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12 stunning pub walks in Scotland

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Walking in Scotland might be one of the best ways to explore, but it’s also guaranteed to work up your appetite!

Luckily you won’t have to travel far in Scotland to find somewhere special to rest your legs and recharge your batteries. Even in remote corners of the country, you’ll find traditional pubs and coaching inns shining like beacons on the horizon.

These 12 pub walks suggest great walking routes in Scotland, plus a local pub or restaurant to relax in nearby. All the pubs and restaurants included have a range of special features to offer, including a real local welcome, high quality food, live music, log fires, local beer, vast whisky collections and more.

The short walks: 1 – 3 hours

Get to know the local area on a beautifully scenic short walk. These four will give you lots to chat about afterwards.

1. Aros Park and Tobermory Circuit finishing at The Mishnish

The walk – Aros Park and Tobermory Circuit, Isle of Mull

View of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull

View of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull

This lovely walk begins with beautiful views out across the brightly painted harbour at Tobermory bay and continues past a stunning waterfall before looping around a tranquil loch.

Time to complete: 2 hours.

Route information: Aros Park and Tobermory Circuit

The pub – The Mishnish, Tobermory

Coloured houses and sailing boats in Tobermory, Mull

Tobermory, Isle of Mull

Time from route to pub – a few minutes’ walk

Located in the yellow building on Tobermory’s iconic multi-coloured harbour, The Mishnish boasts a prime setting as well as mouth-watering bar meals, a roaring log fire, live music and a great range of beer and whisky.

2. Burns Circular Walk finishing at The Globe Inn

The walk – Burns Circular Walk, Dumfries

Devorgilla Bridge over the River Nith, Dumfries

Devorgilla Bridge, Dumfries

When Robert Burns moved to Dumfries in 1791 he would often walk along the banks of the River Nith to enjoy the nature around him. Follow his route along the river on this beautiful walk and look out for places connected with the Bard along the way, including Burns House Museum and his mausoleum.

Time to complete: 2 – 2.5 hours.

Route information: Burns Circular Walk

The pub – The Globe Inn, Dumfries

The entrance to the Globe Inn, Dumfries

The entrance to the Globe Inn, Dumfries

Time from route to pub – a few minutes’ walk

The most fitting place to end your walk – The Globe Inn – Robert Burns’ favourite pub, or ‘howff’ as he called it. Enjoy a varied menu featuring delicious locally sourced ingredients, including Lockerbie cheese and Galloway beef. At the bar, choose from 50 single malts or sip a pint of delicious real ale, made by local brewers, Sulwath Brewery.

3. Wideford Hill finishing at Helgi’s

The walk – Wideford Hill, Orkney

Wideford Cairn on Wideford hill, near Kirkwall © Iain Sarjeant

Wideford Cairn, near Kirkwall © Iain Sarjeant

Get your legs working on a hike up Wideford Hill and enjoy the panoramic views of Kirkwall and the surrounding islands from the top. On your way down explore the ancient Wideford Cairn, an underground communal burial site which dates from 3000 BC.

Time to complete: 2.5 – 3 hours.

Route information: Wideford Hill

The pub – Helgi’s, Kirkwall

Helgi's, Kirkwall

Helgi’s, Kirkwall

Time from route to pub – a few minutes’ walk

Inspired by Orkney’s Viking past, Helgi’s is a charming traditional pub offering a tasty menu and a huge range of locally produced drinks, including whisky from Scapa Distillery and Highland Park Distillery, and beer from Swannay Brewery and Orkney Brewery.

4. Sand and Applecross Bay finishing at the Applecross Inn

The walk – Sand and Applecross Bay

Looking across to the Cuillins from Applecross Bay

The Cuillins on the Isle of Skye from Applecross Bay

Follow the route from the beautiful bay at Applecross out to the spectacular beach at Sand and enjoy stunning views out across the water to Skye and Raasay. The route described here begins at Sand, but can easily be done in reverse by starting at Applecross.

