Hello, fellow travelers! We are so excited to take you through our dog-friendly highlights of Edinburgh. The capital of Scotland is one of the most magical cities in the world. Both Charles Dickens and Alan Rickman have stated that coming to Edinburgh is like coming home, and this is a feeling which I share. Throughout our seven years of traveling the world together, Scotland was the place I most desired to visit with Quigley.
I am so grateful that we could call Cheval The Edinburgh Grand our home during this journey. I will never forget our first morning with Cheval, stepping out on the balcony, recalling George Eliot’s beautiful musings on the city, “When I looked out in the morning, it is as if I had waked in Utopia.” Truly, this was our experience, made all the better by our luxurious suite, the kindest of staff, and the knowledge that much of the best that Edinburgh has to offer were mere steps outside our door. Below are a few of our favorite stops in the neighborhood.
Where to eat
When it comes to dining, Edinburgh is rather pet-friendly. However, a few locations stand out as not merely allowing dogs but rather inviting your furry friend inside with great enthusiasm. Our top endorsement only requires a quick ride in the elevator! The Register Club is on the fourth floor of Cheval The Edinburgh Grand, and it is a dream come true. Quigley donned his most dapper jumper before we set off to enjoy their lush couches and classic bar. We recommend taking your pup to enjoy The Grand Afternoon Tea, featuring both light bites and more substantial food, as well as wine and cocktails. Bowtie collars not required, but always welcome.
Our other recommendation is a mere stone’s throw from Edinburgh Grand. The Refinery by Drake & Morgan overlooks St Andrew Square. Their menu is a perfect balance of sophistication and comfort. While I indulged in a lavish meal, Quigley happily accepted a vast number of treats and head pats from the staff. Cuddled up in an armchair with a hot toddy, we observed a significant amount of other dogs trotting in and out with their owners– this was the place to be with your canine friends.
Where to Shop
If you are looking for the perfect gift or just enjoying the opportunity to treat yourself, you needn’t walk much further than Edinburgh’s famous Princes Street, only one block south of Cheval the Edinburgh Grand. Like many city center shopping areas, this lengthy, bustling street is a blend of old and new shops. However, unlike other Capital thoroughfares, these shops only fill the northern side of the road, leaving the south open to beautiful gardens, historical monuments, and fabulous views of the Castle. The views added a burst of charm every time we exited the shops, our favorites including Waterstones Books & Paper Tiger, and Quigley quite happily chose a new stuffed wooly friend at the historic Romanes & Paterson.
Where to Walk
The magic of Edinburgh is best to experience on foot. It’s easy to get lost in the breathtaking views, and there are countless stunning walks to take. We recommend starting with a stroll through the Princes Street Gardens for a chance to get a closer look at the monuments and statues that undoubtedly caught your eye while shopping. Quigley loved the grand Ross Fountain, which sits below the Castle. A further meander into Old Town provides access to a few of the most photographed spots in the city, including The Vennel Viewpoint, Grassmarket Square (where every loyal pup should detour to visit Greyfriars Bobby!), and of course, the Royal Mile.
Where to Play
After being a good boy (or girl) amidst the shopping and crowds, your pup deserves to have a little extra fun! Thankfully, there are few local spaces where they can engage their curiosity or stretch their legs a bit more freely. Small and well-behaved dogs are happily welcome at Camera Obscura. Quigley particularly loved viewing himself in the funhouse mirrors, the digital koi pond flooring, and the mirror maze.
Of course, no trip to Edinburgh would be complete without taking in the views. Quigley and I enjoyed a sunset atop Calton Hill and National Monument, where he chased sticks and made friends with other visitors while I read more about Scotland’s rich history. With the city’s twinkling lights on one side and the moon rising above Arthur’s Seat on the other, I couldn’t think of a more beautiful way to close out our time in Edinburgh.
We hope you enjoyed the tips, inspiration, and — of course — the fluff. We look forward to returning to Edinburgh, and to more perfect stays with Cheval Collection. If you are looking to book your stay, keep an eye on this space over the holiday season! 😉