The weather is rubbish, the nights are dark and summer feels awfully far away. But on a cold winter’s day, nothing quite cheers you up like heading to a pub with a log fire and a warm welcome. Here’s our rundown of some of the best cosy pubs across the country.

1. Struy Inn, Beauly

Struy, Beauly, Inverness

01463 761308

Open Wednesday-Sunday from 6pm

If you’re looking for cosy, you can’t get much cosier than this. Being in the Struy Inn is like sitting in someone’s front room, with plenty of personal touches dotted around the bar. The food, on the other hand, is more haute cuisine than home comforts: think venison tenderloin, breast of Gressingham duck and superb fillet steaks. If you still aren’t sure, then the Struy’s five star rating on TripAdvisor should go some way to convince you – it’s a real rarity.

2. The Globe Inn, Dumfries

56 High Street, Dumfries

013873 23010

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-11pm and Sunday, 12pm-9pm

Nestled down a lane, the Globe Inn was said to be Robert Burns’ favourite pub during his time living in Dumfriesshire (he even fathered a daughter with one of the barmaids). If you want to pay homage to Burns on your visit to the pub then why not incorporate the Robert Burns circular walk – which traces a picturesque route along the River Nith – before finishing with a much-deserved drink.

3. Pot Still, Glasgow

154 Hope Street, Glasgow

0141 333 0980

Open every day, 11am-midnight

If you’ve endured Christmas shopping in town and you want to warm up afterwards, there are few methods better than a pie and a pint. Both are on offer in Hope Street’s Pot Still (with the pies renowned for their quality), but whisky is the pub’s real passion. They have more than 700 varieties and the staff can advise you on all of them, as well as making recommendations based on your preferences. Add in some gloomy mood lighting, and you’ve got the perfect place to bed in for the night.

4. The Sheep Heid Inn, Edinburgh

43-45 The Causeway, Edinburgh

0131 661 7974

Open Monday-Thursday, 11am-11pm, Friday and Saturday, 11am-12pm and Sunday 12pm-11pm

Forget pub crawls. At the Sheep Heid Inn you have everything you need for an evening of entertainment, with a cosy interior, extensive food menu (including 12 vegan dishes) and even an old-fashioned skittles alley. Why bother venturing out into the cold?

5. Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore

23 Dalfaber Road, Aviemore, Cairngorms

01479 811137

Open every day, 12pm-12am and until 1am on Friday and Saturday

Aviemore really comes alive in the winter, with its snowsports and cosy lodges attracting an influx of visitors. The fairy lights and candles that adorn the Old Bridge Inn create exactly the kind of atmosphere that tourists are hoping for, and it has the added bonus of offering exceptional food. The dishes wouldn’t be out of place in a fine dining restaurant, but you can get a big plate like seabass for a very reasonable £11.

6. The Jolly Judge, Edinburgh

7 James Court, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh

0131 225 2669

Open Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 12pm-11pm and Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 12pm-12am

It might be a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Castle and St Giles Cathedral, but the Jolly Judge remains mercifully undiscovered by tourists. The affable staff offer the kind of warm welcome that isn’t often seen in big cities, while the menu is full of ‘proper’ pub food and reasonably priced drinks. The low beamed ceilings add an extra charm, too.

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7. The Salmon Inn, Galashiels

54 Bank Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders


Contrary to its name, the signature dish at the Salmon Inn is not seafood – but ‘sticky chicken’ fillets made with tender meat and an indulgent glaze. Other standouts include the fresh goat's cheese pizzas and haggis nachos, which the owners modestly describe as the "best in the Borders". The interior has recently been renovated to give it a contemporary design, but the roaring fire and folk music performances remain pleasingly unchanged.

8. The Redgarth, Aberdeenshire

Kirk Brae, Oldmeldrum, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire

01651 872353

Open every day, 11am-3pm and 5pm-11pm (11.45pm on Friday and Saturday)

With large pub chains putting a squeeze on the industry, and 14 pubs closing every week in Britain, there are fewer family-run venues than ever before. Thankfully, the 91-year-old Redgarth Inn is still in the hands of Stuart Singer, with guests benefitting from his authentic Aberdeenshire hospitality. If you order a whisky make sure to try the selection on offer from the Glen Garioch distillery, which is located two minutes away from the Redgarth.

9. The Kimberly Inn, Findhorn

94 Findhorn, Findhorn, Forres, Moray

01309 690492

Open Sunday-Thursday, 12pm-11pm and Friday and Saturday, 12pm-12am

Its outlook onto Findhorn Bay makes the Kimberly Inn’s beer garden a popular destination in summer but the pub is equally worth a visit in winter: locals flock there for the fresh seafood and welcoming atmosphere. And those views across the water? You can still enjoy them from the window seats inside.

10. Big Slope, Glasgow

36A Kelvingrove Street, Glasgow

0141 333 0869

Open every day, 11am-12am

Finnieston isn’t short of pop-up bars and trendy restaurants. But if you fancy bucking the trend and drinking in a more traditional pub, then Big Slope should do the trick. They show the football for those who are interested, but there is also a good selection of old-fashioned board games that might help visitors to put down their phones and communicate. Shudder.

11. Allanwater Brewhouse, Bridge of Allan

Queens Lane, Bridge of Allan, Stirling

Monday-Thursday, 12-11pm Friday, 12pm-12am Saturday, 12pm-12am and Sunday 12pm-10pm

01786 834555

If you like beer, this is heaven. But even if you don’t, you will enjoy the rustic surroundings, live folk music performances and the eclectic bottles that decorate every inch of the wall behind the bar. The Allanwater Brewhouse – unsurprisingly – brews its own beer on site, so you can try a tour while you’re there, with the 7pm Saturday slot providing the perfect way to start a night out.

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12. Loch Erisot Inn, Lewis

Sheildinish, Outer Hebrides

01851 830473

Open Monday-Saturday from 4pm and on Sunday from 12.30pm

The isolation of this venue – the next pub is 17 miles away – makes it a haven for weary winter travellers. They have a log burning fire and a dog-friendly policy, with the staff ensuring that all their guests are made to feel at home. And unlike the vast majority of venues on the island, it is open on a Sunday.

13. Allison Arms, Glasgow

720 Pollokshaws Road, Shawlands, Glasgow

0141 423 1661

Open every day, 11am-midnight

A traditional boozer turned bohemian, the Allison Arms attracts a varied crowd but all its customers can appreciate the wide range of drinks (especially gin), the inclusive atmosphere and the outgoing bar staff. You can enjoy pub quizzes, karaoke and open mic nights depending on which night of the week you visit – check their Facebook page for up to date details.

14. Illicit Still, Aberdeen

Netherkirkgate, Broad Street, Aberdeen

01224 623800

Open Monday-Thursday, 12pm-12am, Friday, 12pm-1am and Sunday, 10am-11pm

Located in an underground venue where whisky was made illicitly to avoid taxes, this atmospheric venue doesn’t feel like most city centre pubs. There is plenty going on to add to the ambience, with live music, darts and an in-house PlayStation for any big kids who fancy it.

15. The Moulin Inn

11-13 Kirkmichael Rd, Moulin, Pitlochry, Perthshire

01796 472196

With plenty of log fires, exposed brick, and a dog-friendly policy, the Moulin Inn provides the ideal escape from the harsh Scottish winter. It has its own microbrewery for those that want a pint, and a wide range of home-cooked pub grub. But, if you want to feel like you’ve earned your dinner, why not climb up nearby Ben Vrackie first? At 841m high (around 2759 in feet) it will take at least three hours to tackle but your drink will taste that bit sweeter at the end.