10 Stunning Pub Walks In Scotland

Sarah Henderson ·February 01, 2024Reading time: 6 minutes

These 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.

  1. Sand to Applecross Bay and Applecross Inn Wester Ross

    Applecross Bay

    Follow the route from the pebbly bay at Applecross out to the spectacular beach at Sand, soaking up the atmospheric views and shifting vistas across the water to Skye, Rona and Raasay. The route described here begins at Sand, but it can easily be done in reverse by starting at Applecross. Overlooking Applecross Bay, the Applecross Inn is famous for its incredible location and fresh menu, serving up locally sourced seafood including rich langoustines, smoked salmon and crab for the perfect post-walk treat.  

    Route time: 2 hours 

  2. Arthur’s Seat and Sheep Heid Inn Edinburgh

    Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat

    Arthur’s Seat is an ancient volcano that dominates the Edinburgh skyline, affording excellent views of the city as well as out across the sea to Fife in the north and the distinctive Berwick Law further down the coast on the east. There are plenty of routes to roam and discover and it’s amazing to experience the feeling of the countryside in the middle of the city. Head past the romantic ruins of St Anthony’s Chapel ,which overlook St Margaret’s Loch, and take the path into Duddingston from Dunsapie Loch to finish up with a well-earned pub visit to the Sheep Heid Inn. The Sheep Heid is one of Scotland’s oldest pubs, dating back to the 14th century in picturesque Duddingston village.  

    Route time: 1.5-2 hours 

  3. Heaval and Castlebay Hotel Barra Isle of Barra

    View of Castlebay from Heaval

    Climbing up Heaval, the highest summit on the Isle of Barra, is well worth the effort with incredible views across Castlebay to Vatersay and the various scattered uninhabited islands beyond. Starting in Castlebay, you can see Kisimul Castle which sits in the bay, a 15th century castle and the historic seat of Clan MacNeil. The route steadily climbs through the moorland, followed by a short but steep final ascent beneath the famous statue of the Virgin and Child and up to the summit trig point. You can keep enjoying the views of the island and share a drink with the locals from the Castlebay Hotel and Bar, which look out over the harbour and castle.  

     Route time: 2-3 hours 

  4. Beinn Dubh and Loch Lomond Arms Loch Lomond & The Trossachs

    Looking out to Loch Lomond from Luss

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    For those feeling adventurous, the climb up Beinn Dubh and the Glen Striddle horseshoe route offers rewarding views over Loch Lomond and the surrounding Arrochar Alps. Starting in the pretty village of Luss, you traverse through bracken and forest with views back over Glen Luss and up until Ben Lomond and surrounding islands in the loch come into view. The walk along the ridge also reveals views of the Arrochar Alps, The Cobbler, Beinn Ìme and Doune Hill. After that epic climb, you’ll have earned a hearty meal! Dating back to the 17th century as a coaching inn, the Loch Lomond Arms is part of the Luss Estates, so their menu features quality Scottish produce from their own land, garden and grounds. The hotel and pub is full of rich interiors, cosy nooks and open fires to rest and curl up with a wee dram.  

    Route time: 3.5-5 hours 

  5. Keiloch Crag and The Flying Stag at Fife Arms Aberdeenshire

    Fife Arms, Braemar

    Braemar is a great base for countryside rambles, whether you’re looking for challenging hill walks or a gentle forest wander. The Keiloch Crag walk is a circular route around the Invercauld estate that takes you through pinewood trees and to arresting views across the hills of the Cairngorms and down onto the River Dee. Complete your trip at the Fife Arms, a stunning hotel outfitted with incredible art gems including pieces by Freud, Queen Victoria and Picasso. The Flying Stag is their cosy pub, decorated with antlers, local woodwork and a dramatic stag with ptarmigan wings centrepiece above the bar. Their menu is a great mix of classic pub food with quality ingredients and it’s also a great spot to sample some local beers, whiskies and spirits. 

    Route time: 1.5-2 hours 

  6. Wideford Hill and Helgi’s Kirkwall, Orkney

    The harbour of the Orcadian capital.

    © VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

    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 3,000 BC. Round off your walk with a visit to Helgi’s, a charming traditional pub inspired by Orkney’s Viking past. They have 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. 

    Route time: 2.5-3 hours 

  7. Burns Circular Walk and the Globe Inn Dumfries & Galloway

    The Globe Inn

    © VisitScotland / PRImaging

    When Robert Burns moved to Dumfries in 1791, he would often walk along the banks of the River Nith to connect with his surroundings. Follow in his footsteps along the river on this peaceful walk and look out for places connected with the Bard along the way, including Burns House Museum and his mausoleum. The most fitting place to end your walk is in The Globe Inn – Robert Burns’s 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. 

    Route time: 2-2.5 hours 

  8. Gullane and the Bonnie Badger Gullane, East Lothian

    Gullane beach

    Breathe in the fresh sea air and explore the east coast of Scotland with a beach walk around Gullane. Just 20 miles outside of Edinburgh, Gullane is famous for its pristine golf course and rugged coastal location. Take the circular walk around the beach and forest to soak up the sights of the long stretches of sand, hypnotic waves and wildflower fields. The route also takes you past remnants of WWII tanks, views over the Firth of Forth, the famous golf course and St Patrick’s Chapel, which dates back to the 16th century. Finish up in The Bonnie Badger in the centre of Gullane, complete with an ivy-covered façade and an elevated pub menu by Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin. 

    Route time: 2-2.5 hours 

  9. Eildon Hills and The Ship Inn Scottish Borders

    Scott's View over the Eildon Hills

    The Eildon Hills are an iconic site in the Scottish Borders, steeped in myth and legend. The hills have captured the imagination of writers including Sir Walter Scott, James Hogg and Thomas the Rhymer and show signs of occupation back to the Bronze Age, as well as evidence of Roman constructions. The route starts out in the bustling Border town of Melrose and initially follows signs for St Cuthbert’s Way before turning off to reach the peaks. The descent and return to Melrose finish at the atmospheric abbey ruins, which you can explore before ending at the Ship Inn pub. You’ll be welcomed by home-cooked pub treats and, if the weather is nice, make sure you grab a refreshment in the olive tree beer garden. 

    Route time: 3-4 hours 

  10. Lerwick Explorer and the Douglas Arms Lerwick, Shetland

    Lerwick Harbour

    Get to know Shetland’s capital with this walk around the historic town and harbour that also takes you up to coastal views around the headland of Knab.  Starting in the Dutch-influenced 17th century harbour, the route then weaves through the old streets in the area known as the Lodberries. The path then leads out of town, hugging the coastline with spectacular viewpoints across the Sound to the Ward of Bressay. You can also choose to take a small detour to explore the Clickimin Broch, which is over 2,000 years old. Head back to the town centre for a pint in the Douglas Arms, where you can meet the locals and enjoy some live Scottish music. 

    Route time: 2 hours 

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