Top 5 Cosy Pubs in small Scottish Towns
Nothing beats a hot toddy at the end of a crisp day.
And there are some truly delightful pubs in those tiny corners of Scotland that are worth a visit, to warm the cockles after a bracing exploration of what Scotland has to offer, whether that be wild and wintery beach walks or getting the stocking fillers for the entire family. No matter where you are or what you are doing, what better way to wrap up the day than in the warmth of a cosy pub, the clinking of glasses and light chatter enveloping you in a whisky fuelled embrace. As you step over the threshold and shut out the chilly wind, get comfy in an old armchair and grab a glass to relax to unwind this holiday season. Here are our 5 top pubs to enjoy this Winter.
The Plockton Inn, Plockton
“The Jewel of the Highlands”, Plockton is a picturesque Highland village on the West coast that sits on a sheltered bay with stunning views overlooking Loch Carron. Arguably one of the most beautiful villages on the West coast, this peaceful Highland community in the Gaelic heartland draws visitors from all over the world to enjoy everything it has to offer, from breathtaking scenery and landscapes to secluded bays and panoramic views. Whether you’d like to be on the water, explore the countryside or investigate all that the village has to offer, Plockton has something for everyone. From cycling to sea kayaking to arts and crafts and delicious local produce you will be spoilt for choice. And what better way to wrap up a day of exploring than with a delicious meal and a few drinks at the delightful Plockton Inn?
With its white and green exterior on the main road into Plockton, you would be forgiven for driving past this inn without a second glance. But that would be a mistake. The Plockton Inn has a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, with friendly, informative staff with excellent knowledge of all that is on offer. The public bar is a popular choice in the village (and as we know you go where the locals go!) and is well known for its fantastic live music twice a week throughout the season. The bar has a well stocked top shelf of malts as well as fine wines and cask ales which change regularly, often to suit the season. The great homemade food uses freshly caught seafood and local produce, with the seafood platter a must. an excellent choice of ale and whisky and live traditional music. The seafood platter is a must. The open log fires warm to welcome you with an amber glow on a cold winter’s night, and with traditional music, locals for company and a whole shelf of whisky what more could you ask for?
Holiday Home Nearby: Druidaig Cottage | Sleeps 6 | From £500/week | Pet friendly | Code: N781
The Ship Inn, Melrose
The town of Melrose, all red sandstone in green countryside, is located next to the Eildon Hills in the Scottish borders and is probably best known for being the birthplace of Rugby Sevens, with the town taking on a carnival atmosphere when the Melrose Sevens took place in Spring. However, this town has so much to offer the keen visitor, from little boutique and craft shops to the awe inspiring ruined Melrose Abby dating from 1136, whose atmosphere benefits from the wintery weather. The triple peaks of the Eildon hills are the most distinctive single landmark in the Scottish borders and provide excellent hill walking and mountain biking opportunities, and there is an 11 tee course for the golfers among you! And how about a quick pit-stop at The Ship Inn, ‘the only Pub in Melrose’ whilst you are there, to wet the whistle?
Melrose’s only pub (rather than hotel bar) is a characterful low beamed pub popular with locals and visitors alike, with a pleasant friendly atmosphere with welcoming hosts who are locals. The Inn, although much changed in the mid 19th century, still retains some of its original late 18th century character. As part of the community feel, the pub has occasional live music as well as karaoke and quiz nights, which aren’t to be missed! The beer garden, although not ideal in the wintery months is a sun trap in the summer. The menu is terrific, using local produce from ‘Bairds’ butchers and ‘Andersons’, the local fishmonger, as well as the staple of delicious homemade soup and sandwiches.
Holiday Home Nearby: Belses Mill | Sleeps 8 | From £500/week | Pet friendly | Code: A589
The Moulin Inn, Pitlochry
Pitlochry is one of Scotland’s most beautiful and vibrant places to visit. In the heart of Scotland with clear sparkling air, breathtaking scenery, rich clan history and deliciously fine food, there is plenty of space and lots to see and do. Pitlochry is a holiday destination which caters for every type of holiday maker, all year round in its own special way. With the Enchanted Forest close by, Loch Faskally a stone’s throw away and great range of shops to choose from no one will be disappointed. And after a trip to the Pitlochry Theatre to take in the Christmas show, how about a quick trip to The Moulin Hotel? Embrace a warm and welcoming world of peace, tranquility and traditional Scottish hospitality, just 3/4 of a mile away from Pitlochry.
