There are so many things you can do if you go to Edinburgh for the day and want to take your beloved four pawed friend. It's fair to say that Holly Bobbins loves Edinburgh and Edinburgh loves her, she especially gets lots of love during the summer months when the population extends with lots of our american cousins, beagles are after all Americas fifth favourite breed.
On a recent day out with Holly and Abigail as well as lovely friend Harriet, I decided that I would take them to some places they'd never visited before. I of course know Edinburgh like the back of my hand now, I've spent so much happy time there, it's my second city and Scottish home that I adore.
We set the Satnav to navigate to Dean Village, a world heritage site, former village and historical oasis through which the waters of Leith ebb and flow, this isn't the Edinburgh you know, this is calm, tranquil, verdant and beautiful, a feel of being deep with in the country hits as you navigate it's cobbled streets and winding paths, just a few moments standing on the bridge and you get the feeling that you are not only in a different place but also maybe a simpler time with the only thing giving it away being the occasional sound of cars passing through it's winding streets.
The lovely thing about the Dean Village is that it doesn't take too long to have a wander around and it's also quite near to Stockbridge, Edinburgh's most friendly village and the place we headed for lunch, we ended up in swish gastro pub Hectors which openly embraced Holly Bobbins and also didn't mind that people generally want to take their kids for lunch too. One of my biggest issues in visiting Scotland with kids and a dog is that because of their weird licensing laws you often find that you can find child friendly places, you can find dog friendly places but getting the two together is a little bit of an effort so I'm delighted that we've discovered the tasty morsels of Hectors and will put it on our list of regular places to eat when Looby and I spend our summer week there.
After lunch and now having the need to walk off the foodie calories I decided to take everyone up to the top of Calton Hill, the only better views of Edinburgh are no doubt from the top of Arthurs Seat but I never feel like I've got the stamina to attempt it, one day, maybe in summer...
I love Calton Hill, the views are astonishing and even though you're right on the top of the hill you can still climb further if you feel you want to by ascending the Nelson Monument and that's what I sent Abigail and Harriet off to do whilst I stayed at ground level with Holly, it's not so long since I last climbed it on the same day as climbing the Scott Monument and that's something I'll do again in summer on a day when I don't have my four pawed furry sidekick. This time Calton Hill was enough, the weather was mild and sunny and when you look down on Edinburgh from above you always feel like you're standing on the edge of an urban paradise. There's also a small outdoor boho cafe at the top of Calton Hill and they serve the best clean flapjacks I've ever tasted, oh and brownies too, I had one of those because they'd sold out of the flapjacks by the time we got there, no surprise really as it was a bank holiday!!
I could have stayed in Edinburgh longer but being with a teenager means that she was ready for home but we did manage a quick skip up Princes street and a shimmy through Princes Street gardens before making our way back to our usual parking destination (the Omni Centre costs £10 for 5 hours or £13 for 7 hours) where we've never failed to find a parking space.
The next time you fancy a day out in Edinburgh's most vibrant historic city don't leave your dog at home, take them with you for they will love it too.