Area Guide The Borders
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The Borders

Scotland does not have set footpaths because of a Scottish law which grants right of access across most land, regardless of who owns it. This means that some areas may have designated paths, while others don’t so it's a good idea to check out access rights and where you and your dog can walk safely. Outdoor Access Scotland (oudooraccess-scotland.com) has free downloadable leaflets containing dog friendly walking routes.

The National Trust for Scotland cares for over 76,000 hectares of breath-taking countryside. This organisation has also created a series of walking trails which you can download free as pdfs from its website www.nts.org.uk

The Scottish Lowlands region lies between the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and the Lammermuir Hills. There are the Peatland and Moorfoot Hills, along with rolling farmland, woodland and river valleys to explore. The dog friendly Pentland Hills Regional Park offers open spaces and a selection of picnic sites where dogs are welcome.

Edinburgh, an ancient city and cosmopolitan capital of Scotland, has numerous hotels, pubs and cafes which welcome dogs. You can enjoy a stroll in dog friendly Inverleith Park or along the Water of Leith walkway, or even walk up Arthur’s Seat (the iconic former volcano) to enjoy spectacular views across the city.

Five miles out of Edinburgh city centre is dog friendly Dalkeith Country Park with its resident Highland cows, lambs, piglets and horses. It has riverside trails which offer a chance of wildlife encounters with herons, roe deer and even otters. 

Originally a country estate, dog friendly Vogrie Country Park retains much of its Victorian character with sweeping carriage drives, landscaped vistas and walled garden.

To the south of the historic town of Linlithgow in the attractive West Lothian countryside is Beecraigs Country Park which offers dog friendly walking trails through its woodlands. Polkemmet Country Park, once an historic estate, is now a popular visitor attraction and welcomes dogs and their owners to enjoy beautiful woodland and riverside walks weaving through oak and Scots pine trees. Look out for bats and badgers, foxes and water voles. Check out also the dog friendly Almondell and Calderwood Country Park with its oak and hazel trees.

The Scottish Borders has a varied terrain of hills, moorland, alleys, agricultural land and rocky coastline to explore. There are dog friendly trails through forests and woodlands throughout the region and a number of nature reserves to explore. One of which, Aberlady Bay, near Gullane, is home to large colonies of pink-footed geese and waders which can be viewed from shoreline trails.

Dog friendly Yellowcraigs Beach near North Berwick, is a natural cove beach with spectacular views to the 1885 lighthouse on Fidra Island, the inspiration for Rober Louis Stevenson’s tale Treasure Island. A specific dog walk has been created away from the beach with dog bin facilities.

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