pubs welcome dogs edinburgh, dog friendly accommodation edinburgh, dogs welcome scotlandWell, the last time Jane and I went to Edinburgh, it was a bit of a disaster, relaxing repast-wise. We were with Jane’s friend Lorena and her baby Rosie and Edinburgh recorded a big, fat fail in terms of finding a dog-and-baby friendly eaterie – I, Attlee Common aka Phileas being the dog and Rosie being the baby. (Rosie is not a baby now – she is two. I am still a dog.)

Pubs welcomed me – booze hound extraordinaire that I am – but not Rosie. Cafes welcomed Rosie but not me. This was negative-amaze-bones. All Jane and Lorena, old university friends, wanted was somewhere to sit and have a chat. (Old as in lots of years of friendship, Jane is asking me to clarify. Not old as in old. Jane is only 251 in dog years.)

famous dogs scotland, greyfrairs bobby edinburgh, dog friendly edinburgh, dog friendly travel website ukI was pretty unimpressed with Scotland’s capital. Is it not the home of Greyfriars Bobby – is there not a statue to him in the city? The faithful and loyal hound who visited his late master’s grave  in Greyfriars Kirkyard every day for 14 years. And how has Edinburgh repaid the faith and loyalty of canine-kind? By turning us away at every door.

Anyway, we decided to visit Edinburgh again – to give it a second chance. I am all for second chances, having had one myself, when Jane chose me at Battersea Dogs (and Cats- grrrrr) Home. Ah – cue the violins. Now get on with tramping the streets of Edinburgh, hound – no room for maudlin mutts on this site.

Jane and I started our research at a dog-friendly kip where we could bed down for the night – the Travelodge on Queen’s Street, which is two streets parallel to Princes Street, making it very, very central. So it’s in the New Town and it’s new – we stayed in May 2012 and it had only been open for about a week. Opposite the Travelodge, are some fine gardens containing smells and shrubs and grubs and very likely SQUIRRELS but, at time of going to press, these gardens, beautiful and beckoning as they were, were closed to Travelodge guests. Only residents of the surrounding flats and houses are granted the keys to the kingdom. Our Travelodge swipe card did not cut the mustard. However, the nice lady on reception said that the hotel is trying to organise it so that its guests are granted temporary keys to the gardens as well. And, really, this is only right because Jane and I were residents on that street, even if only for one night, and I so wanted a sprint around those gardens.

dog friendly cafes edinburgh, edinburgh dog-friendly hotels, edinburgh dog friendly B&bsAnyway, Queen Street Gardens denied to us, Jane and I commenced our research on Hanover Street, just around the corner from the Travelodge. It was a bright and sunny Saturday morning – Edinburgh was having a heat wave – and we were in high spirits. Jane, being in one of her chatty moods, asked a lady on the street to recommend a café and she pointed us in the direction of Henderson’s. Well, there were two things wrong with Henderson’s. One – dogs were only allowed outside in a teeny weeny courtyard with two tables. That was livable with, as it was a sunny day. But the second problem with Henderson’s is that it was bloody vegetarian. Its rolls and breads and cakes, all freshly made, might have been the finest in Edinburgh, as everyone told us was true, but, frankly, if there’s no meat in your sausage, what is the point? (Actually, there was vegetarian haggis in Jane’s breakfast and it was pretty fine. Although how people tell whether a haggi is vegetarian or carnivorous when they catch it on the Scottish moors, I do not know.) So, IMHO (in my hound’s opinion) Henderson’s in the sun – good. Henderson’s in the rain – bad.

Jane and I were not to be cowed, however. Cows are stooopid animals and Jane and I not stoopid. In fact, you could call us the Woofward and Barkstein of the canine journalism world so we carried on.

Spotting a lady with a dog, Jane asked, hard hitting Barkstein-style: ‘Are there any dog-friendly cafes in Edinburgh?’

The woman replied, yes – in Stockbridge. Stockbridge is the dog-friendliest part of town, she said, but it’s a 15 minute walk away.

A 15-minute walk – that’s a mere skip for an athlete like me. So off we went. This was my own personal Woofward and Barkstein Waterbowl Scandal and I was not missing it. And the Woofward and Barkstein Water-Bowl scandal we did indeed unearth. What would a right-thinking dog reckon on seeing this sign?

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A right thinking dog would reckon that dogs were not only welcomed inside but AMORED. I speak enough German to know what Amore means – LOVE. But, guess what, dogs are not AMORED inside – they are not even allowed. This would be a grande joke if it was funny but, frankly, it isn’t. Change your name AMORE DOGS because you don’t AMORE dogs at all. Change the name to HATE dogs or I will ring Trade Descriptions on my Phileas Phone.

