Dog Friendly Luxury Holidays in Dumfries & Galloway
Dogs are most welcome at Corsewall Estate Holiday Cottages. We adore them and have two working cocker spaniels of our own. Two pooches are welcome at all our cottages and on arrival they are greeted by a jar of our home-made doggy treats. There are lots of lovely walks for them and their humans around the Estate and recently we have created several dedicated woodland and coastal paths for our guests covering some 10 kilometres.
I am often asked which places allow dogs, so I thought it might be useful if I made a list of our favourite dog-friendly establishments.
Exotic Gardens, Parks and Ponds
This beautiful corner of south west Scotland is renowned for its exotic gardens and Glenwhan Gardens at Dunragit is one of the area’s hidden gems. With moorland walks, forest trails, a tranquil pond and amazing sea views, it’s a wonderful place to relax and unwind. Open all year round (honesty box in the winter months), there’s a wonderful collection of rhododendrons and plants to enjoy. In addition, not only are dogs allowed in the gardens, but they are also most welcome in the tearoom too.
Dogs on leads and their owners will love exploring Castle Kennedy Gardens – the lochs, ponds, sculptured landforms, majestic trees and magnificent shrubs and flowers ensure there’s colour somewhere in the gardens all year round. After a decent tour, there’s a covered seating area beside the tearoom for a welcome cuppa and slice of cake.
Port Logan Fish Pond must be one of the most unusual and unique museums in the country. Located in a blow hole that was formed in the rocks thousands of years ago, it was used as a fish larder for nearby Logan House and a pretty stone bathing house was built next to it in the Victorian times. Most recently it’s an opportunity to see a wide variety of local sea life in a unique setting. Like many museums these days, it has an interactive element. Not in any digital way that children might expect, but in a hands-on way so you can feed the fish and handle some too. Over the years, we’ve held starfish and lobsters, including one with only one claw. I’m not sure there’s an interactive element for dogs, but dogs are most welcome here and I’m sure they enjoy watching the fish swim and crowd around when it’s feeding time.
At the Galloway Forest Park, you will find miles and miles of wonderful woodland trails, which are just waiting to be explored and dogs are very welcome in the park and in the visitor centres and cafés too – whether that’s Kirroughtree, Glentrool or Clatteringshaws.
Dogs are allowed in the extensive grounds and woodlands at Dumfries House, which rather confusingly is in Ayrshire and not near Dumfries! Whilst they aren’t allowed in Dumfries House itself or indoors at the Coach House Café, they are allowed at the outdoor seating areas. Not only is Dumfries House open 365 days a year, but entry to the estate and gardens is free of charge.
Also in Ayrshire is Culzean Castle & Country Park. Again, while dogs are not allowed in the magnificent neo-classical Robert Adam house, but they are welcome in the grounds.
Pubs, Cafes & Restaurants
The Crown Hotel in Portpatrick has a cosy bar with a log burning stove inside and an extensive outdoor seating area right beside the harbour.
Mount Stewart Hotel in Portpatrick welcomes four legged friends at the outside seating area, which has wonderful sea views.
The Port Pantry in Portpatrick says yes to dogs in the coffee shop downstairs – which makes this an ideal destination for lunch or a hot chocolate following a bracing coastal walk
In Sandhead, the dogs are welcome in the bar area of the Tigh na Mara – where they serve food and drinks. The Tigh na Mara is right beside one of the longest expanses of sand in south west Scotland – so after a long walk on the beach it’s the perfect place to stop off for lunch afterwards.
Gather – the new restaurant at Laggan, just outside Gatehouse of Fleet – has a great seating area outside where dogs are most welcome. You’ll have fabulous views and heated seats – so consider this is an all-year-round destination. They serve ‘wee plates’, drinks, cakes and puddings outside – so what’s not to like?
At the Plough Inn at Wigtown dogs are welcome in the bar and the garden, where they serve cheese, charcuterie boards.
Reading Lasses Café is my favourite café in Wigtown – you’ll get a delicious bowl of soup and crusty bread, yummy scones and cakes that are far too tempting for my own good. It’s usually the heart and soul of the Wigtown Festival, with a buzzing ambience, but better than that, dogs are welcome to join you too.
With all the walks, beaches, cafes, pubs and gardens in Dumfries & Galloway to visit – there will never be a dull day for dogs when on holiday at Corsewall Estate Holiday Cottages!