Dog friendly holidays in Dumfries & Galloway
Dog friendly things to do, places to eat and dog services for your holiday at Orroland
Dumfries & Galloway is well known for its naturally inspiring environment which makes dog walking a particular pleasure. There's a splendid array of walks through the varied scenery of this area aptly known as 'Scotland in miniature'; coast, hill, forestry, lochside and farmland - it's all within 30 minutes of Orroland.
Many great walks are listed at walkhighlands.co.uk. We’d recommend Screel Hill from this list, it can be rough and rocky near the top but a great view rewards the climb. Great for energetic dogs and owners who enjoy getting 'off road'!
Dundrennan, the nearest village to Orroland, has a 2.8 mile loop around the village, its Jubilee Walk is pleasant and you can walk it from Orroland. Here you will experience great scenic areas, expansive coastal views and have the chance to rest on the benches located on the route. Our next nearest village is Auchencairn, which has a number of lovely coastal walks and its own sandy beach, Red Haven. Dalbeattie also has many good walks and if you visit in July you could take part in the popular annual walking festival.
There are lots of historical walks in Dumfries and Galloway including castle sites, cairns and abbeys. Their dog policy is mostly open access to explore some of Dumfries and Galloway's hidden treasures with your best friend.
The Forestry Commission Scotland lists in detail the forest walks near Orroland if you search for forests near the town of Dundrennan. Here you will see a list of the closest forest walks and can find out about the facilities available and directions to find them, as well as what you can expect - mainly breathtaking views and a variety of coastal and hill walks which will amaze at any time of year. Many of these walks are on the outskirts of the local towns, Kirkcudbright, Dalbeattie, Castle Douglas and Gatehouse of Fleet, so you are not far from being able to pick up any essentials for your walk or head for a meal afterwards.
Mark Hill is a good walk 5 miles from Orroland and it has everything: forest, hills, beach and history (Mote of Mark, the site of an ancient settlement). You can park at the seaside village of Rockcliffe – there’s good parking with toilets at both Rockcliffe and Kippford. You could pick up a picnic lunch from Dalbeattie and easily find somewhere for a picnic. If you combine Mark Hill and Rockcliffe Woods, it's about 5 miles, but there are plenty of options to suit your and your dog's level of capability and it's mostly well graded track with blue markers climbing up and round the hill (of moderate difficulty). The 'Muckle Walk' has spectacular views of the Solway from the viewpoint on the top of Mark Hill.
As you can see there are extensive and varied walks that welcome dogs providing you act responsibly, clean up any mess and can control your dog at all times, particularly important in the spring time with young calves, lambs and protected wildlife nearby. We suggest you avoid entering fields with cattle and livestock. Scottish access rights apply if you're walking your dog(s) provided they're kept under control. It is up to you to decide if your dog needs to be on a lead or not in most cases.
Top five dog friendly visitor attractions
The natural visitor attraction, Galloway Forest Park is splendid for dog and wildlife lovers. There are many walks suitable for your dog within the park. Raiders Road is a favourite area for locals and a great place for a picnic and day out with your dog. Similar to the 7Stanes locations which are also great dog walking grounds, they operate an open/responsible access policy for dogs. Information is signposted for dog owners at different times of the year to make you aware of seeing young wildlife, such as young roe deer or red squirrels so as not to disturb them. The wildlife are often quite tame and can get close on the walks, so if your dog is likely to chase them you should keep them on a lead in certain areas. There are fantastic cafes at Kirroughtree and Clatteringshaws in the Galloway Forest Park (both have new cafes and facilities). Both are very welcoming to dogs and owners, though you may be requested to keep your dog outside of the eating area. They provide a sheltered place to either tie your dog up or for you to sit near them on the picnic benches outside.
Popular visitor centre Cream O' Galloway, has water bowls outside near the picnic benches and has designated a 7-acre field as a dog-walking area. Once inside this field, dogs can run free, it’s all fenced off by deer fencing so you can let your dog off the lead without worry. There are also two scenic trails which are easy going and have benches to sit and enjoy their delicious organic ice-cream. They serve good lunches and coffee too, although dogs are not allowed in the cafe. You can easily make a day of this visit, especially if you have children.
