Dog Friendly UK 2019: Scotland

As the month draws to a close, we're excited to finally share the February feature for our Dog Friendly Calendar with you. If you've already got a copy then you'll know that this month is beautiful Scotland. If you haven't got one and you'd like to buy a copy, then don't worry as there's still a handful left on sale - you can get your paws on them here. You can also catch up on our first month's feature all about our trip to Wales here.


For now though, join us as we take Wilbur & Paisley across the country and into Scotland for the first time to discover all of the wonders it has to offer...

After a long car journey from one end of the UK to the other, we finally arrived at our destination - and to a very warm welcome...

We were greeted by a lovely man at Forest Holidays Ardgartan, Argyll who gave the dogs some fuss, a treat each and showed us to our cabin. Once inside, we were delighted to discover that our cabin had been stocked up with plenty of goodies to keep us going for the evening - including a biscuit and poop bag each for the dogs!

Located right on the shore of Loch Long and at the edge of the Argyll Forest Park, there is no more beautiful setting for a break away from it all. If you're interested in booking a holiday then there's an exclusive discount in our calendar. We arranged to stay for five days so we had plenty of time to explore and chill out in the hot tub...

Although the location is very remote and peaceful, that doesn't mean it's lacking on things to do. There are several walking trails that start from the site, lots of activities for children, a herb garden to visit and there's even a shop and restaurant too! Dogs are allowed in both - though if you're lucky with the weather, you may want to sit on the decking of the restaurant and take in the beautiful Scottish scenery that surrounds you...

After a short stroll along the loch, which was just steps away from our cabin, we had a little browse in the shop for something for dinner. There's plenty of things to choose from including wine, cheese, traditional Scottish ice cream and lots of other fresh and locally sourced food.

If you don't fancy cooking then you can get a takeaway from the restaurant menu and take it back to your cabin. Either enjoy it al fresco out on your decking or inside, in your fully equipped kitchen and dining area.

The shop also has a wide range of other goodies such as hiking gear and things for kids. They even have stuff for dogs too - all good quality brands like Beco Pets and The Dog Treat Company.

What we loved most about the Forest Retreat was that you could pre-order food to collect or ask for it to be delivered to your cabin. After a busy day of travelling, we wanted something simple for breakfast the next day so we ordered a couple of pastries to collect from the shop in the morning.

Freshly baked and made to order, these delicious pain au chocolats were the perfect start to a busy day of exploring...

As we were all still pretty tired from the journey up, we decided to take it easy on our first day. We chose one of the walking trails that began right from our cabin door. It was a beautiful walk alongside the loch, into the woods and then the mountains. Not a soul in sight and so many amazing sights to see...


There are lots of little streams to dip those paws in, stunning scenes to see and lots of things to discover. We found some gorgeous quartz stones and adorable little fairy doors, each with coins left in front of them for good luck...

After our walk, we returned back to our cabin for a bit of dinner and a movie. You can really make the holiday your own with Forest Holidays - they have lots of extras and treats for you to book with your stay including spa treatments, quad adventure treks, personal chefs and romantic evenings in. Plus there are several TV and internet packages to choose from including a movie one and sports too. Though if you really want to enjoy the peaceful cabin life then you may not need any...

The next day we awoke fresh and early ready for a day filled with adventures. We decided to drive around the loch and see where the road took us. We ended up in Inveraray!

A beautiful little town located on the shore of Loch Fyne, Inveraray has stunning views of the famous loch and lots of things to do. It's also the home to Inveraray Castle and Georgian Inveraray Jail.

There are lots of great dog friendly things to do and see in Inveraray - and visiting the Fyne Malts shop is a must! They stock a wide range of lovely local whiskies as well as many other things. It's super dog friendly - in fact, their leaflet features their very own pup on it. We bought a few bottles of whisky to try and take home including one with my mum's family name on it. Well, when in Scotland, you've gotta have some whisky!

After a potter around the shops, we decided to grab a bite to eat. We found the Inveraray Inn which is located right by the loch and has a dog friendly seating area - perfect for a sandwich and a pint!

Then we took a stroll along the loch so the pups could cool off in the water. The weather was absolutely lovely the whole time we were there - unusual for Scotland from what we've heard. Beautiful blue skies, lots of sunshine and only a little drizzle of rain. We were told a few times by locals that we had been very lucky! Not that it would have dampened our trip anyway...

On the way back to the cabin, we stopped off for a drink at a local brewery. Located down a narrow country lane at the head of Scotland's longest loch, Fyne Ales is a modern, rural farm brewery.

There's a lovely tap room as well as a shop and a courtyard too for those sunny days! Enjoy one of their many refreshing ales straight from the tap while your pup munches on some Fyne Bones.

Made using spent grain from their brews, these tasty handmade treats are completely unique and bound to get those tails wagging. If you'd like to get your paws on a pack then there's an exclusive offer for a FREE pack of them inside our calendar! Or if you can't wait long enough to make the trip down there, you can order them on their website here. Why not order yourself one of their tasty beers while you're at it?!

If you're local to the area or planning on making a trip then they also run an annual event called FyneFest. It's a three day event filled with beer, food and music...and pups are also invited!


After a refreshing pint, we made our way back to the site and decided to treats ourselves to dinner at the Forest Retreat. They have lots of homely meals on the menu with vegetarian options - and all for a great price! We opted for a tasty home cooked curry...

