Edingburgh Bobby dog

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.

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“To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.”

— Aldous Huxley (author, Brave New World)

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