Girvan has been voted the most dog friendly town in the UK in this year’s DogFriendly Awards.

The town was crowned the winner at an awards ceremony held in London’s Kennel Club on November 29, having received the highest number of public votes.

Girvan was one of 122 entrants in the 'town or city' category, claiming first place over fellow finalists, Bury St Edmunds and Eastbourne.

In May this year, the town’s local tourism organisation, Go Girvan, launched a dog friendly initiative to ensure four-legged visitors could let their fur down on a seaside break.

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They worked with local businesses and attractions to introduce a dog friendly sticker scheme and a new dog friendly page on their website so visitors can easily identify places that welcome their pooches. 

To date, more than 30 businesses have signed up including cafes, pubs, shops and even a traditional amusement arcade.

Local bike hire company, Biosphere Bikes, has added two dog trailers to their range of equipment, and dogs with four sea legs can accompany their owners on a boat trip to Ailsa Craig.

With an award-winning beach, numerous walking trails, and a good selection of pet-friendly accommodation, Girvan is the pawfect destination for furry visitors. 

Susanne Arbuckle, Project Officer for Go Girvan said: “This is the first year we have put Girvan forward in the UK DogFriendly Awards and everyone is over the moon that we have won.

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"Local businesses and attractions have been fantastic at welcoming dogs and their owners to the town.

"Most of the businesses that have signed up to our dog friendly initiative are independently owned and really appreciate the extra custom from visitors with dogs.

"However, we won’t be resting on our laurels as we have lots more planned for 2024 so watch this space...” 

Local MSP Elena Whitham is a regular visitor to the seaside town with her own dog Mojo.

The MSP has been a big supporter of the initiative since it was conceived, posting about Girvan’s dog friendly status on her own social media channels.

Ayr Advertiser: Dog model Phoebe sampling the ice-cream in Girvan Gelataria

On hearing Girvan’s success at the awards, Ms Whitham said: “I am thrilled that Girvan now holds the prestigious title of the UK’s most dog-friendly town.

"This is all down to the hard work and initiative of Go Girvan which has collaborated with businesses and the community to market the town as a place for dog lovers to flock to.

"A massive well done is owed to them and the people of Girvan for this achievement. I look forward to heading to Girvan with my dog Mojo again soon!” 

VisitScotland’s regional rirector Lynsey Eckford said: “It’s fantastic that Girvan’s been recognised for the warm welcome the tourism businesses offer to dog owners and their four-legged family members. 

"As well as attracting dog owners from across the UK and boosting the local economy, visitors will be able to create even more special memories on holiday by bringing their pet with them, to enjoy Girvan’s beach and great visitor experiences.”