JD: dog-friendly luxury lodges, things to do with your dog in Dumfries and Galloway
Stretching between Gretna Green and Portpatrick, you'll find Dumfries and Galloway, an often overlooked yet picturesque area of Scotland that sits in a dog-friendly region. Fitted with miles of beaches and coastline alongside lush country, you'll find many things to do with your dog in Dumfries and Galloway (including dog-friendly luxury lodges).
Explore the countryside and beaches with your furry friend during your next pet holiday by diving into the below dog-friendly activities.
Drumlanrig Castle & Gardens (Best for Garden-Loving Dog)
This beautiful location is home to an impressive pink castle and a long list of activities and things to see, like its top-tier art collection. There are Victorian gardens, a playground, walking trails, and more to explore here. While dogs are not allowed inside Drumlanrig Castle & Gardens, dog owners can take their pups to roam around the gardens and grounds as they please.
Note: Your dog must be on a lead at all times while here.
Glenwhan Gardens and Arboretum (Best for Tail-Wagging Explorations)
There's much to see while at the Glenwhan Gardens and Arboretum, including views of the nearby sea, a tree trail with over 160 tree varieties, various wildlife, and brightly-colored flowers. Dogs on leashes can explore the 30 acres of land with their humans to see natural landmarks like Luce Bay, the Isle of Galloway, and the Isle of Man. There’s even water available for pups at this attraction.
Note: There’s also a dog-friendly tearoom onsite, so you and your pup can sit and rest after exploring.
Caerlaverock Castle (Best for Royally Loved Dogs!)
You may recognize the Caerlaverock Castle from movies like The Decoy Bride. This fairytale-esque castle features a mote, gatehouse, and multiple battlements, making it an important historic landmark. Dive into Caerlaverock Castle's history by bringing your leashed pup. Dogs are welcome in most areas, including trails around the castle. Unfortunately, they can’t join you in the tearoom.
Tip: There's plenty of outdoor seating near the tearoom, and the staff is more than happy to provide a water bowl for thirsty dog
Ellisland Farm (Best for Dogs Who Enjoy New Sniffs)
One of the top things to do with your dog in Dumfries and Galloway is visit Ellisland Farm. This farm was built in 1788 by Robert Burns, the famous poet, for his family. At the farm, he wrote about 25% of his work (including songs and poems). Now, Ellisland Farm is a museum that allows you to explore the home and farm buildings that Burns left behind. Leashed dogs can visit the study, farm buildings, and other areas on the grounds. There are also walking paths along the River Nith.
Bonus: If your dog is thirsty from exploring the grounds, head to the kitchen, where the staff will provide a refreshing water bowl.
Cream O’Galloway (Best for Free-Roaming Pals)
This spot is fun for the whole family, including dogs! Cream O’Galloway is an attraction featuring rides, a crazy golf course, farmer-led food tours of the farm, an ice cream parlor, and plenty of options for woodland walks for those who consider themselves personal dog walkers. Leashed dogs can explore much of the grounds, including the picnic areas, garden, nature trails, and crazy golf course. There's even an enclosed dog walk area where your pup can be leash-free.
Note: Dogs are not allowed in the ice cream parlor, café, or on the guided tours unless you have an assistance dog.
Sandyhills Bay (Best for Paddling Pups)
Sandyhills Bay is one of the best dog-friendly beaches, especially for water-loving pups. There's a pet-friendly park nearby the sheltered sandy bay for even more fun. At the beach, your dog can be free to explore off-leash, paddle in the water (during low tide), catch tennis balls, dig in the sand, or lounge under the sun. There's also a shower/restroom and a small shop at the beach for you and your family to use during a visit.
Tip: Spend time exploring the tidepools to get a glimpse of the marine life in the area.
Steam Packet Inn Restaurant (Best for Hungry Humans and Thirsty Canines)
This pub is a top choice for those traveling Scotland with their furry friends, as they’re welcome inside the restaurant. You’ll find lunch and dinner options at the Steam Packet Inn Restaurant, ranging from seafood risotto to duck confit leg. This family-run hotel/pub is right on the water, so you can enjoy views of the harbor while enjoying a meal. If your dog gets thirsty, you can order a bowl of water from one of the friendly bartenders.
Note: Dogs are allowed in all except one dining room. It's best to check with the staff upon arrival about off-limit spaces.
This list is only the tip of the ice burg for dog-friendly activities and locations. You can also explore Castle Douglas, a pup-friendly town, Galloway Forest Park, for views of rare and wonderful wildlife, and even take them to a hydrotherapy session at Solway Canine Hydrotherapy.
Dog-Friendly Luxury Lodges
There are plenty of dog-friendly luxury lodges in the Dumfries and Galloway area. Depending on the lodge, we have options for groups of 4-6. Each lodge is tucked away in the Scottish countryside, offering scenic views in every direction and many hiking trails your pup will love. Each pet-friendly accommodation is packed with pup amenities, like pet-friendly rooms, a play area, and a plush dog bed for four-legged guests. Contact us to book your Scotland stay!
Want more dog-friendly ideas? Check out our guild on our website today!