The Best Pubs in Scotland

28 July 2022
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If you’re longing for dramatic landscapes, incredible art and culture, and a heritage that stretches back hundreds and hundreds of years, then Scotland should right up there on your travel list!  

As the most northern part of the United Kingdom, Scotland sees its fair share of cold weather – especially during winter – but its scenery is spectacular. Rugged purple moors, wild green mountains and shimmering silver lochs are what characterize the Scottish countryside, but if you’re more of a city traveller, you’ll know that the Scottish pub is a highlight. 

Scotland Bar

Book a Scotland holiday package and set about exploring quaint towns. Work up a thirst and an appetite as you discover galleries and museums and enjoy a lot of fresh-air hikes and scenery. You’ll be ready for the best pint and pub food in town. 

Here are some of the best pubs in Scotland: 

Applecross Inn – Applecross, Northwest Highlands

Applecross Inn - Scotland Pub

Applecross Inn

For those travelling into the north-western Highlands, make sure to stop over at Applecross Inn. This charming inn and pub are set amid some pretty spectacular scenery and is well known for its friendly atmosphere, classic Scottish ales, and exceptional seafood. We recommend trying the langoustines, crab, lobster, oysters, or specialty white fish, and then tuck into some Scottish malt whiskies and gins! 

The Ship Inn – Elie, Leven

The quaint coastal town of Elie is found on the north coast of the Firth of Forth and is one of the town’s most popular attractions. There is a beautiful view of the sea here, and the good food and boat-theme of the bar brings locals and tourists in daily. The coastal location means you can expect exceptional fish as well as meat, with lobster landed along the East Neuk Coast. Indulge with a real ale, Scottish malt or even a Bloody Mary. 

The Abbotsford Bar and Restaurant – Edinburgh

Abbotsford Bar - Scotland Pubs

Abbotsford Bar and Restaurant

If you’ve pictured a classic pub in your mind’s eye, then a wood-paneled Edwardian-style abode should come to mind! The Abbotsford Bar and Restaurant in Edinburgh does just that. This corner bar dates to 1887, when the original Abbotsford Arms stood on the site. From 1902 the new Abbortsford Bar was established, and its classic island bar and Jacobean ceiling still stand today. Enjoy an incredible selection of ales, wine, and whiskies, in the heart of Edinburgh.  

Bon Accord – Glasgow

The Bon Accord is a bar that houses a jaw-dropping number of drinks! As an ale house, a malt whisky bar and whisky shop, the pub sells over 800 different real ales a year, but also offers an excellent selection of international bottled beers, craft beer, draft Guinness, 400 malt whiskies, gin, vodka, rum, and liqueurs. Even if that’s not your thing, Prosecco and Champagne drinkers will be spoilt for choice! Dining is fantastic, with a two-course special option; their recommendation is the Bon Accord Steak Pie. 

Guildford Arms – Edinburgh

Guildford Arms - Scotland Bar

Guildford Arms

In a classic Victorian-style design, the Guildford Arms is a welcoming sight. Family owned since 1896, it still has a rococo plaster ceiling and gallery-style restaurant, and serves a large variety of ales, in cask, from the keg and from the cellar. Every year since 1995, the Guildford Arms is transformed into a live music venue, as part of its participation in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and plays host to the ‘Caledonian Folk at The Guildford’. 

Clachaig Inn – Glencoe

Spending time in Glencoe? Then make sure you enjoy a stop at Clachaig Inn, which not only has 23 modern bedrooms, but award-winning bars that offer a range of Scottish craft ales, lagers, stouts, and ciders, as well as close to 400 malt whiskies and over 150 Scottish distilled gins! This lively and distinctive inn also offers some staggeringly good Scottish dining classics: Aberdeen Angus cheeseburgers, Highland game pie, haggis, neeps and tatties. Go the Scots! 

Kilchrenan Inn – Taynuilt, Kilchrenan

Situated close to the spectacular Loch Awe is the Kilchrenan Inn, a converted 18-th century trading post that provides a weary traveller with bed, beer, and nosh! The bar and restaurant is welcoming and comfortable with a log fire burning and malt whiskey flowing. Savour modern Scottish food such as beer-battered angel-cut haddock, and chicken, ham, and tarragon pie, together with one of the fine quality Scottish beers and cider on tap. 

Scotland Bar

So, whether you’re looking for the oldest pub in Scotland – The Sheep Heid Inn in Edinburgh, dating back to 1360 – or a modern take on classic pub grub, from the cities to the Highlands, there is a pub for every type of traveller in Scotland! 

Book your holiday to Scotland and the UK with Pentravel, and let us take you on a wild journey! 

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