Getting out and about in the country is always nice – but we all know that the best part is rewarding yourself afterwards with a hearty meal and a cold beer. With that in mind, here’s a round up of the best traditional country pubs across Scotland.

1 The Old Forge

Inverie, Knoydart, Mallaig

01687 462267

Holding the title of the most remote pub in mainland Britain, The Old Forge puts the ‘country’ in ‘country pub’. It is only accessible by foot – via a 17-mile walk from Kinlochhourn – or by boat from Mallaig. Locals have deliberately eschewed modern life, refusing to have telephone masts installed on the peninsula to ensure they retain their sense of community. But don’t be fooled into thinking the pub is quiet – you will find it surprisingly lively with locals and visitors alike.

2 The Cluanie Inn

Skye & Lochalsh, Glenmoriston, Inverness

01320 340238

At the foot of several Munros – which look particularly grand when snow-capped – the great location of The Cluanie Inn is a reason to visit in itself. As it’s on the road to Skye many see it as a place for a stop off, but with red deer roaming outside it is somewhere to be savoured, not stopped in. There is both a ‘normal’ bar and a specialist whisky bar, serving more than 200 malts. If you want to make a day of it, try climbing one of the 21 nearby mountains and then enjoying a well-deserved dram at the end of it.

3 The Drover’s Inn

North Loch Lomond, Inverarnan

01301 704234

Founded in 1705, this pub was originally used by Highland cattle drovers who herded cattle to the markets in the south. It retains a very authentic feel, with old furnishings and a huge stuffed bear that greets you on arrival. The food is also traditional – with neeps and haggis on offer – but by no means lacking in taste. But all this history doesn’t come without risk: there are several ghosts rumoured to haunt the pub, so visiting is at your own risk.

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4 The Steamboat Inn

Main Road, Carsethorn, Dumfries

01387 880631

Voted as the best pub in Dumfries and Galloway in both 2017 and 2016, The Steamboat Inn certainly has a reputation to live up to. But with good food and a cracking location on the banks of Solway coast – with a big beer garden – it manages to more than satisfy its award-winning status. If the weather isn’t hot enough to sit outside (which is probably likely in Scotland) then the pub’s quirky interior provides a very happy substitute.

5 The Clachaig Inn

Glencoe, Argyll

01855 811252

Sat bang in the middle of Glencoe’s magnificent mountains, The Clachaig has been popular with walkers for decades. It’s the perfect place to hole up after a day of exploring – with patrons welcome in all forms of hiking gear, and a warm welcome guaranteed. There is often live music at weekends and plenty of varieties of beer and whisky. Yet despite its authenticity, the pub has firmly moved into the 21st century by providing charging points for electric cars.

6 The Anderson

Union Street, Fortrose

01381 620236

The Anderson caters to both those who like a traditionally gritty pub experience, and those who prefer more high-end drinks. There’s the old-fashioned pub and an adjoining classy whisky bar: where there is over 300 real ales and a £30,000 wine collection, including a Château Margaux for £365. The American owners moved over 3,000 miles from Philadelphia to run the pub after they fell in love with it – which should be as good a recommendation as any.

7 The Moulin Inn

11-13 Kirkmichael Rd, Moulin, Pitlochry, Perthshire

01796 472196

A short walk from the attractive village of Pitlochry, The Moulin is an ‘authentic’ pub with no slot machines or jukeboxes in sight. Instead, you can enjoy the warmth of the stone fire and the cold beers on tap, made in their very own adjoining microbrewery. And if that’s not enough, the pub isn’t just dog friendly, but actively encouraging of four-legged visitors.

8 The Dores Inn

Dores, Loch Ness, Inverness

01463 751203

The Dores Inn is the only pub situated on the south shores of Loch Ness, with the views of the water as spectacular as you would imagine. It is best enjoyed from the beer garden on a sunny day, but if the weather isn’t on your side there is tasty seafood and a warm welcome on offer inside. Great views are guaranteed, Nessie sightings are not.

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9 The Applecross Inn

Shore St, Applecross, Strathcarron, Wester Ross

01520 744262

The Applecross Inn is the hub of this remote peninsula, and its beer garden is one of the most spectacular spots in Scotland to watch a sunset. The fresh seafood is another highlight, with top-quality langoustines that taste more like a top restaurant than a pub. Getting there via the hairpin bends of the Bealach na Ba isn’t for the faint hearted, but the reward is more than worth it when you do.

10 The Boat Inn

Charlestown Rd, Aboyne, Royal Deeside

01339 886137

On the banks of the River Dee, the tranquillity of the Boat Inn provides the quintessential ‘country pub’ experience. Fresh locally sourced produce is served daily, along with a range of local ales, spirits and whiskies – and Cream of Galloway ice creams to finish off. The log-fire warmed rooms give a great welcome whatever the weather, but if it’s sunny there is seating outside with a fine river view. It’s dog-friendly too, so you can enjoy your pint alongside man’s best friend.

11 Suie Bar

Kincraig, Aviemore

01540 651344

Located at the southern end of this pretty village, the Suie Bar has only its second owners in 100 years. It is close to both the River Spey and nearby Loch Insh, so there is plenty of good scenery to explore before returning to the pub to enjoy a local Cairngorm Gold Lager. They frequently host live traditional music, which has been known to run in to the wee hours for those who have the stamina.

12 Traquair Arms

Traquair Rd, Innerleithen, Borders

01896 830229

All are welcome in this old stone inn, with plenty of choices for food and drink available. A particular highlight is the Traquair House Ale, which is brewed in the nearby Traquair House stately home (which formerly served as a staunch support base for the Jacobite rebels and Mary Queen of Scots). Dogs will get a very warm reception, and the inn also has canine-friendly rooms in the hotel upstairs.

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13 Oak Tree Inn

Balmaha, Loch Lomond

01360 870 357

Named after the 500-year-old oak tree which sits in its grounds, this recently-renovated venue was named Scotland’s best independent pub in 2015. They have put a lot of work into their locally sourced food, even creating their own ice cream parlour selling Loch Lomond ice cream. It is on the path of the West Highland Way so is popular with walkers, but the gastropub cuisine and good atmosphere has brought in a lot of city-dwellers too.

14 Steinn Inn, Skye

Macleods Terrace, Stein, Skye

01470 592362

Surrounded by whitewashed crofting cottages in the north-west corner of the island, the lovely Steinn Inn is the oldest pub on Skye. You can get there by crossing the fairy bridge, before reaching the shores of the sea loch on which the pub sits and settling down with a Red Cullin ale. There is also over 100 whisky malts and locally caught seafood to enjoy.

15 Killberry Inn

Kilberry, Tarbert, Argyll

01880 770223

Don’t be put off by the old tin roof – this little pub is one of the best Argyll has to offer. The wooden beams in the ceiling and the fireplaces are typically traditional of a country pub, but the gourmet menu from a Rogano-trained chef is less so. You can enjoy exquisite boeuf a la bourguignonne or gigha halibut, but with the warm welcome you would expect from an old country pub. Located between Lochgilphead and Tarbert, it has a great location with sea views across to Jura.