Time to complete: 3 hours return.

Route information: Sand and Applecross Bay

The pub – The Applecross Inn, Applecross

Exterior of the Applecross Inn

Applecross Inn

Time from route to pub – a few minutes’ walk

Overlooking stunning Applecross Bay, The Applecross Inn is famous for its first class location and its menu, which boasts beautiful local seafood such as langoustines, smoked salmon and crab.

The leg stretchers: 3 – 7 hours

Have an adventure and immerse yourself in countryside on a longer walk. These four are guaranteed to work up your appetite.

5. Ben Vrackie finishing at the Moulin Hotel

The walk – Ben Vrackie near Pitlochry

Ben Vrackie, Pitlochry

Ben Vrackie, Pitlochry

Towering over the charming town of Pitlochry, Ben Vrackie is a popular hike for anyone visiting the area. At 841 m high, this mountain offers stunning views out across the countryside to the Cairngorms National Park.

Time to complete: 3 – 4 hours.

Route information: Ben Vrackie

The pub – Moulin Hotel, Pitlochry

Moulin Hotel, Pitlochry

Moulin Hotel, Pitlochry

Time from route to pub – 10 minute drive

The Moulin Hotel is a former coaching inn that has stood since 1695. It even has its own microbrewery. Sample the brewery’s delicious beers and order from the tempting menu in the charmingly traditional pub, which has many period features, including open fire places and exposed stone walls.

6. Waternish Point walk finishing at the Stein Inn

The walk – Waternish Point walk, Isle of Skye

The Raven's Coastline, Waternish Point, Isle of Skye © Flickr/Andrew

The Raven’s Coastline, Waternish Point, Isle of Skye © Flickr/Andrew

Stunning, wild and secluded, Waternish Point offers gorgeous sea views across the Minch to the Outer Hebrides and is one of the best places on Skye to spot whales and dolphins. The walk gives you plenty to see too – you’ll pass two ruined prehistoric dwellings known as duns or brochs.

Time to complete: 3 – 5 hours.

Route information: Waternish Point walk

The pub – Stein Inn, Isle of Skye

Time from route to pub – 10 minute drive

The Stein Inn on the Isle of Skye

The Stein Inn on the Isle of Skye

Overlooking sparkling water, the whitewashed building of the Stein Inn promises a cosy retreat after a day in Skye’s stunningly wild landscapes. The menu boasts fresh fish, caught in the waters around the island, as well as Skye venison and beef. Look out for a great range of whisky and Skye ales to try too.

7. Edinburgh to Ratho stopping off at the Bridge Inn

The walk – Edinburgh to Ratho via the Union Canal

Union Canal, Edinburgh

Union Canal, Edinburgh

This peaceful route from Edinburgh out to Ratho follows the tranquil canal towpath along the banks of the Union Canal. This lovely route is completely off-road as it follows the National Cycle Route 754.

Time to complete: 2.5 – 3 hours one way or 5 – 6 hours return.

Route information: on the National Cycle Route 754

The pub – Bridge Inn, Ratho

The Bridge Inn next to the Union Canal, Ratho © Richard Campbell

The Bridge Inn next to the Union Canal, Ratho © Richard Campbell

Time from route to pub – mid-way on the route

After a good walk out from the city, the Bridge Inn offers a lovely relaxed setting for you to refuel. The tempting menu features a mouth-watering range of delightfully refined dishes and hearty pub meals, all made using the freshest, locally sourced produce.

8. Beinn Chabhair finishing at the Drovers Inn

The walk – Beinn Chabhair, near Loch Lomond

Beinn Chabhair. Loch Lomond © Flickr/Nick Bramhall

Beinn Chabhair. Loch Lomond © Flickr/Nick Bramhall

Located just north of Loch Lomond, this towering Munro stands at 933 m and offers stunning views of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park from the top. Look out for the plunging waterfall – Beinglas Falls – towards the beginning of the route.

