Dog-friendly distilleries to visit on your Scotland holiday

It’s not really a holiday in Scotland without a visit to one of its hundreds of exciting distilleries – this country’s economy is partly fuelled by whisky, after all – but what do you do when you’re bringing the dog? While only service dogs can join you for tours of the whisky-making process – where mashing, fermentation, distilling and ageing are all explained – there are a few distilleries in Scotland that welcome dogs into their bars, shops and cafés. If you fancy a wee dram with the dog by your side on your next Scotland holiday, these are the top dog-friendly distilleries.

Written by Lottie Gross

5 minute read

Annandale Distillery, Annan, Dumfries & Galloway

On the edge of Annan town in Dumfries and Galloway, just over an hour’s drive from a handful of Paws & Stay places, lies a vast distillery complex that was once left to ruin. Thankfully, over the last decade or so, David Thompson and Theresa Church have been sprucing up its warehouses and distillery buildings to restore its former glory. Annandale is now home to a dog-friendly café and shop, where you can taste their various malts and blends before taking a bottle home. The café, where you can take a seat on its handmade furniture by local craftsman Ian Cameron Smith, offers whisky afternoon teas and cracking Scottish breakfasts.

Tobermory Distillery, Isle of Mull

Mull’s colourful capital, with its painted houses overlooking the harbour, is a brilliant place to walk the dog – especially when the weekly market sets up right down by the water. Grab yourselves a fresh scallop wrap and then head into the Tobermory Distillery on the other side of the harbour car park. They don’t just make single malts here: Tobermory Gin is one of Scotland’s finest. Tasters are available in the shop, where dogs can join you for a browse, and there are miniatures, gift sets and full bottles to buy. Don’t miss a taste of the Hebridean Coast Gin, which is distilled using kelp, samphire and lovage foraged from Mull itself.

Lindores Distillery, Newburgh, Fife

In Newburgh, you'll find the Lindores Abbey Distillery, a 12th-century abbey where monks have been distilling since the 1400s. This is one of the few distilleries in Scotland with dog-friendly tours: they can join you as you wander the distillery with its vast wooden barrels, dram in hand, before you head to the tasting room to get into the nitty gritty. There are seafood platters available (book in advance), and the tutored tastings will have you walking (perhaps stumbling) away with a new-found expertise on Scotland’s most popular drink. For those with a sweet tooth, whisky and chocolate tastings in the Legacy Bar are the perfect way to finish your day – and don’t forget to purchase your favourite bottle to take back to the cottage.

Crafty Distillery, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway

It’s not just about drinks at the Crafty Distillery: this modern complex has some of the finest views of the Galloway Hills in the area. Come for the award-winning gins – made with noble fir needles and seaweed for a fresh finish – and stay for the undulating, tree-clad landscapes that mesmerise visitors from the Tree Bar, which is made from a single piece of timber from a locally-felled Douglas fir. There’s whisky on the cards here, too, with a Billy & Co single malt scotch coming soon, and you can try their wheat-based vodka that has cream soda and biscuit notes on the palate. Keep an eye out for the distillery dog, Finn, a waggy spaniel, and pick up a bottle or two to take back to your cottage – this place is just a 20-minute drive from our places in Dumfries & Galloway: Little Oak, Little Beach and Little Willow.

Oro Gin Distillery, Dalton, Dumfries & Galloway

Around an hour from a collection of our wonderful stays in Dumfries and Galloway, Oro Gin Distillery makes gin, rum and vodka – and great food. While the dog can’t join you for tours, they’re welcome to sit by your side in the bar or the outdoor seating area, where every drink comes with a small selection of tapas. There are German and Japanese beers on tap, smoky bratwurst from the kitchen, and plenty of cocktails using their home-distilled luxury spirits.

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Written by Lottie Gross

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