Now that the summer vacation is in full swing, there will be plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
And if you’re in the mood for a picnic with friends – on two or on all fours – Craigievar, Bow Fiddle Rock and Dores by Loch Ness have been named some of the best places in Scotland.
With more people staying near their homes this year, Scotty Brand and blogger Samantha Grant – and her dog Casper – have teamed up to find the best places to picnic with the dogs in Scotland.
Scotland with the Wee White Dug blogger said: “Choosing 10 favorites would be impossible. Instead, I stuck to a list of 10 Great Picnic Spots for Dogs in Scotland. Hope you like them as much as Casper and me.
Michael Jarvis, Marketing Manager for Scotty Brand, added: “With more people vacationing in Scotland this year, we are delighted that our own ‘Scotty’ has teamed up with Casper to find the perfect picnic spots for them. dogs and celebrate our Scottish products. “
Here are the 10 best picnic locations – including places in the north and northeast – to explore on your next day trip or stay:
1. Calton Hill, Edinburgh
The first dog-friendly picnic spot chosen is the popular Calton Hill in the Scottish capital, also referred to as the best ‘sunset’ spot in the city.
The area around Edinburgh National Monument has green spaces and views of the entire city to admire alongside its historic landmarks and walking trails.
2. Alloway, Ayrshire
The village of Alloway, birthplace of Robert Burns, is the perfect place to learn about the history of the Scottish poet.
The Burns Monument and Memorial Garden have been chosen as the ideal picnic spot in the area, while a visit to Burns Cottage and Poet’s Path lined with Burns-inspired sculptures is also recommended.
For those with time to explore further, Alloway Auld Kirk and Brig O’Doon mentioned in the poem Tam O’Shanter are worth checking out.
3. A beach in the Hebrides, Inner and Outer Hebrides
A visit to the Inner and Outer Hebrides for a beach picnic was highly recommended. The travel blogger said: “Think of the white sands, the turquoise sea and the wild flowers that grow in the machair. Best of all, you can have the beach all to yourself.
Although visiting most of the islands requires a ferry trip, it is possible to get to the Isle of Skye by car. The Claigan Coral Beach or Staffin come highly recommended, the latter offering the option to search for dinosaur footprints.
4. The Hermitage, Perthshire
The Hermitage in Perthshire, known as the Big Tree Country, is perfect for a picnic in the woods according to the travel blogger.
The forest near Dunkeld is a popular beauty spot with ‘towering Douglas firs, a waterfall, magical Victorian madness and a hidden cave’.
5. Craigievar Castle, Alford
Aberdeenshire is home to many castles and stately homes, but Craigievar Castle, near Alford, was chosen to provide a ‘magical picnic experience’.
The 16th-century Pink Castle is believed to have inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle and is surrounded by a lawn and wooded pathways.
6. Mull of Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway Lighthouse
Mull of Galloway Lighthouse stands on an RSPB nature reserve on the Rhins of Galloway, Scotland’s most southerly point.
The location was chosen because of its expansive views which include sightings of Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and England on a clear day.
Blogger Wee White Dug highlights the Nine Tides, a natural phenomenon that turns the sea into a swirling maelstrom. Around the lighthouse there are also sea birds to watch out for and walking trails to explore.
7. Bow Fiddle Rock, Moray
The natural rock formation of Bow Fiddle Rock resembles a large fiddle arch which is located near the coastal village of Portkncokie on the Moray Firth.
There is a coastal path above the rock where people can walk before keeping an eye out for bottlenose dolphins and micro whales on a picnic.
8. Devilla Forest, Fife
Devillaa Forest at Four Lochs in Kincardine “feels more Highland than Lowland” and is perfect for a wildlife viewing picnic, according to blogger Wee White Dug.
Visitors can enjoy a six-mile walk through towering pines and look for “red squirrels, colorful damselflies, and lily-covered lochans.”
The forest also has a hidden story, most notably that of Maggie Duncan’s Stane who was said to have been marked by a witch apron and the standard stone tied to Macbeth.
9. Dorès, Loch Ness
Dores pebble beach is on the western shore of Loch Ness and is the perfect place for a picnic by the loch and to watch Nessie.
The location was chosen for its awe-inspiring scenery where visitors can enjoy ‘a stroll along the shore and a refreshing paddle in the loch’.
10. Dun na Cuaiche, Inveraray
Dun na Cuaiche in Argyll is a prominent hilltop landmark with a peak offering a bird’s eye view of Loch Fyne, Inveraray and Inveraray Castle.
Those planning a picnic with their four-legged friend at the top will need to make a climb first, but Samantha Grants and Casper said it was worth it.