Time to complete: 5 – 6.5 hours.

Route information: Beinn Chabhair

The pub – The Drovers Inn, Inverarnan

The Drovers Inn, Loch Lomond © Gryffe Studios

The Drovers Inn, Loch Lomond © Gryffe Studios

Time from route to pub – route begins and ends here

Established in 1705, The Drovers Inn is hugely popular with people bagging the Munros in the area (Beinn Chabhair is one!) or walking the West Highland Way. Enjoy the warmth from the real log fire as you savour some home cooked comfort food and look out for live music at the weekend.

The epic walks: 7+ hours

Up for an epic challenge? These four strenuous walks will test all your skills, knowledge and endurance, but they also offer big rewards, including a massive sense of achievement.

9. Sgor na h-Ulaidh and Meall Lighiche finishing at the Clachaig Inn

The walk – Sgor na h-Ulaidh and Meall Lighiche, Glen Coe

Meall Ligiche, Glen Coe © Flickr/Graham Lewis

Meall Ligiche, Glen Coe © Flickr/Graham Lewis

Described by WalkHighlands as Glen Coe’s ‘forgotten’ Munro due to its remote location, Sgor na h-Ulaidh stands at a huge 994 m and offers beautiful views of the glen and it’s neighbouring Munros. A great day out in the Glen Coe mountains, the walk begins with an ascent of Meall Lighiche (a Corbett at 772 m) before continuing to its neighbour.

Time to complete: 7 – 9 hours.

Route information: Sgor na h-Ulaidh and Meall Lighiche

The pub – Clachaig Inn, Glen Coe

Clachaig Inn, Glen Coe © Clachaig/Ed Daynes

Clachaig Inn, Glen Coe © Clachaig/Ed Daynes

Time from route to pub – 5 minute drive

A Glen Coe institution, the Clachaig Inn has welcomed visitors for over 300 years. It boasts three friendly bars to relax in, with over 350 different whiskies to choose from as well as locally sourced real ale, plus a tempting menu featuring hearty dishes such as beef burgers and haggis. Look out for the inn’s beer festivals, live music sessions, ‘meet the brewer’ events and whisky tastings.

10. Creag Mhor and Loch Avon finishing at the Old Bridge Inn

The walk – Creag Mhor and Loch Avon, Glenmore

Creag Mhor © Flickr/Andrew

Creag Mhor © Flickr/Andrew

A stunning trail through the lush surroundings of the Cairngorms National Park, this route passes turquoise blue lochs and offers great views of the ancient Abernethy Forest. Highlights include a hike up Creag Mhor, a Corbett at 895 m, and a trip to Loch Avon, described by WalkHighlands as ‘one of the most remote and impressive lochs in Scotland’.

Time to complete: 8 – 10 hours.

Route information: Creag Mhor and Loch Avon

The pub – Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore

Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore

Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore

Time from route to pub – 15 minute drive

Located on the banks of the River Spey in Aviemore, the Old Bridge Inn is famous for its roaring log fire, great atmosphere and tempting menu. The bar offers an excellent selection of cask ales and whiskies, and regularly hosts live music nights. Aviemore is just a 20 minute bus ride from Glenmore too (the start and end of this walk).

11. White Mounth Munros finishing at the Boat Inn

The walk – White Mounth Munros, Glen Muick

Loch Muick and Glas Allt Shiel lodge, Glen Muick © VisitScotland/Damian Shields

Loch Muick and Glas Allt Shiel lodge, Glen Muick © VisitScotland/Damian Shields

Bag five Munros in one day on this epic circular route around Glen Muick, located in the east side of the Cairngorms National Park. Your bird’s eye vantage point offers unbeatable views of shimmering Loch Muick and Dubh Loch in the glen below.

Time to complete: 9 – 11 hours.

