Edinburgh, the friendliest city in Scotland, is known for many things. Its castle, an abundance of festivals, men in woollen skirts, whisky trails, and there is Bobby, a dog that got immortalized in a statue.
Bobby, man’s best friend
Bobby was a dog that took ‘man’s best friend’ to the extreme. A terrier who became known in 19th-century Edinburgh for supposedly spending 14 years guarding his owner’s grave until he died in 1872.
Nowadays, his bronze alter ego guards the pub named after him, close to Greyfriars Kirk yard, where Bobby was buried close to his owner. He became so famous that there were books and films about the story of Bobby. However, some party poppers believe he never really existed.
As if Santa Claus ever did!
History of Bobby’s tale
Anyway, Bobby was probably a 19th-century publicity stunt spread by locals who benefitted from the tale of a bereaved dog. In 19th-century Europe, stray dogs found on cemeteries were fed by people believing they were waiting by a grave. So after a newspaper featured Bobby in an article, visitor numbers to the graveyard increased.
As the story spread, people who visited the kirk yard started using a local restaurant and donating money to the curator of the cemetery.
True or not, it was such an endearing story that in 1872 a local sculptor, William Brodie, created a statue of the dog, funded by Baroness Burdett-Coutts, to commemorate this animal.
Find out more about Edinburgh’s history
Practical information Edinburgh
If you wish to pay your respect to Bobby, you can visit his grave in Greyfriars Kirk yard. His life-size statue stands close to the entrance of the cemetery, in front of Greyfriars Bobby Bar. If you must rub his nose for luck, do it gently, as it causes damage to the statue.
The bar serves excellent meals in a convivial atmosphere.
30-34 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh, EH1 2QE
There is plenty of accommodation choices; there are literally hundreds of different options from five star to budget hotels in Edinburgh.
More of the UK
Manchester, a city in the northwest of England, has many facades. Sparkling, edgy, modern and Victorian. Historic buildings and skyscrapers stand side by side whilst bleak suburbs surround the lively town centre. The nearby Peak District and Lake District only add to its appeal.
Is English whisky really a thing? Whisky is most likely known to you as Scottish, Irish or American. Though England is not well known for whisky, distillers operated in England until the late 19th century, after which English single malt whisky production ceased....
Cley next to the SeaHiking the Norfolk Coast Path The 135-kilometre (84 miles) Norfolk Coast Path runs from Hunstanton north of the county to Hopton-on-Sea towards Suffolk. A distance that a seasoned hiker covers in three days. For the lesser gods, like me, completing...
The ultimate Cambridgeshire canoe trip In a canoe on a sunny weekday in June, we share the Great Ouse river with a handful of swimmers, sunbathers, kayaks and a few pleasure yachts. We have the water to ourselves for most of the route between Houghton and St. Ives in...
The complete how-to guide to afternoon tea This is the complete how-to guide to afternoon tea for the alien in Britain. What is it, how to indulge and where to go for the best experience? Let's be clear. An 'afternoon tea' is not just a cup of tea. It's an experience,...
“To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.”
— Aldous Huxley (author, Brave New World)