The Stein Inn

Waternish, Isle of Skye

What is it: This is the oldest inn on Skye, dating back to the 18th century. It is located on the beautiful peninsula of Waternish, which runs for around seven miles from Loch Dunvegan and Loch Snizort in the northwest of the island. The history of the area goes back for centuries, taking in clan feuds and the Highland Clearances. Today it is home to various arts and crafts enterprises for the tourists and of course The Stein Inn. The inn’s location is stunning, set just on the water's edge. There can’t be many places better on the planet to sit with a whisky and watch the sunset with the Outer Hebridean islands in the distance.

Interesting fact: There is a remote island called Mingay which sits three miles off the north-west coast of Skye. Bizarrely the island was once home to a hippy commune founded by the 1960s folk singer Donovan. Mingay is a 25-acre landmass known locally as the Blue Isle because in the summer it is covered in bluebells. Donovan bought Mingay and two neighbouring islands in the 1960s, but none of the islands has ever been permanently inhabited.

Verdict: I am so happy they haven't gone all “modern Scottish” with the decor here. I've seen many a traditional inn ruined by someone's decision to modernise the interior, only to kill its authenticity. The bar is cosy and welcoming and the staff know their stuff when it come to the beer and whisky. With award-winning beers and amazing single malt, this is as close to heaven as you can get.

Drink: As well as having well over 100 single malt whiskies on offer, the inn has an award-winning reputation for beer. The Stein Inn is accredited by Cask Marque as having excellently kept real ales, as well as being listed in both the Good Beer Guide and the Good Pub Guide. Every year since 2005 the inn has been voted the Camra Pub of the Year for North Skye and the Hebrides. In 2015 they were even voted Camra Pub of the Year for Highlands and the Western Isles.

Food: Local and fresh is the focus here. They offer good, wholesome food at affordable prices. Sometimes places in locations like this just rely on the fact that the tourists will always be there so the standard is pretty low, but not here. I went for the Highland venison pie, which was delicious but I can also highly recommend the haggis and beer toast from the lunch menu.

Children: Kid-friendly here.

Perfect for: Skye is one of the most stunning places on earth in my opinion. Tourism here has grown massively over the years and the island is now apparently the most visited place in Scotland after Edinburgh. True, it is not the easiest place to get but again that is part of its charm and visiting its oldest inn has to be on the agenda once you get there.

Avoid if: It's high summer and you don't want to be faced with limited parking and the fact everywhere is pretty much fully booked. Make sure and plan ahead when making a trip here. The island is just not set up for the influx of tourists it receives but plans are in place to cope with the demand.

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