Best dog-friendly cottages in Scotland


With the huge expanse of the highlands, the dramatic vistas of windblown islands and many a forested glen, Scotland is an incredible place for a dog-friendly holiday. We look for places with character and individuality for our collection of dog-friendly cottages in Scotland, so you and your best friend can roam the glens and master the munros with more than cosy beds and baskets to come back to. Here are five of our favourites for experiences that’ll have your tails wagging. 

The Old Laundry, Dunalastair Estate

Just south of the Cairngorms, in the woods on the shores of a long ribbon of loch, sits this lovely old cottage designed for you and your dog to melt into the quiet of the Scottish countryside. You’ll find treats and bowls waiting for you, as well as a huge selection of walks detailed by owner Rose. The estate is a working farm, so there are points where you’ll need to keep your dog on a lead, but that still leaves plenty of room to explore, with the Glen of Rannoch great for those less inclined to climb mountains. When you’re done, retire to the quirky, open-plan cottage and sink into the plinth-mounted bath to look at the views while you steam and the dog lies alseep by the fire.

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Badan Mhugaidh

A paradise for the adventurous walker and the hardier breeds, with miles of highland wilderness to explore and stunning views of the mountains that change every minute with the shifting sun. Owners Jan and Nigel have crafted every detail of the cottages to make them havens of cosiness and style in the highlands. Two identical four-person homes are separated by a shared boot room, where you’ll find the dog beds too. Despite the remoteness of the setting (nearest shops are a few miles away) you’re blessed with an array of award-winning eateries around Torridon and the Applecross peninsula, so you can finish wild days with an evening of indulgence. Head out to the Falls of Balgy and a secret sandy beach in the mountains around a freshwater loch, hike through the hills then find a great pub or a superb restaurant and settle in for local seafood overlooking the Minch with Skye and the Hebrides on the horizon.  

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Lochinch Castle Cottages

Out on the isthmus that marks the southwestern edge of Scotland, this cottage has access to some stunning scenery. The castle gardens (to which guests have unlimited access) are 75 acres of sculpted terraces and leafy avenues, and there are loch walks, coves and the views across the sea to Ireland. You’ll find beds and plenty of advice on walks for the dogs, along with spacious, comfortable rooms for the humans. Once you’re settled in, choose between visiting the local whisky distillery, a scenic walk at the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, Wigtown’s Book Town or the picturesque seaside village of Portpatrick, home o some excellent seafood restaurants, village stores and pubs.

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Deep into the glens north of Dundee might not be the sort of place you’d expect to find one of Scotland’s finest luxury dog-friendly cottages, but Balbinny is exactly that. Three cottages, each sleeping four, are all decorated with an understated elegance, awash with pale wood colours and natural light. They are gathered around a stunning room with a pool, jacuzzi and a long glass wall so you can swim and soak with views of the hills, but even better is getting out to explore. Hike pass the pictish stones and along the Lemno burn, roam through Isla in the west to the Glenshee ski resort or up Glen Esk to the Folk Museum. Stop to try the local specialties – scallops and langoustines, Arbroath smokies – or raid the farmers’ markets and pick up anything from great beef to whisky and local potato vodka. You and your dog will come home tired, full and happy to lounge on the sofa or slip into spa.  

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Cose Farmhouse

After a few days here in the hills, you’ll forget the outside world even exists. As you wander the hills, keep an eye out (and a hand on the lead if your dog’s the chasing type) for deer, red squirrels and even a nesting pair of osprey who call the area home. In the immediate vicinity lies Cawdor Castle and a little farther afield Culloden Battlefield and the ancient stone circles of Clava Cairns. On the coast is the historic barrack town of Fort George, from which you can even go dolphin spotting. The temptation though, is to sit back in this remote hideaway, get the fire going and pad around your calming cottage of soft earth and wood tones, without a care in the world.

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Written by
Chris Elmes

Chris is our copywriter, who spins enticing articles out of rough notes and travel tales. Having grown up in rural Wiltshire with only cats, he defected to Team Dog and now roams the countryside with Porth, a gorgeous spaniel named after a Welsh town in what he considers to be a joke. They love disappearing into the hills and coming back hungry for a good pub meal, although Porth has not been convinced to follow Chris into vegetarianism.

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