HOLIDAYS are at their very best when spent with loved ones, and increasingly our four legged friends are amongst our preferred travel companions.
Whether wining and dining in Scotland’s cities or exploring the magnificent countryside, here are eight of the Good Hotel Guide’s dog friendly hotels in Scotland…
Crinan Hotel, Crinan
Artist Frances Macdonald and her husband, Nick Ryan, have run their laid-back hotel with friendly informality for nearly half a century.
The large, white-painted building is in a spectacular position overlooking the sea and a canal lock, filled with wonderful art – they even hold contemporary art exhibitions in its top-floor gallery.
Glenfinnan House Hotel, Highland
A Victorian remodelling of an 18th-century inn, Glenfinnan House Hotel is a stone mansion that stands tall in a beautiful situation.
With views of Ben Nevis and lawns stretching to the shore of Loch Shiel, all the public rooms have roaring log fires, even at the end of May, adding to the warmth and comfort of the place.
Loch- or garden-view bedrooms are made welcoming with fresh flowers and a fruit bowl and no room key is offered (though there was no hesitation providing one when we asked for it) – imagine you’re staying with friends.
Trigony House, Dumfries and Galloway
Atop a tree-lined drive, arrive to a cheerful welcome at Trigony House, an 18th-century hunting and fishing lodge. Ring ahead to discuss room choices, as bedrooms vary in size. Spacious or snug, however, all are spotless and well cared for.
It’s peaceful and welcoming and all the food is home made.
Blackaddie House, Sanquhar
A warm and welcoming restaurant with rooms, Blackaddie House Hotel is situated on the banks of the stunning River Nith in South West Scotland.
The 16th century country house is a haven for foodies who are rewarded with a feast for the senses after a day exploring sandy beaches and hidden coves, heather clad hills and steep glens, waterfalls and sparkling mountain burns.
Wildlife is in abundance and any walk is nothing short of an adventure.
Argyll Hotel, Iona
On a spectacular island off the Isle of Mull, Argyll Hotel is a small village hotel overlooking the Sound of Iona.
Everything here feels as though it’s another world, on built on high values and carefully crafted beauty. It is a small, remote island that’s only 3.5 miles by 1.5 miles, but as it’s sympathetically developed it retains its natural wonder as you explore red, green, white and pink sand beaches, and hike and cycle through its history.
Knockinaam Lodge, Portpatrick
In a horseshoe of wooded hills, Knockinaam Lodge sits next to a private beach and is an idyllic former hunting lodge where guests have frequently praised the professionalism and attention to detail of staff and management.
The Churchill suite, where the former PM stayed while planning the D-Day landings in 1944, retains original features such as a beautiful fireplace and a 100-year-old enamelled bath, while the grounds make for excellent photo opportunities.
The Green Park, Perth and Kinross
On the banks of Loch Faskally, two generations of the McMenemie family run this much-liked Victorian hotel with cheerful informality and efficiency.
There’s an all-day spread of coffees, teas and home-made cakes as well as sherry later.
Lounges are splendid and one contains binoculars and a book of Scottish birds to explore. Alternatively, pick up a map to the hotel’s many Scottish artworks; a lesson in art history awaits.
The Rutland Hotel , Edinburgh
The former home of medical pioneer Sir Joseph Lister is anything but clinical today: the modern hotel occupies a 19th-century building mere steps from the top of Princes Street in Edinburgh, is awash in rich fabrics, bold patterns and ornate mirrors.