Buddies at the Home of Burns – Visiting Dumfries With Dogs


The small town of Dumfries is well worth a visit. Lying close to the border with England, it is the largest settlement in the South of Scotland.

We visited with Chase and Lewis to find out more about what this town has to offer.

Getting to Dumfries

Dumfries is easy to reach by train from many parts of the UK. Trains run every two hours from Glasgow Central, or every hour from Carlisle, from where connections are available to many major cities across England.

It’s also easily accessible by car, lying on the A75 road from Gretna on the English border.

In Town

Dumfries Town Centre is worth half an hour’s wandering at least. This is a very pleasant area, with winding narrow streets, larger pedestrian areas and the riverfront walk offering plenty to see and do.

Chase enjoys walking in Dumfries town centre

It feels very open and pleasant, with an almost medieval vibe. There are wide open green spaces by the river, perfect for dogs. Or you can sit on a bench by the water and enjoy a bite to eat.

The riverfront area

Things to Do and See in Dumfries

Dumfries Museum, credit FutureMuseumSW, Wikimedia Commons

Dumfries Museum is a dog-friendly attraction! The museum showcases local and historic artefacts. It also features the world’s oldest camera obscura. Unfortunately, the museum was closed on the day we visited, so we didn’t experience it for ourselves.

Dumfries is best known as the home of Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns. There are several Burns related attractions, including the Robert Burns Centre and the Robert Burns House.

Lewis pays his respects at the home of Scotland’s greatest poet

Although the Burns House is not open to dogs, the small garden across from the house is open for a quick wander. Proud Scotsman Lewis was very pleased to pay his respects at the home of Scotland’s greatest poet.

In the small Burns garden

The Burns Mausoleum lies nearby and could be worth a look for those interested in the poet.

If you’re willing to go further afield, pay a visit to the Ellisland Museum and Farm. Located in Auldgirth, it is about six miles away from Dumfries. This was the farm of Robert Burns himself and is now a museum. Best of all, it’s totally dog-friendly!

Walks Around Dumfries

There are pleasant walks to suit all abilities. For those looking for a short stroll, take a quick walk along the riverfront. There are lots of flat paths around, along with bridges crossing the water. This is a great spot to soak in the atmosphere of the town and enjoy views of the historic buildings.

By St Michael’s Bridge

If you’re looking for a more rural walk, find one of the river paths running out of town. We enjoyed a stroll down a path starting on Edinburgh Road, just past Dumfries Academy heading out of town. There, you can enjoy a gentle  path that winds for miles along the riverbanks. You’ll see rolling fields, and enjoy excellent views from the path.

Chase and Lewis take a walk on the riverbanks

Places to Eat With Dogs in Dumfries

Dumfries is packed with cafes, pubs and restaurants. Many of these welcome visitors with dogs. Some of the best options are:

  • The Granary Pub on Loreburn Street, offering a beer garden and traditional pub fare
  • Lockards Farm, a pleasant restaurant and bar with a varied menu including vegetarian options

We found The Frothy Bike Co., a dog-friendly spot that served as a combination café/bike repair shop! It was very pleasant inside, with comfortable sofas and tables. Both dogs had plenty of space to spread out.

A spot of lunch at the Frothy Bike Co.

The cakes and hot chocolates were positively luxurious. Their menu also offers healthy food options like wraps and rice bowls.

Stay in Dumfries

If you’re staying in the area, there are lots of hotels happy to welcome pets. The Holiday Inn Dumfries or Friars Carse Country House both offer luxurious dog-friendly accommodations. If you’re looking for a low-cost option, the local Travelodge also welcomes dogs.

A Gateway to the Borders

Dumfries is an excellent place to visit with dogs. But it’s just one great spot among many in the Scottish Borders. The surrounding countryside is beautiful and you will find plenty of pleasant villages and small towns to visit close by.

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