Drumlanrig Castle offers a super dog friendly day out, you can choose from short walking trails to more strenuous way marked paths. The numerous trails, which range from 1.5km to 7km, follow an extensive network of paths and tracks around the estate grounds– some of which date from the Victorian period.
Threave Gardens and Estate near Castle Douglas has very pleasant walks around the estate which are dog friendly. Although dogs are not allowed in the main gardens or in the house, you will find a map of the dog friendly trails outside the visitor reception. They have dog bowls with water and offer benches to sit outside and eat with your dog, they provide take-away sandwiches from their cafe so you can eat outside and their staff are most helpful.
Caerlaverock Castle welcomes dogs on a lead to explore the grounds and castle. They also have dog water bowls for your dog. The staff are very friendly and although you won't be allowed to bring your dog inside the cafe (unless an assistance dog) you'll be able to sit and eat outside with them.
Dog friendly pubs, restaurants and tea rooms in Dumfries & Galloway
All offer a warm welcome to visitors with dogs and provide water bowls.
The Anchor Inn - Kippford (no enclosed garden, so "leads on" outside - but they are likely to be pretty tired and not mind if you have just been on one of the local walks!). Roaring fire in October - good atmosphere.
The Selkirk Arms - Kirkcudbright - Dogs are welcome in the Sports bar and the garden area, food is a high standard and friendly staff.
Masonic Arms - Gatehouse of Fleet - Popular stop off for hearty bar meals, reasonable prices and good menu.
Abbey Cottage Tearoom - New Abbey. Ideal patio garden next to Sweetheart Abbey, perfect for four legged friends! Stunning location to visit and cosy welcoming atmosphere. ''Doggie water bowls and tea for their owners''. Delicious homemade soups, baking and speciality teas and coffees.
Our local sandy beaches are a heaven for dogs at any time of year
Dogs delight in exploring the shore
Freedom to run off steam at Dhoon Beach
Winter fun at Carrick Bay
Rockcliffe - Sandy beach surrounded by a nature reserve so can spend all day exploring here if you take one of the walking trails.
Sandyhills - Large sandy beach with rock pools. Ideal for paddling and bathing.
Southerness - Huge expanse of sand either side of Southerness point near Dumfries.
Brighouse Bay - Popular sandy bay with rock pools and walks around the coast line.
Carrick Bay - Secluded sandy bay with stunning views over the Isles of Fleet, very quiet and peaceful.
The Dhoon - (Kirkcudbright - Borgue road) Large area of sand and green parking area with picnic benches - ideal space for throwing a ball or frisbee. Pictured above.
More details and maps can be found on the Solway Firth Partnership website which also lists the facilities and reviews for each beach.
Useful dog contacts and services
Local Vets (24 hours)
The vets we use at Orroland are Stewartry Vets in Castle Douglas: 01556 502263.
Other local vets include:
Galloway Vets Kirkcudbright: 01557 330 632
Dunmuir vets Castle Douglas: 01556 502 400
Holly at 'Pampered Palace Pooches' located within 'paws 4 claws' pet shop Castle Douglas - 07971 309 328
Local Pet Shops
Castle Douglas - Paws 4 Claws is a great local pet shop on the high street and there is also a large farm and pet shop, WCF, which is located near the top roundabout (near the town livestock marketplace) and they have just about everything you could need for your pet, from food to brushes and clippers. Wilkinsons in Castle Douglas also has a range of dog beds, food and essentials.
Kirkcudbright - Supersave has a small selection of dog supplies, blankets and treats, balls and chews.
Dalbeattie has a Pet Shop, 'Pet Port' on the High Street and M McCowan and Son also has a range of dog food and pet products along with fishing equipment and supplies.
Dumfries has a 'Pets at Home' on the Peel Centre Industrial Park.
Dog Walkers, Sitters and Kennels
Campbelton Kennels & Cattery
Campbelton Farm, Twynholm, Kirkcudbright, Kirkcudbrightshire, DG6 4SD
Tel: 01557 860650
Crinan Cottage, Moss Road, Dalbeattie, DG5 4NW
Tel: 01556 612954
Dog friendly holiday cottages Scotland | Holiday cottages with dog kennels