to visit ReadingLasses. This bookshop/cafe is dog-friendly and the perfect spot for recuperating after hiking 6.4km.

3.    Drumlanrig Castle

For an easier route, head to Drumlanrig Castle. Built in the 1600s, this castle is also known as The Pink Palace because of the building materials used. While the inside of the castle is not dog-friendly, the grounds are open to dogs on leads. This allows you to explore the castle’s exterior with your pup. On the property, you can take four different routes, each varying in distance and scenery. However, each of these routes does provide ample views of the castle.

If you come back for a visit without your dog, the castle tour is exquisite and worthwhile. You can also head to the visitor centre first to learn more about the property.

Note: Try walking to Beech Loch for an easier route that does not skimp on views.

4.    Ellisland Farm

Robert Burns, the famed poet and songwriter, used Ellisland Farm as inspiration for his works, crafting many of his songs and poems here. As you explore the property, expect views of the beautiful River Nith. Burns particularly chose this location because of its natural allure, so you can be sure it’s an exciting place to see with your dog. You can take your pup anywhere on the property if they remain leashed. Walk along the river with your dog to see why Burns was so inspired many years ago. A museum and farm buildings are located on the property, which you can explore during the open season.

Note: Be sure to check the website for more details, as the farm is only open seasonally.

5.    Garries Wood

The Garries Wood route lies in Castle Douglas, near the Gatehouse of Fleet. This is one of the top dog walks in Dumfries and Galloway, as it offers an easy-to-follow path. It’s one of a few woodland walks in the area and runs about 2.5km in distance. Plan for an hour to fully explore this hiking route. If you prefer a longer hike, there are other nature trails nearby (like Cally Woods) for dog walkers, which will extend the time spent in nature.

As you plan your trip to Dumfries and Galloway, be sure to book yourself and your pup in a pet-friendly accommodation. At Gatehouse Luxury Lodges, we have multiple pet-friendly properties. Each of our dog-friendly options provides a luxury experience, allowing a restful spot for you between activities and exploration of the area. Whether you need accommodation that fits four people or something larger, we have various options to meet your (and your pets!) needs.


Contact us to book your pet-friendly stay today!

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