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13 Beautiful Coastal Pub Walks in Scotland

In Scotland we have great walks and great pubs – a winning combination – and in this article we will take you to the coast in search of sea air, sunshine and refreshment.

Not all walks have a destination, sometimes they just take shape as you go. Often it’s enough to be pointed in the right direction and given a few markers: a castle, a beach, a pub! Who knows where you might end up on your big day out?

With Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters taking place throughout 2021, here are 13 beautiful coastal pub walks to get you started!

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1Nairn Dunes and Culbin Forest 

Nairn is a lovely resort town on the Moray coast that is famous for its sandy beaches and tricky golf courses. This bracing walk takes you from the harbour, along past the dunes to the east of Nairn and through Culbin Forest. Along the way keep an eye out for the high cliffs across the water and rare red squirrels in the forest.

Time to complete: 2 – 3 hours

Route information: Nairn Dunes to Kingsteps and Culbin Forest

The pub: Bandstand Restaurant and Bar

2Dornoch Point 

One of the gems of the Scottish Highlands, Dornoch is a top spot for a walking holiday. On the journey to Dornoch Point you’ll take in many different landscapes: woodland, fields and beaches, as well as the historic buildings of Dornoch. Expect to see seabirds in the sky, seashells underfoot and mountains in the distance.

Time to complete: 2 – 3 hours

Route information: Dornoch Point

The pub: The Carnegie Courthouse

3The Silver Walk and Castle Tioram

This Highland ramble takes you past a stunning ruined castle and a dramatic hilly backdrop before ending up along the coast with views to the islands. Castle Tioram dates from the 13th century and the Silver Walk path dates from the 19th century, so called because a hoard of Elizabethan coins was found during its construction. A bit of a rough and rocky road, but worth seeking out in the summer months as the scenery is very special.

Time to complete: 2 hours

Route information: Castle Tioram and the Silver Walk circuit

The pub: Loch Shiel Hotel Bar

4Eriskay Beach 

The Outer Hebrides are home to some gorgeous coastal walks, including this one on Eriskay. You will cross the beach where Bonnie Prince Charlie first arrived in Scotland and see the landscape where the famous story of Whisky Galore took place. You might even spot some of the island’s famous ponies!

Time to complete: 1-2 hours

Route information: Eriskay beach and hill circuit

The pub: Am Politician

5Kingsbarns to St Andrews

The Fife Coastal Path is a long-distance footpath that runs for over 100 miles along the coast of Fife. The section between Kingsbarns and St Andrews offers lovely coastal views and great walking. One of the highlights of this walk is Buddo Rock, a sandstone sea stack, but it’s wise to look up the tide times before walking nearby as you might not be able to get through at high tide.

Time to complete: 3 – 4 hours

Route information: Kingsbarns to St Andrews

The pub: The Criterion

6St Abbs to Eyemouth

Don’t miss out on this super coastal walk if you’re visiting the Scottish Borders. This section of the Berwickshire Coastal Path takes you between the charming towns of St Abbs and Eyemouth. If you’re lucky you might spot roe deer along the way as well as fine sea views and stretches of attractive rocky shoreline.

Time to complete: 2 hours

Route information: St Abbs to Eyemouth

Pub: The Contented Sole

7The Water of Leith

If you’re looking for something different to do in Edinburgh away from the big attractions, have you thought about walking along the Water of Leith? The section from Slateford to Leith has a number of picturesque spots including the fabulous Dean Village. Round things off with a visit to Teuchters Landing on the shoreline – a brilliant pub for local craft beers and a bite to eat.

Time to complete: 3 – 4 hours

Route information: Slateford to Leith

The pub: Teuchters Landing

8North Berwick to Gullane

This relaxed walk takes you from one East Lothian town to another through  rolling coastal countryside. As you approach Yellowcraig beach, keep a look out for the island of Fidra across the water, said to have been the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. This is a great place to walk the dog too – with lots of wide-open space on the beach. Check out these tips on keeping Scotland’s beaches beautiful.

Time to complete: 3 – 4 hours

Route Information: North Berwick to Gullane

The pub: The Bonnie Badger 

9Glenapp to Ballantrae

This attractive section of the Ayrshire Coastal Path runs adjacent to the coast through gorgeous South Ayrshire countryside. On a clear day you will be rewarded with views to Ireland and the Mull of Kintyre. There are charming old bridges and ruined castles along this route that will surely inspire you to learn more about local history.

Time to complete: 3 – 4 hours

Route information: Glenapp to Ballantrae

The pub: The Kings Arms


Stay awhile in Oban and appreciate the allure of being on the waterfront. Sometimes called ‘Scotland’s Seafood Capital’ or the ‘Gateway to the Isles’, Oban deserves to be explored in its own right. This walk will take you along the promenade, past grand hotels and guesthouses, a cathedral, a castle and up to MacCaig’s Tower above the town where fantastic views are guaranteed.

Time to complete: 2 – 3 hours

Route information: Oban Explorer

The pub: The Oban Inn

11Carnoustie to Arbroath

Starting in a famous golfing town, this walk along the Angus coast takes you to another town famous for smoked haddock! Along the way you’ll encounter stunning coastal scenery and the little village of East Haven, one of Scotland’s oldest recorded fishing villages. Arriving in Arbroath, you’ll see the harbour and hopefully still have a bit of energy to explore the town centre!

Time to complete: 3 hours

Route information: Carnoustie to Arbroath

The pub: The Pageant 


Explore the old town of Lerwick, the harbour and a beautifully preserved broch on this lovely Shetland walk. You might recognise some of the locations from the hit TV drama Shetland. History enthusiasts will enjoy the superb views of old Second World War defences that can be spotted along the way.

Time to complete: 2 hours

Route information: Lerwick explorer

The pub: Douglas Arms

13Balcary Bay

This popular walk in Dumfries & Galloway takes you up among the clifftops above the Solway Firth. Enjoy a superb outlook across the sea from multiple vantage points on this fine walk. Balcary Bay and Auchencairn Bay are some of the prettiest coastal spots in the area and you’re sure to capture some lovely photographs.

Time to complete: 2 – 3 hours

Route information: Balcary Bay and Rascarrel

The pub: Balcary Bay Hotel

When you’re out and about it’s important to respect, protect and enjoy the Scottish countryside. Have you watched our responsible tourism video yet? Happy walking, folks!