Dog walks around Edinburgh

From ancient volcanoes to sandy beaches, Scotland’s capital offers plenty for you and your dog to explore.

1. Portobello Beach

Portobello Beach

One of the most dog-friendly places in the UK has to be the coastal Scottish suburb of Portobello, which is just a short bus ride from Edinburgh city centre. A hugely popular destination for dog-walkers throughout the year, ‘Porty Beach’ bursts into life at the height of summer, drawing scores of swimmers and sunbathers.

Regardless of the season, you and your dog will enjoy roaming the two kilometres of golden sands, strolling along the promenade, or exploring the nearby public parks. One of them, Brighton Park, hosts a buzzing food market on the first Saturday of every month.

The pooch-friendly atmosphere extends to many of the local shops and businesses. So after you’ve filled your lungs with sea air, pop to the high street’s pet grooming salon for a spot of doggy indulgence, purchase some healthy goodies at the special ‘dog bakery’, or pick up a piece of liver cake from the popular beachside café.

2. Holyrood Park

Holyrood Park

Some of the main features of Edinburgh’s iconic skyline are the hills and crags of Holyrood Park, an ever-popular Site of Special Scientific Interest. Rich in history, archaeology and wildlife, the 640-acre expanse is a beautiful place for a dog walk.

Just a short stroll from the Royal Mile, Holyrood Park is located right next to Holyrood Palace. The former monastery dates back to the 12th century and is famous for being The Queen’s official Scottish residence. Equally regal in name but far greater in age, Arthur’s Seat is the highest point of the park. Once you and your dog have climbed to the top of this ancient volcano, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the city below.

Other highlights of the park include the ruins of 15th-century St Anthony’s Chapel; the towering cliff faces of Salisbury Crags; as well as beautiful Duddingston Loch, which is bustling with birdlife.

3. Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill

Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill

Holyrood Park is one of the busiest walking spots in the city so if you’re looking for a quieter option, head south to the Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill. One of Edinburgh’s hidden gems and a great place to spend an afternoon away from the buzz of the city centre, this area of outstanding natural beauty attracts joggers and dog-walkers in equal measure.

You and your dog can explore the peaceful wooded nature reserve of the Hermitage of Braid then climb Blackford Hill, which is home to the historic Royal Observatory. Although the steep ascent might have you both puffing, you’ll be rewarded at the top with the finest view in Edinburgh.

Your dog might also enjoy a paddle in the shallow sections of the Braid Burn, a small river running through the wildlife-rich nature reserve. And once you’re both ready for some refreshments, you’ll find several dog-friendly cafés along nearby Morningside Road.

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