Grrrrrrrowl of annoyance. Then deep breath because we have made it to Stockbridge and very pleasant it is too, with a river running through it and lots of old Georgian buildings and interesting shops.

dog friendly cafes edinburgh, dog friendly shops edinburgh, dog friendly travel websiteWe thought we’d try the first café we ventured across and a strange place it was too – half café, with big wooden tables, and half bicycle shop. But – hoorah! – dogs were allowed. The very friendly waiter/manager of Ronde said that so many of the regular customers were dog owners (although I don’t like the word owner – dog accompaniers is better, as humans have the privilege of accompanying us on our journey through life) that they couldn’t turn us away. Jane enjoyed a fine cup of coffee and I enjoyed the chance to relax for half an hour, content in my Stockbridge is Mutt Mecca of Edinburgh scoop, before we were off again.

The next place we came across in Stockbridge was Hamilton’s, a pub/restaurant that had won lots of awards. Dogs welcome and a big sign on the door saying so – high-paw!

We wandered on. I was super-proud of myself and my amaze-bones research and that was before we happened upon the most amaze place of all – the Proper Tea Shop on St Stephens street. And very Proper it was too as not only were dogs welcome, they were positively embraced. The Proper owner of the Proper Tea Shop has two Proper dogs of her own and is clearly one of those rare and Proper people who appreciates us canine kings for the superior specimens we are. I was fussed and fawned over and pronounced the best dog in the world. (Or something along those lines.)

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Me, Phileas Dogg, investigating the PROPER Tea Shop, in right and proper fashion





















Job done, Stockbridge explored and granted a scores on the paws of five by Phileas Dogg HQ, it was time to meet Lorena, Whippy and Rosie for some lounging in the sun in Princes Street Gardens.


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Rosie and Lorena - Rosie is camera shy, not like ME




Statue of Adam Black, Princes Street Gardens. And seagull











  • Greyfriars Bobby statue is at corner of Candlemaker Row and George IV Bridge, EH1 2QQ. For the full Greyfriars Bobby story, log on to www.greyfriarsbobby.co.uk
  • Travelodge has over 500 hotels in the UK – dogs welcome. Travelodge Edinburgh Queen Street is at 30-31 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JX. Tel: 0871 984 6143; book at www.travelodge.co.uk. Prices start at £19.99; £20 per night per dog.
  • Henderson’s is at 92-94 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DR Tel: 0131 225 6694; www.hendersonsofedinburgh.co.uk
  • Ronde Café and Cycle Shop is at 66-68 Hamilton Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, EH3 5AZ. Tel: 0131 260 9888; www.rondebike.com
  • Hamilton’s Bar and Kitchen, 16-18 Hamilton Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, EH3 5AU Tel: 0131 226 4199; www.hamiltonsedinburgh.co.uk
  • The Proper Tea Shop, 24 St Stephen Street, Edinburgh Tel: 0131 226 1070


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Me at the Scott Monument: to another man of letters, Sir Walter Scott

Edinburgh’s Best Walk

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Up Arthur’s Seat – grrrrrrhuzzah – an extinct volcano bang in the middle of the city. Scary swans at the start and a steep uphill climb but lots of smells in the undergrowth like rabbits and haggises and a chance for me to show off my fleet-footed mountain goat impression. And an amaze-bones view of the whole city from the top. About an hour and a half up and down.




Ask a local:

Lorena’s favourite Edinburgh bars (and they’re dog-friendly; we’ve checked) are:

























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12 Responses

  1. Jack the Lad says:

    Hi, I’m an Edinburgh dog (Jack the Lad) and I lurrrv it! But, then, I’m not interested in smelly old pubs and my woman makes me scrummy meals in my very own kitchen here (where, incidently, I do allow humans, any dog who does not attempt to get into my bed but absolutely no cats!). No, the grrrreat thing about Edinburgh are all the parks and wild places. My own personal stomping ground is Blackford Hill – loads of rabbits, squirrels, trees, bushes…………and, this is one of my favouites, dog-crazy people to scratch my ears, admire my rippling physique and (although my woman does not like this) give me doggy biscuits.
    Then there are The Meadows. This is where all the hottest bitches hang out……….grrrrh!! Don’t talk to my woman about that one – she can be a bit of a prude sometimes…….wink, wink, nudge, nudge if you get my drift.
    Nah! if you know your way around Edinburgh is a bit of a doggy heaven I’d say.

  2. Mark Man says:

    Hi I was wondering if you’re up for selling your site? Please get in touch whenever you read this. Cheers. Mark

  3. Sarah Owen says:

    We always stay in Travelodge as they are brilliant with dogs. Cost per dog looks like £20 per night but is actually per stay. If you stay a few nights it becomes great value.
    Thanks for the info as we are staying in Edinburgh right now.

