Scotland is a beautiful country with plenty of places to explore, for humans and dogs alike. If you're looking for the best dog walks in Scotland, you're in luck. In this post, we'll highlight five of the most scenic and dog-friendly walks that you and your pooch can enjoy together. Whether you're after woodland walks, coastal adventures or hillside hikes, Scotland really does have it all.
Crinan Woodland and Canal Circuit (Argyll & Bute)
- 2 Miles
- 1 Hour
Crinan Woods is a beautiful woodland area that offers a range of dog-friendly walks. From easy strolls to more challenging hikes, there’s something for everyone here. The circular walk takes in a lovely section of the Crinan Canal with the sea on one side. It then climbs through the ancient native Crinan Woodland, with great views over the sea to Islay and Jura.
The woods are teeming with wildlife and a visit to the woods and the wider area gives you a chance to see three of Scotland’s ‘Big Five’ iconic wild animals, including red squirrel, otter, red deer and harbour seal. Look out too for bats and pearl-bordered fritillary butterflies.
- Begin at Crinan car park, where the Crinan Canal ends
- Follow the towpath. Walk to the right of the basin and the boats, then cross the canal at one of the lock gates. Then turn right and follow the towpath between the sea and the canal.
- If you look out to see you can sometimes spot the island of Eilean Glas. It’s recommended to keep your dog on its lead when you get to the river entrance ahead, as this is often a popular spot with fishermen.
- Cross the swing bridge and turn left on the far side.
- When you see the sign for Crinan Woods footpath, turn right. You’ll now be entering into a remnant of the Atlantic Oakwoods that used to be common on the west coast. Follow this path through the woods until you get to a junction, follow this left onto the ridge.
- Following the path as it descends from the ridge, turn right at the sign post for ‘New York Ruins’. This will take you past some ruined cottages that are believed to have been named after the York Building Company.
- From here, you’ll be guided back up to a wooded ridge where you’ll follow the marked path heading right. Don’t miss the incredible views over Crinan before you take a final left turn back to the starting point.
The Hermitage (Perthshire)
- 2 Miles
- 1 Hour
The Hermitage is a beautiful woodland area located in Perthshire. It is a great place to take your dog for a walk. The walk is relatively easy and takes you through towering Douglas firs to the folly of Ossian’s Hall which offers you the best views out over the thunderous Black Linn Falls. The walk is approximately 2 miles long and is perfect for dogs of all ages and abilities.
The trails are well-maintained, and there are plenty of signs to guide you along the way. The route you take is also sheltered from the wind for the most part. The Hermitage is understandably a very popular spot for dog walkers, so you’re sure to meet other dogs and their owners along the way.
Glen Ogle Trail (Stirlingshire)
- 7 Miles
- 3 - 4 Hours
This is a beautiful dog walk that takes you through the heart of the Scottish Highlands. It is located in Stirling and is perfect for dogs that love to run and play. The walk is around 7 miles long and takes you through the stunning Glen Ogle valley. The trail is relatively flat and easy, making it perfect for dogs of all ages and abilities.
- The route starts at a car park near the Watersports Centre in Lochearnhead, and goes along the A85 towards the village, crossing the Ogle Burn on a footbridge.
- After turning right at the junction with the A84, the route climbs steeply on a path signed for the Glen Ogle Trail, passing through a kissing gate and eventually joining the old railway line. This path is part of the Sustrans national cycle network and the Rob Roy Way long distance path, and offers good views back over Lochearnhead.
- The route follows the railway line and eventually crosses the impressive Glen Ogle Viaduct.
- At a signpost and stile on the right, the Old Military Road stretch back to Lochearnhead can be taken, although it offers rougher going. If you’re keen to avoid any bogs then it’s advised that you return the same way that you came.
- The route then heads downhill, crossing a couple of stone bridges and passing an area heavily affected by landslides in 2004, before finally descending to a footbridge over the river and returning to the car park.
Bruar Falls (Perthshire)
- 1.5 Miles
- 1 Hour
- Be careful of your dog along the steep edges to the gorge.
This is a beautiful dog walk that takes you through the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. It is located in Perthshire and is perfect for dogs that love to explore. The walk will take you through the beautiful Bruar Gorge, formed over years by the similarly named falls, this area is absolutely stunning and is a must-see for anyone visiting the area.
Due to the nature of Bruar Gorge, there are some parts of the trail that are edged by a steep drop down to the river. It’s recommended that you keep your dogs on a lead at this point, however there is a swimming opportunity for dogs at the start of the route.
Balmedie Beach (Aberdeenshire)
This is one of Scotland’s longest beaches, stretching fourteen miles from the mouth of the River Don in Aberdeen. It is perfect for dogs that love to run and play in the sand. The beach is well-maintained and is perfect for dogs of all ages and abilities.
If you’ve taken the time to explore these different dog walks across Scotland, then please don’t hesitate to check out some more of our dog walking guides!