Route information: White Mounth Munros

The pub –The Boat Inn, Aboyne

The entrance area at The Bridge Inn, Aboyne © The Bridge Inn

The Boat Inn, Aboyne © The Boat Inn

Time from route to pub – 50 minute drive

Although this former coaching inn is a 50 minute drive from the car park at Spittal of Glen Muick (this walk’s start and finish point), it’s well worth the extra travelling time. Not only does The Boat Inn serve up delicious home-cooked food, the bar also offers a range of craft ales sourced from Scottish suppliers, plus a good range of whisky.

12. Ladhar Bheinn finishing at The Old Forge

The walk – Ladhar Bheinn from Inverie, Knoydart

Inverie, Knoydart © Michael Turek

Inverie, Knoydart © Michael Turek

If you’re looking for a real ‘escape’ destination, Inverie is the place for you. Perched on the edge of jaw-dropping Loch Nevis, the tiny village is one of the remotest places on Scotland’s mainland (there are no roads to Inverie, so the only way to get there is by boat from Mallaig, or a very long walk over mountains). The spectacular setting and brilliant walking routes are well worth travelling for though. Inverie is surrounded by three towering Munros including Ladhar Bheinn (this walk’s destination) which offers stunning views of the rugged Knoydart landscape and out across the sea to the Isle of Skye.

Time to complete: 9 – 12 hours.

Route information: Ladhar Bheinn from Inverie

The pub – The Old Forge, Inverie.

The Old Forge, Inverie © The Old Forge

The Old Forge, Inverie © The Old Forge

Time from route to pub – a few minutes’ walk

If you’re worried you won’t find much comfort so far off the beaten track – think again. The Old Forge has racked up a whole host of awards over the years and boasts a mouth-watering menu that’s famed for its locally caught shellfish. Famous as mainland Britain’s remotest pub (Guinness Book of World Records), The Old Forge is the perfect place to celebrate after a full day’s hiking, with a range of tempting cask ales on tap and regular live music sessions to get you in the party spirit.

All the recommended pubs on this list either offer accommodation or have options available that are within walking distance.

Want more? Check out our page on walking in Scotland, or read about Scotland’s landscapes and nature and whisky.

*Driving instead of walking? Remember Scotland’s drink driving laws. Find more information about driving in Scotland.*

Comments

  • Horace the footballer

    Congratulations on putting together a fine website `12 Stunning Pub Walks` very marketable and if all the pubs are as good as they are made out to be they will attract many walkers/ramblers to Scotland.

  • Graham Williamson

    Walk 11 – a 50 minute drive from walk to pub is stretching it a bit! That’s like going for a walk in Glasgow then driving through to Edinburgh for a post-walk drink. You’d be better off taking a carry-out with you!!

    • Lyn Scotting

      If you do this walk then stop at Ballater plenty of watering holes.about 30 min drive

    • Thanks for your feedback Graham! The White Mounth Munros are quite remote but we think The Boat Inn is well worth the extra traveling time 🙂 – Hayley

  • Sandy Edwards

    Any suggestions for us? We are going to Arisaig and take our dog and 16-year-old with us. When we tried getting a meal in Fort William last year the dog was allowed in the bar, but our daughter and her friend were only allowed in the lounge (where the dog wasn’t). Only one place accepted both and that was overpriced, and as the weather was bad we didn’t have the option of sitting outside anywhere.

    • Hi Sandy, you’ll find lots of dog friendly pubs, cafes and restaurants on Dugs n’ Pubs: https://www.dugswelcome.com/ and our iKnow Community is a great place to get local tips and advice: https://community.visitscotland.com/ Hope this helps – Hayley

    • Carrie-Lee Bradbury

      The Arisaig hotel allows dogs! If you go to Mallaig……stop at white sands of Morar to run and swim the energy off your dog….go to the Tea Garden in Mallaig which allows dogs too…..also do dog friendly ice-cream!

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