First time visitors to Scotland either will be amazed at this rugged wilderness. It is certainly very different to anywhere south of the border. With fine historical cities and fabulous architecture contrasting with remote isles with crofter's cottages, there is plenty to see and do. Scotland is divided into the Lowlands , including Dumfries , Edinburgh and Glasgow , and the Highlands with the brooding Grampian Mountains , Aberdeen and some scattered towns. Once you cross the remains of Hadrian's Wall from England you will notice the accent change as well as the clothing and banknotes.
One of the best areas for a dog friendly holiday in Scotland is around the Solway Firth in south western Scotland . It has wild moorland walks and sandy beaches for exploring. Even the cities in Scotland have extensive parks for walking your pets. Enjoy the popular dog friendly walk from Edinburgh up Arthur's Seat, a nearby hill with great views over Edinburgh as far as the Firth of Forth on a clear day. There are several different routes which can take from 30 minutes to 2 hours. East Lothian , to the east of Edinburgh , has lush farmland with some good walks, castles and nature reserves.
The most famous castle is the ruined Tantallon Castle on the headland east of Edinburgh , which makes a great dog-friendly excursion. At the end of the day there are plenty of pubs in Scotland which welcome pets, or you can dine at an outdoor table. Mix history with a dog friendly walk at Linlithgow Palace where Mary, Queen of Scots was born. Further north, The Falkirk Wheel is a boat lift which transfers boats between two canals. There are some pleasant walks along the canal in either direction.
You may want to take a boat trip with your dog and there are some things to consider. Most large boats on the lochs will allow dogs as long as they remain on a lead. Smaller boats and individually hired boats may be more difficult. You dog may be frightened by the noise and vibration of the motor. Some dogs have an instinctive fear of the water and will shiver or pace up and down showing their nervousness. You should always fit your pet with a personal flotation device, and they should get used to this in the home, before venturing down to the dock. It is best to secure your dog to the boat to avoid them slipping and losing their balance until they find their ?sea legs'. After a few trips most dogs acclimatize and look forward to a boat trip, but it may take time.
Wherever you choose to stay in Scotland you will find some excellent places to walk, weather permitting. Plan to carry lightweight waterproofs with you incase the clouds descend and drizzle sets in. Have some old towels in the car too for drying your dog, and a car seat cover to keep the worst of the wet off the car's upholstery.