On a recent short break in the Falkirk area I was impressed by the many places I visited that welcomed dogs. I didn't have my own furry adventure buddy with me on this particular trip but I did think it would be a destination that I could take her to in the future and not feel like I was having to compromise on too many things that I wanted to see and do.
As a dog owner myself, I know how frustrating and time-consuming it can be having to research dog friendly options when I'm visiting somewhere so I thought it would be helpful if I put together this guide to the places that I came across that welcome dogs in the Falkirk area.
I'm sure there will be other options out there that I have missed and if you are a dog friendly business or know of a business that is definitely dog friendly in the Falkirk area, do drop me an e-mail and I'll add it to the list.
For those with furbabies, I hope you find this blog post helpful.
DOG FRIENDLY WALKS IN AND AROUND FALKIRK
From town parks to country estates and canal side strolls, there is a huge variety of walks around Falkirk where furry members of the family can enjoy a good leg stretch. It might surprise you to discover that Falkirk has been crowned Britain's best walking neighbourhood.
There are 383 miles of signposted and well-maintained paths so it would take me a while to list all the walking options but here are a few of my top picks with nice walking trails.
DOG FRIENDLY PLACES TO EAT & DRINK IN AND AROUND FALKIRK
I don't know about you but I don't really class places that make you sit outside as dog friendly, I mean, realistically, how often is the weather nice enough to dine al fresco in Scotland?!
From personal experience and feedback from other dog owners, the following places all allow your dog to join you inside for a drink or a meal so you will be made to feel welcome come rain or shine. Some even keep treats and water bowls for four-legged visitors which we all know is a way of bribing your dog to bring their owners back again!
DOG FRIENDLY ATTRACTIONS IN AND AROUND FALKIRK
It is always good to be able to add a bit of sightseeing when you're travelling with your dog and Falkirk has a few great options, including its most famous sites!
Beware of fortune-telling witches at this otherwise peaceful glamping site in Forres
*I WAS HOSTED AT MACBETH'S HILLOCK IN EXCHANGE FOR THIS REVIEW *
Could this unassuming, tranquil corner of Moray really be the 'blasted heath' where Shakespeare's Macbeth famously met the three witches declaring enigmatic prophecies about his future?
It is certainly in the right part of the country and is frequented by visitors on the trail of Macbeth. Research has shown that it was known as Macbeth's Hillock on a map dating back to 1770 but the truth is we can only surmise about the connection.
However, witches do form a very real part of local history, with records of witchcraft trials and subsequent executions of those found guilty. We now know that these 'witches' were in fact mainly innocent women, and occasionally men, who were persecuted and tortured for crimes often based on superstitious beliefs and fear, rather than real evidence.
With so much history on the doorstep, Macbeth's Hillock makes for an interesting place to stay in an often overlooked part of Scotland. I can also confirm that it ticks all the boxes for a very comfortable accommodation option which is also dog friendly. So what exactly does your glamping pod come with?
Don't forget to pack your sense of adventure for a fun-filled stay at this dog friendly Scottish glamping site
*I WAS HOSTED AT SHEPHERD'S LOCH IN EXCHANGE FOR THIS REVIEW *
Do you remember going on holiday when you were wee? If you were anything like me you spent your days running around outdoors, clambering around playparks, easily establishing holiday friendships, improvising your own adventures and generally revelling in the freedom to explore without the worries and hang ups that come with being a sensible grown up.
Then you did grow up and those carefree childhood vacations became a thing of the past as adult holidays tend to revolve around relaxation rather than fun and play. But what if I told you there is a place you can enjoy it all?
At Shepherd's Loch Glamping Site in Aberdeenshire they actively encourage adults to embrace their inner child while offering plenty of opportunity to unwind or explore, if that is what you prefer.
The first bit of fun comes in choosing which of their unique accommodation options you are going to stay in. Some are already open and some are a work in progress, I already have my eye on the ship's wheelhouse for a future trip. If you're travelling with your four-legged friend then all but the yurt are dog friendly and all options have an open panorama over countryside and water.
I stayed in the 'Otter' which is a charming hobbit like house with lots of quirky details and a large picture window with a view over one of the lochs. The interior is surprisingly spacious with a super comfy double bed and overhead bunk, a sitting/dining area where you can gaze out at the scenery, a toilet, shower and cooking area with a wood fired range and gas stove.
Upcycled pieces like the corrugated shower lining, locally sourced wood, church pew and the cute bedroom window add lots of unique character.
As you might have guessed from the amount of time I spend there, I have quite a soft spot for Dumfries and Galloway in the south west of Scotland. Despite having covered much of the region there are still a few pockets that have eluded me and the stretch of the A76 from Sanquhar to Dumfries is one of those spots that I've yet to fully explore. Recently I was invited to experience a stay at Trigony House Hotel which is handily located just off the main road, in the heart of this very area. With a reputation as being genuinely dog friendly, National Pet Day seemed the perfect excuse to take our lurcher Willow away for a night at this multi-award winning country hotel.
Trigony House Hotel was the former shooting lodge for nearby Closeburn Castle which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited tower houses in Scotland. Today it is run as a country house hotel set in over 4 acres of woodland and gardens.
As we drove up the front drive, I couldn't help but think how romantic it looked with it's ivy exterior and characterful lanterns. The interior is a mix of period features and rustic country homeliness. I definitely felt more like I had arrived at a friend's home than a hotel as there is a really relaxed vibe, with guests chatting away to each other like long lost acquaintances and dogs lounging around the public rooms.
Dogs are great conversation ice-breakers and I'm sure their presence helps the conversation flow between fellow owners. During our stay there were 5 other furry companions being treated to a night away, with the resident Retriever Roxy also making a regular appearance to welcome canine guests. Having a dog is not compulsory to stay at Trigony House but I would think you would have to at least like them to stay here as they are permitted in all public rooms other than the dining room.
There are only 10 bedrooms at Trigony House and it's small size adds to the intimate atmosphere. On arrival we were warmly welcomed and shown to our bedroom which was in keeping with the homely country feel. It was light and spacious with a big comfy bed, sofa and plenty of storage space. Willow was pretty excited to find a welcome bowl on the bed with doggy biscuits, the canines definitely get looked after at this hotel. There was also a little map of the grounds showing the enclosed dog exercise areas which were perfect for letting Willow have a good run around.
Our room had a lovely view over the gardens to the hills beyond and we could hear plenty of bird song from the surrounding trees which I found very therapeutic. After a long day travelling, our room was a nice calming space to sit with a cup of tea and muse over the different leaflets and local walking suggestions.
Check out my Dumfries and Galloway blogs for more local inspiration
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