Back in my barwork days, a particularly intense manager used to swear by the mantra of ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’.

We’ve only seen a hint of sunshine so far this year, but with this week's top 10, I’ve finally taken this advice to heart.

Here are 10 rooftop terraces, restaurants and bars across Scotland to look out for when the summer season arrives.

Red Sky Bar

Radisson Red, 25 Tunnel Street, Glasgow

Just a short walk (and a few flights of stairs up) from the OVO Hydro, the Red Sky bar at the Radisson Red Hotel is an ideal choice for any pre-gig cocktails this Spring.

Although when the sun is shining, the views of the River Clyde, Finnieston Crane and Squinty Bridge are ample entertainment on their own.

House of Gods

61 Glassford Street, Glasgow

After three years of renovations, last week marked the official opening of the House of Gods Hotel in Glasgow in a space previously occupied by Peckham’s Deli.

While the luxury chain is perhaps best known for maximalist interiors that rely heavily on animal prints and gold detailing, upstairs at the ‘Sacred Garden’ rooftop terrace is another story.

There you’ll find an abundance of floral displays and greenery framing floor-to-ceiling windows that look out across the city centre skyline, with outdoor seating also available.

An ideal option for those days when the weather can’t quite make its mind up.

Ma Cameron’s

Little Belmont Street, Aberdeen

Aberdeen’s oldest bar is said to be the snug at the front of Ma Cameron’s which dates back 300 years.

There are plenty of nooks and crannies to discover indoors, but it’s a laid-back rooftop beer garden which the venue claims as the granite city’s ‘best kept secret’.

The 1820 Rooftop Bar

Johnnie Walker Princes Street, 145 Princes Street, Edinburgh

The Johnnie Walker experience in Edinburgh city centre is the jewel in the crown of Diageo’s £185 million investment in Scotch whisky tourism, with an incredible eight floors to explore.

This of course includes the 1820 Rooftop bar, where a whisky-led cocktail list and 180-degree views of the city and its Castle are hard to beat as the days grow longer.

Black Isle Bar

68 Church Street, Inverness

At this city bar, the Black Isle Brewing Company keeps 26 taps pouring all of their latest creations alongside a selection of organic ciders, wines and whiskies.

Pick your pint, order a wood-fired pizza from their food menu and make a beeline for the ‘top secret’ rooftop garden when the sun shines over Inverness.

Cold Town House

4 Grassmarket, Edinburgh

In the warmer months, a table at this former ‘Beer Bar of the Year’ winner’s scenic rooftop terrace is a hot commodity with advance booking recommended to avoid disappointment.

It’s easy to see why, with those all-important castle views, a range of beers made fresh at Cold Town’s own microbrewery and grazing plates like buffalo chicken loaded fries or Cajun corn ribs to pick at while you sip.


23 Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow

‘A botanical escape in the heart of the city centre’, Kong’s recently opened rooftop terrace is enhanced with lush, leafy plants and strings of fairy lights that twinkle as the sun begins to set.

It’s fully heated all year round, but with summer on the horizon, we anticipate this will be one of the city’s busiest hangouts.

18 at Rusacks St Andrews

Pilmour Links, St Andrews

Something a little different from the city venues which fill the rest of our list, this rooftop bar and restaurant in St Andrews offers truly spectacular views over the Old Course and West Sands Beach.

This coming season will see the first signature dishes from new executive chef Billy Boyter (formerly of The Cellar in Anstruther) served against the dramatic backdrop, with locally sourced seafood beef and game cooked on a robata grill.

The Ubiquitous Chip

12 Ashton Lane, Glasgow

No round up of rooftop venues would be complete without a nod to this West End institution.

The Rooftop Terrace at the Chip certainly isn’t as flashy as some of the other entries on the list, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in character.

Order a crisp glass of white wine, squeeze your way into a table and you’re all but guaranteed to strike up a conversation with whoever is sitting next to you in this quirky little space.

W Lounge Edinburgh

W Edinburgh Hotel, St James Quarter, Edinburgh

This will be the first summer for the W Edinburgh Hotel, with the 11th floor lounge and deck ready to make the most of its panoramic views.

Expect sharing plates of ‘reimagined’ Gaelic cuisine and bespoke cocktails, or head downstairs to Sushisamba to indulge in a vibrant fusion of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian dishes when you’re finished catching some rays.