Once dinner was done, we retreated back to the cabin to take advantage of the lovely weather and relax in our hot tub. We're not usually the type to get a place with a hot tub, but when in Rome (or Scotland?!) there's nothing more heavenly than relaxing with a glass of fizz and enjoying the breathtaking scenery that surrounds you...

Sit back and relax and take it all in as the dogs chill out on the patio which is all enclosed for their safety. Of course they aren't allowed to join you in the tub, no matter how much they want to...

Thursday and our final day - we were back off to Inveraray, this time to visit the Jail. Located right on Loch Fyne, this Georgian jail is somewhat reminiscent of the famous San Fransisco prison, Alcatraz.

Stepping through the doors into a real life 19th century prison, you can see what life was like for real prisoners - some as young as 7! You start off in the Torture, Death and Damnation exhibition where you learn of many of the gruesome forms of punishment used at the time, for example, they used to brand prisoners with hot irons.

Then you move on the courtroom where you can take a seat and listen to extracts from actual trials that were held in the same room 150 years ago. Before walking back in time to the 1800s into the old prison. Here we experienced what life was like for real prisoners. We saw all of the cramped cells and learned some of the stories of prisoners, their escapes and the apparently useless guard dog...

Then we got to have a look around the outside of the cell blocks where there are stunning views of Loch Fyne and the Scottish mountains - though we're sure the prisoners didn't enjoy it so much. We tried out the exercise areas where prisoners were able to get a bit of fresh air. They weren't even big enough for Wilbur to have a run around in...

Then we finally moved on to the new prison which was a model prison in its day. You can try out the hammocks and wooden beds while learning all about the prisoners who spent their days there, somewhat like this...

There are lots of fun things to do there for all of the family including cardboard cut-outs for you to stick your head in and a photo experience for you to remember your visit by. You can also search the database for prisoners with your family name and you can even send a virtual postcard from the jail to your relatives!

There's also a shop to buy lots of souvenirs, local goods and you can get that family photo printed off too. It's well worth a visit and there's an exclusive discount in our calendar for it. Pups, just make sure not to be naughty when you go or you'll end up like this...

After exhausting the jail, we decided to grab a coffee from Campbell while the pups stretched their legs and had a dip in the loch again.

We also treated ourselves to a little bag of chips from Mr Pia's Fish and Chip Bar to sit down by the loch with, gazing out on to the wonderful scenery...

Then it was a short drive through the beautiful Scottish country roads into Tyndrum. The drive is just worth it for the scenery! Tyndrum is a small village but it is very popular with tourists and it's easy to see why. Set in the heart of hillwalking country, this beautiful village has some of the best scenery around and has hundreds of walks to take your pup on. It is notable for being at a junction of all the main travel routes making it the ideal place for The Real Food Café.

This café with a difference serves freshly cooked food and is fully licensed - the perfect spot to relax, refuel and recharge.

All of the food is homemade using the best local ingredients. They cater to coeliacs and vegans so there's plenty of choice for all! Being a vegetarian myself, I was pleased to see that they had a vegetarian haggis option. It was great to be able to try something traditional...

Not only do they cater to vegans, but they also have something for the dogs. They bake their very own homemade biscuits for them to enjoy. They're so good they'll be doing tricks for them...

This café has everything travellers and passers-by could possibly need. Whether you want to charge your car, grab a bite to eat or maybe just fancy a pint after a long walk. They even have a dog and boot washer for those muddy paws and shoes...

It's definitely worth a stop off whether you're driving by or making a special trip just to visit...

Sadly the time for us to leave this beautiful country had come. We had a lovely time discovering everything Scotland has to offer - from being able to take the pups for a cool off in the lochs wherever we went, to the stunning scenery on our walks and the lovely local delicacies. We said farewell to our home for the week and headed off home...

Not before stopping off for one last walk in the Scottish countryside though, at a lovely little village called Luss. This picturesque conservation village is reminiscent of the beautiful Welsh village of Portmeirion, made famous by The Prisoner TV series. With its quaint little cottages, beautiful clear waters and incredible views, it really is idyllic.

We had a little stroll along the loch while the pups had a splash around, before heading off in search of somewhere to eat. Being extremely popular with tourists and dog walkers, you're spoilt for choice with dog friendly places to eat in Luss. We picked the Coach House Coffee Shop which has homemade cakes and hearty lunches - all served in traditional tartan patterned crockery.

We opted for a Stokie each, a traditional Scottish huge floury bap prepared with a filling of your choice. So big in fact, that we struggled to finish them! This lovely café has a little shop too where they sell lots of local products and stuff for doggies. So while we enjoyed our lunch, the pups cooled down with an ice cream...

After a wonderful trip it was finally time to make our way back home to England. This may have been our first trip to Scotland but it will definitely not be our last. For the time being, we said farewell and started the long journey back home, with two very tired pups in tow...

Thanks for reading - we hope you enjoyed hearing all about our first ever trip to Scotland. It truly is a beautiful area of the UK to visit and a world away from home. So different, welcoming and just so many amazing walks to go on and lochs to swim in!


With special thanks to The Real Food Café, Fyne Ales, Forest Holidays and Inveraray Jail for inviting us to visit. We will be back!


If you visit any of our recommendations then please do share your photos with us on Facebook, we love seeing them. Don't forget, our 'Dog Friendly UK' Calendar 2019 is still available to purchase here and you can get your paws on an exclusive discount from Forest Holidays, Inveraray Jail and Fyne Ales in it too.


We'll be back next month with a blog all about our Dog Friendly trip to Suffolk! Until then... Love, nose licks & waggy tails,


From the WildPaws team x



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Kent.

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