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Scotland’s National Trust: Dog-friendly places to visit and stay

East Lodge at Crathes Castle (a dog-friendly vacation rental)

Scotland has its own National Trust organization, and like its counterpart to the south, it protects and offers public access to dozens of homes, monuments, gardens and landscapes important to Scotland’s history and heritage. It also makes some of its properties available as vacation rentals.

Dogs are welcome to visit several of the Trust properties — click on “Visits” on the main page, then select “Dogs” under “Special features” to get a complete list. You’re given over a dozen places to visit, including castle grounds, gardens, woodlands — and a water-powered letterpress printing works in the Borders town of Innerleithen.

Dogs are also allowed in many of the historic rental properties — from the main NTS Holiday Accommodation page, either choose a region you’re interested in and scroll through the properties (each indicates whether dogs are allowed or not), or, if you know when you want to visit, step through the “Availability Search.” In the second step of the search, you’ll be able to check a box next to “Dogs allowed.” [3/5/12 The main search page now has a check box for “Dogs allowed.”] The (alas, entirely mythical) Thanksgiving vacation I offered the Availability Search yielded 25 dog-friendly properties, including seriously charming cottages, two lighthouses, and a wing of a castle.