The Moulin Pub has been the most popular choice of locals in Pitlochry and Moulin for over three centuries, and what with the towns popularity growing with tourists, it has provided the locals with a quieter and friendlier meeting place, a little removed from the hustle and bustle. Visitors who stumble upon this Inn find a busy but peaceful establishment, with great tasting beers and a variety of locals to tell them stories, give directions and recommend visits to local attractions. A key feature is the provision of ales from their very own Brewhouse, the Moulin Brewery, and the pub refurbishment which opened up old fireplaces and beautiful stone walls that had been hidden for many years. Wood and beams from the Old Coach House created lots of cosy niches and spread cushions with soft fabrics create a cosy and inviting place to unwind after a busy day. The bar boasts a large range of malt whiskies and ales, to be enjoyed with a delicious meal, perhaps a seasonal special. The Moulin has a considerable reputation for the quality of its cuisine as reflected by the many ongoing compliments in the press, and in the visitors’ book. So snuggle down with a dram, and get cosy.
Holiday Home Nearby: 4 Viewbank Gardens | Sleeps 4 | From £330/week | Pet friendly | Code: A358
The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool
Ah Ullapool, the nestling, vibrant village on Loch Broom and the gateway to the Summer Isles and the Hebrides. A destination in its own right for nature, hill walking, music, art, food, history and highland culture, Ullapool is not to be missed. Only an hour from Inverness, it feels like a world removed, from the winding exposed road past Loch Glascarnoch to the climbing heights of Stac Polleadh further north. Visit Ardmair beach and bay, or walk to Rhue Point Lighthouse to watch the sun set over the Summer Isles. The village has a variety of art and craft shops, with the local artist scene being prolific. And after a brisk and blustery climb up Ullapool hill, head to the Ceilidh Place, a lovely, warm and welcoming bunkhouse, bar, restaurant, hotel, bookshop and music venue – an establishment of many trades!
Sizzling bacon and ground coffee greets you when you push open the café door. The warm glow of the wood-burner and a burst of award winning titles perched in front of the bookshop entices you in, promising pure relaxation. The bar across the hall is well stocked with the most familiar and some more unusual bottles from time to time. The open fire and comfy chairs settles you in for a cosy time, curled with a book or perhaps even a snooze! It boasts gin from pretty much every Hebridean Island and a good selection form the rest of the country, with the staff well informed with most of the products. They will gladly take you on a tour of Scotland through some drams! Our wine selection is carefully selected to compliment the food served in the restaurant, serving up local deer from the hill side, lamb from the crofts, fish from the sea and veggies from as near as possible when in season. There is the added delight of the live music venue which has hosted many performers over the last 40 years, as well as various art exhibitions. There is so much in one place, this is not a Ceilidh to be missed.
Holiday Home Nearby: Ardmair Bay House | Sleeps 8 | From £1245/week | Code: N800
Kimberly Inn – Findhorn
The Findhorn area could be described as one of the loveliest, and unspoilt parts of the Moray coast. Golden sandy beaches retreat back to swooping sand dunes, tall pine forests touch the sky and beautiful coves lie waiting to be explored. The area provides excellent opportunities for wildlife spotting (dolphins, seals and ospreys, deer hares and wildcats too) and a variety of outdoor activities, from high adrenaline thrills to relaxed wilderness experiences, so whatever your choice of relaxation, Moray has it. So, wear yourself out with an action packed day then head to the Kimberley Inn, a pub full of character and locals that you will only feel at home with a dram in your hand. Situated right on the shore of Findhorn Bay, The Kimberley Inn has magnificent views over the water.
The ivy creeping up the front of the unassuming white and brick building sets the scene for a seemingly secret place, the welcoming glow from inside tempting you in. Passing over the threshold and leaving the chill on the doorstep you are greeted by a roaring open fire, with a mixture of dogs and locals in surround. You are spoilt for choice at the the bar, with a fantastic selection of wines, real ales, beers, spirits and soft drinks for you to choose from. If you fancy a nibble with your tipple, there is a new eating area that holds around a smaller twenty people in comfort and privacy, and there is also the main eating area too. Then go further and lower down into another room where there is an antique stove and tables, the cosiness and seclusion all you want from a place to unwind. It offers so much for those who wish to embrace the spirit of a cosy Scottish pub with character. The ambiance is warm and relaxing, and the staff are helpful and knowledgeable, with the menu offering delicious local produce from the yummy Goats cheese and beetroot salad to the slow cooked brisket with roasted shallots, and the ever popular fish and chips. There is something for everyone, and coupled with the chatty clientele you may find a conversation breaking out with strangers at the next table or the bar.
Holiday Home Nearby: Monessie | Sleeps 7 | From £900/week | Code: N997
There you have it – our 5 Top Cosy Pubs which we LOVE! Let us know if you have been to any of them, or if you have a favourite pub you would like to share! If any of these holiday homes take your fancy feel free to give us a call on 01738 451 610.
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