Whether it's a short 2-day escape to the wild Great Glen or a fortnight of rambling over the Cairngorms with the pooch in tow, there's sure to be a dog-friendly cottage in Scotland that will suit. Read this guide to all the ins and outs of booking yours, to ensure you get the perfect pad for you and your 4-legged companion.
Where to book dog-friendly cottages in Scotland
Under brooding skies and between craggy summits, a trip to this untamed corner of the UK is bound to have something to please all sorts of adventurers – even the ones with 4 paws. Choosing the right Scottish destination is key if you really want to make the most of it.
Peak walking in the Cairngorms
Thistle-spotted tundra meet snow-mantled peaks in the mighty Cairngorms – a stunning sub-range of the Cambrian Mountains that spreads out in the heart of the Highlands. Pet-friendly cottages pepper the roads around the town of Aviemore, which is also the best place to get kitted out for treks to the top of Ben Macdui – the 2nd tallest mountain in the UK.
Conquering Ben Nevis
There are arguably no dog-friendly cottages more coveted in Scotland than the ones dotting the town of Fort William. Not only do they offer access to the relatively easy-going Tourist Route that bends around the base of Ben Nevis, before hitting the highest point in the British Isles, but they also put the Great Glen on the doorstep – a long valley that culminates with mysterious Loch Ness.
Seaside adventures on the Isle of Arran
Just moments after stepping off the ferry that crosses the Firth of Clyde from Ardrossan, visitors and their pooches can start exploring the Isle of Arran. A wide beach leads right away from the boat terminals, with wooded hills rising around it. History-loving dogs, and their owners, might also enjoy a jaunt to Brodick Castle, where the cannon-spotted grounds are open for sniffs.
Features to expect from dog-friendly cottages in Scotland
There are just a few things that set pet-ready homes apart from the crowd, while other features can mean being pampered while you're travelling with the tail-wagger.
Opt for a slice of Scottish luxury
If you're treating the pup to a Highland adventure, why can't you treat yourself, too? Thankfully, there's an abundance of luxury rentals in Scotland that can cater to canines and their crew. They herald features like sprawling master bedrooms with sweeping views of the lochs and sumptuous lounges filled with art.
Dog-friendly cottages in Scotland with hot tubs
With your four legged friend present, it's likely you're going to be doing a little extra walking than usual. A steaming spa bath could be precisely the thing you need to soothe muscles fresh from the summit of Ben Nevis, therefore.
Enclosed gardens in dog-friendly cottages in Scotland
One truly important feature for travellers with the liveliest of dogs is an outdoor space. But what good is that if the bounder can escape and run free in the Highlands? Much better are fully-enclosed gardens, which tend to be a major, and sensible, aspect of pet-friendly properties in these parts.
Things to note about dog-friendly cottages in Scotland
Here are a few tips and thoughts to bear in mind before and after you've booked that dog-welcoming bolthole in the land of the thistle.
Book early to get cheap dog-friendly cottages in Scotland
The search for a bargain pad for you and your companion should start as soon as you've decided to make for salt-washed Skye or sloshing Loch Lomond. That's because the best deals will often sell out fast, particularly if you're aiming to arrive in the popular summer months.
Consider pet fees on short breaks to dog-ready cottages
Scottish cottages that welcome dogs aren't unique in charging an extra fee for guests with their family hound. Because they are usually calculated per stay, per pet, it can sometimes crank up the cost of short breaks considerably.
Be familiar with the Scottish country code
Scotland's covered by the Outdoor Access Code, which grants the freedom to roam to ramblers and their dogs. There are some caveats, however. They include keeping your pooch on the lead whenever crossing grazing pastures and avoiding important bird nesting grounds. You'll need to familiarise yourself with the lot before heading off.