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Why Choose a Dog-Friendly Holiday in Helmsdale?

Dog-Friendly Holiday in north of Scotland

Let's face it, our furry friends are more than just pets – they're family. So, why leave them behind when you head off on a relaxing holiday? There are countless benefits to bringing your dog along for the adventure, not just for them, but for you too!

West Highland Terrier dog walk through the forest

Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Dogs crave activity and exploration. A dog-friendly holiday lets them experience new sights, smells, and trails. Daily walks, hikes, or beach romps ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise, keeping them happy and healthy.

Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Dogs can pick up on our emotions. A new environment can be stressful for both of you. Having your familiar furry friend by your side provides comfort and reduces separation anxiety, making for a more relaxed and enjoyable holiday for everyone. Studies have even shown that our dogs can lower blood pressure and stress hormones!

Unbreakable Bond: Holidays are all about creating lasting memories. Sharing new experiences with your dog strengthens your bond and creates cherished moments you can look back on!

Reduced Costs: Bringing your furry friend along eliminates the need for expensive kennel boarding fees. This can mean significant savings on your holiday budget, allowing you to enjoy a special meal at a dog-friendly restaurant with your canine companion by your side.

Relaxation: Unlike hotels, you'll have the freedom and space to relax without worrying about disturbing other guests. Your dog can relax comfortably, have designated areas for playtime and mealtimes, and feel more at home in a familiar environment. Valhalla comes with an with enclosed garden, perfect for outdoor play.

Helmsdale and its surrounding areas offers a variety of dog-friendly adventures to make your holiday unforgettable! Together you can explore scenic landscapes, charming villages & towns, and discover hidden gems.

A dog running alongside a river in Scotland

Dog-Friendly Walking Routes:

The Helmsdale Den Path: This gentle riverside stroll is perfect for a leisurely walk with your dog. Take in the scenic beauty of the River Helmsdale and watch the trout and salmon swim upstream (in season).

The Brora Loop: For the more adventurous duo, this moderate trail offers breathtaking panoramic views of the coastline and surrounding countryside. Keep your dog on a leash for their safety and be mindful of sheep grazing in certain areas.

Sutherland Coast Beaches: Does your dog love a good beach romp? Head to the nearby dog-friendly beaches of Embo or Dornoch Beach. Let your pooch run free while you enjoy the invigorating sea breeze and stunning coastal scenery. Remember to always clean up after your dog!

Dogs having fun in the sea on a self catering holiday

Your Sutherland holiday isn't just about stunning scenery; the village itself offers dog-friendly experiences:

Thyme & Plaice Restaurant: Pop into this cafe for a coffee and a bakery treat, or enjoy a delicious meal with your furry companion. Water bowls are always available outside, and the friendly staff will make your dog feel welcome.

Helmsdale Timespan Museum: The cafe is dog-friendly cafe too and if you ask ask nicely we are sure they will let you enjoy the museum with your pooch. The museum details the area's rich history together, and you can also browse through unique souvenirs in the foyer area.

Helmsdale's Coopers Park: This charming park, which is the site for the Highland Games, provides a safe green space for your dog to stretch its legs and socialize with other canine companions. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the benches while your dog explores, or play a game of fetch in the open space.

Other Places in Helmsdale: The Bannock, The Belgrave and the newly refurbished Navidale House Hotel in Helmsdale accommodate dogs in the bar if not too busy. La Mirage do not allow dogs but you can leave them outside the cafe eg in your nearby parked car. The River Bothy, just north of Helmsdale, have benches outside for customers with dogs, but they do not allow dogs inside the cafe.

Dogs resting outside a cafe
Chilling outside a cafe

Remember: Always be a responsible dog owner. Keep your dog on a leash in designated areas, clean up after them, and respect local wildlife and livestock. By following these simple guidelines, you and your dog can have a fantastic and hassle-free holiday in Helmsdale!

Lots More Resources

Dogs Code of Conduct & Walks.docx
Download PDF • 989KB


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