The statue of Greyfriars Bobby at the southwestern corner of George IV Bridge, just across the road from the Museum of Scotland, must rank as Edinburgh’s most sentimental tourist attraction. According to the legend – no doubt embellished down the years – Bobby was a Skye terrier acquired as a working dog by a police constable named John Gray. When Gray died in 1858, Bobby was found a few days later sitting on his grave, a vigil he maintained until his death fourteen years later. Bobby’s legendary dedication was picked up by Disney, whose 1960 feature film of the story ensured that streams of tourists have paid their respects ever since.

The grave Bobby mourned over is in the Greyfriars Kirkyard, which has a fine collection of seventeenth-century gravestones and mausoleums, including one to the Adam family of architects. The kirkyard is visited regularly by ghost tours and was known for grave-robbing, when freshly interred bodies were exhumed and sold to the nearby medical school. Greyfriars Kirk itself was built in 1620 on land that had belonged to a Franciscan convent, though little of the original late Gothic-style building remains.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Scotland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most romantic places in the UK

The most romantic places in the UK

Whether your idea of romance is a stroll in the countryside or a sunset cocktail over one of the world's greatest cities, the United Kingdom isn't short of roma…

24 Jan 2017 • Phoebe Lowndes camera_alt Gallery
8 alternative UK winter breaks

8 alternative UK winter breaks

The UK gets pretty grim during the winter, with its dark, early nights and splutteringly cold weather. But if you can’t wait until spring to start having fun …

07 Nov 2016 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
8 spectacular remote places in Scotland

8 spectacular remote places in Scotland

Scotland’s seven cities offer myriad urban charms, but if you want to really get to the heart of a complex country that makes up 69% of the UK coastline and o…

19 Sep 2016 • Robin McKelvie videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month