The UK apparently spends an average of 10 Billion pounds a year on their dogs; pampered pooches indeed! With owners admitting to splashing out on things like clothes, high-end dog food, treats, seasonal outfits, days out with your dog and even Christmas stockings, our fur babies are certainly one of the family! So the demand to include them on holidays rather than leaving them behind, has also grown. Over the last few years we have also seen many more shops, cafes, and hotels welcoming our paw-some pooches. Read on to find 8 Ulti’mutt Days out, where your dog can take you!
Dogs Go Free
Step back in time with your pooch by your side into a 19th Century Prison. Experience what it was like, and hear the true stories of the men, women and children who were tried and locked up here. Explore the unique collection of historic buildings brought to life by real characters from the Jail’s past. Experience the courtrooms and listen to actual trials that were held. Walk through the narrow corridors, see the cramped, overcrowded cells, and compare them to the newer prison, with luxuries such as a hammock or wooden bed! Inveraray Jail is in the village of Inveraray, around 60 miles north of Glasgow. A beautiful part of Scotland with glorious countryside and lots of open spaces for you and your furry friend to enjoy.
Steeped in history Loch Katrine is a hotspot for discovering historical connections and legends. An inspiration for Sir Walter Scott’s poems, with links to Queen Victoria and Rob Roy MacGregor too! Dogs are welcome on the cruise for just £2 per pooch.
Book one of the ‘Scenic Cruises’ available and immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings, sailing past the mountains of the Trossachs and spotting wildlife as you go. On shore, take your four-legged companion on one of the many walking routes with starting points from the Trossachs pier. Refreshments are available from the Steamship Café which has a pawsome outdoor area for that well deserved rest.
A stones throw away in Callander is McQueen Gin. Although currently no tours available, you can visit the Distillery shop and get a real understanding of what goes into their gin as well as a few tasters, so that you can find the perfect McQueen gin for you, or as a gift. Just having launched the ‘World’s Coolest Labels’ which come to life to create an exciting, immersive gin experience for customers! Very cool!
You can also visit their McQueen Gin Emporium in Stirling. Featuring the brand’s full range you can view the distillery on big screens as well as enjoying some tasters.
Friendly Dogs on leads welcome
Castle Kennedy Gardens ‘A Hidden Scottish Treasure’ in the beautiful Dumfries & Galloway. Just 5 miles east of Stranraer, it is host to 75 acres of stunning features, exotic plants, fabulous walks and sculpted landforms. Friendly dogs on leads are welcome to explore with you. Wednesday afternoon is when you can enjoy the ‘Silent Space Initiative’ a space where you can disconnect from the world and just sit with your companion and take in your surroundings. There is a tearoom, gift shop, also binoculars and bird books for hire or why not have a doggie picnic by the loch. Days out with your dog don’t get much better than this!
Ginspired days out are never far from our minds, so about 30mins inland from Castle Kennedy is The Crafty Distillery, home to Hills & Harbour Gin. Enjoy a tour of the distillery, and learn how they make their very own spirit from scratch. After the tour you can then enjoy a perfect serve of our Hills & Harbour Gin. Why not stay for lunch in their dog friendly dining area, and enjoy the stunning views.
Solway Spirits is a small batch craft distillery located on the majestic Solway Coast in South West Scotland, with stockists in and around the area. With a extensive range of Gins and Gin Liqueurs such as Apple Caramel Gin, Gingerlicious Gin as well as their Classic ranges too, there is something for everyone.
Dogs welcome on the tour – pre-booking essential
Even the dogs can get involved in this day out. The Gin Distillery Touring, it’s a great tour for all the family. Children are welcome too and get to try a mocktail but its strictly water only for man’s best friend.
Book in advance and take part in some of the daily activities from tasting tours, masterclasses, and The Old Smiddy Gin School. The Stirling Gin Distillery is situated at the base of Stirling Castle in a building nicknamed locally as the ‘Old Smiddy’ Dating back to the 13th Century. There is also a gift shop. All in all, a totally pawtastic day!
Based in the Angus Glens of Scotland, The Gin Bothy is around 30mins north of Dundee and is a truly ‘Bothy’ experience. In days gone by a Bothy was seen as a stone building, a refuge on the hills. A sanctuary from the weather, a place to share a hipflask and exchange stories. Keeping the old traditions alive, the Gin Bothy folk are proud of their heritage and use traditional methods of production, source ingredients locally, and bottle by hand. The Bothy Experience is free to visit, with the Bothy Beginnings room taking you through the journey. Gin tasting for the 2 legged, a Bothy Larder Shop and a Bothy Bakery are all onsite. For booking click here, you will be in for an ulti’mutt day out with your dog, Fur-sure!
Nestled in Northeast Scotland, The Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay, is a gggrrrreat place to bring your fluffy friend. With Bottlenose Dolphins to be spotted from the shoreline, inland walks along the River Spey, café with outdoor seating and a very doggy friendly environment.
About 20mins drive from Spey Bay is Avva Scottish Gin. Avva Gin tours and tasting are available by pre-booking, where you will learn about the production whilst in the heart of the distillery. Meet Jessie-Jean the beautiful hand-crafted copper still. The distillery shop is also open where you can treat yourself to a G&T Set or a Cocktail Box. Check out their opening times before visiting.
Dogs are welcome as long as they are well-behaved and kept on leads!
Gordon Castle plays host to one of the oldest and largest walled kitchen gardens in Britain. There is also a café, children’s play area and shop. The garden is almost eight acres in size and is open all year round. Relax in the peaceful surroundings and see the gardeners hard at work.
Try delicious freshly picked produce in the award-winning café or have a browse in the shop. Gordon Castle Gin, Cider and Ale are all based on the plants grown on or inspired by the Gordon Castle Estate.
Children will enjoy the natural play area and seasonal garden trails, as will your dog. Make time for refreshments at the café, with outdoor seating your four legged adventurer can get a well-deserved drink and a dog nap.
Days out with your dog needn’t be complicated. Rothiemurchus is a haven for outdoor activities. Walking, cycling, ebikes, canoeing, paddle-boarding there is definitely something for everyone and their dog! Refreshments available at the Rothiemurchus Farm Shop and Deli with locally sourced fresh produce, Scottish Craft Gins, handmade chocolates, wild venison, and a dog treat or two.
Scottish Gin Heaven!
The Cairngorm mountains are the back drop to some heavenly Scottish Gins. One of Scotland’s newest micro-distilleries, The Cairngorm Gin, distils and bottles their small batch premium spirit using only the finest botanicals and crystal clear water from the River Spey.
Just a short way down the road you will find Kinrara Distillery which is open for Tasting Tours and has a shop. There is a courtyard area outside with picnic benches, where your pooch is welcome to join you for a bowl of water and some treats.
We hope you got lots of pawsome ideas for a doggy day out as well as being Ginspired along the way.