  4. Kate G says:

    Other great (good food and/or beer) dog friendly places in Edinburgh include:

    -Patisserie Florentin (cafe), Stockbridge.
    -Zazou Narrowboat (cafe), Merchiston
    -Blackbird (bar and restaurant), Leven Street, Tollcross
    -The Hanging Bat (bar), Lothian Road
    -Red Squirel (bar), Lothian Road
    -Holyrood 9a (cafe/bar/restaurant), just off the royal mile
    -Stockbridge Tap (pub), Stockbridge
    -Cloisters (pub/bar), Tollcross
    -The Caley Sample Rooms (bar and restaurant), Dalry/Fountainbridge
    -Brewdog (bar), Cowgate
    -The Saint (bar), Stockbridge
    -Hamiltons (bar and restaurant), Stockbridge
    -The Wally Dug (pub), New Town
    -The Ventoux (bar/cafe), Tollcross
    -The Fountain (bar and restaurant), Fountainbridge/Lothian road
    -Peartree House (bar/pub), Newington/Southside

    Still working our way around, but hopefully will find a few other nice places. Lots of old man pubs let dogs, but all the ones listed above are either cafes, or nice bars/restaurants etc.

    • AttleeCommon says:

      Thanks so much for this Kate: it’s really useful. Keep us posted! X

    • Eva says:

      Hi there,
      Thanks a lot, because i am to visit Edinburgh with my two dad’s tomorrow.
      We are from the Netherlands and my two dad’s did not know dogs (even a prinses like me) are not allowed in lots of (the most) restaurants throughout the UK.
      A big paw
      A real boulab lady

  5. Andrew Raistrick says:

    Hi I’m ruby and I’m only 7 weeks old, so zzzzzzzzzz, chew, zzzzzz, hi I’m ruby and I’m…loving life.

    Just moved to Merchiston and this couple seem really nice but they put me in the freezing cold in this garden of theirs and then cuddle me lots when I pee or poo or shiver. Nice but dim this pair, zzzzzzz, hi I’m ruby, so anyway, great story about Edinburgh can’t wait to explore, I’m too small and tired right now. But the bigger and louder one of this nice couple keeps saying my name and pint, then there are some other strange words such as the following, he seems to want to take me to these words…

    Freemans, Marchmont, – great coffee ans snacks
    Canny Mans, Mornigside, – best pub in the world
    Earl of Marchmont, – good boozer

  6. Andrew Raistrick says:

    Zzzzzzzz sorry fell asleep, ruby here again, I’ll pop back and see what’s been added to list, then I can drag the loud one there when we go outside and it’s a bit warmer, bye for now….

  7. Epix says:

    My owners take me to a great new place in the West End… Queensferry Street.. Smells like coffee! Affogato its called. All brown on the outside but they have a water bowl and some pretty little bushes for snuffling!

    I’m allowed to go inside with them, just in the front area but that’s okay… that’s where the fun is. All the pretty cakes and people and Gelato! So many flavours of Gelato in a frisbee that spins round and round and round!

    I make puppy eyes at everyone but a gravy flavoured one has not arrived yet… I will keep practising in front of the mirror though. Sunshine and gelato for my owners near the Princes Street Gardens for puppy me! A fun summer ahead.

  8. Evie says:

    I’m Evie, Cavestie, and our friends have opened a lovely Cafe called the Blue Bear, Canonmills – bottom of Dundas Street. It is baby and dug friendly, yummy human food, water bowls, and you get loads of cuddles. Check it out.. x

  9. Helen says:

    Mac the Patterdale here. My lovely human mummy Helen has just been chuckling out loud while reading about your adventures in Edinburgh. The thing is I get so upset every time Helen leaves me that she has had to search out some great places where I can go too. Every morning on our walk we drop by at Freemans, it’s a child and dug friendly coffee shop in Marchmont, they call me professor Woof in there on account of my rather smart tweed and courdrroy jacket. Helen always has a double espresso, and I sometimes get to meet the georgous Ava, the most beautiful Cocker Spanial in the whole of Edinburgh. We also go to the Scran and Scally, it’s in Stockbridge, it’s owned by this famous chef guy, called Kitchin. It’s grand, I even get to go in the resteraunt as well as the bar, I always get a bowl of water, even before she gets her drink. There are many more places too, but my basket beckons.

    I hope you come to Edinburgh again, I could give you a guided your of all my favourite lamp posts. Mac

  10. Conrad says:

    Winnie hails from Edinburgh herself and she’s always welcome in Stockbridge. Marchmont has also recently started to accept her!

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