10 cosy Scottish pubs to warm up in this autumn and winter

Comfy seats and real fires help you to take your mind off the world outside in these welcoming hostelries.

Published 2nd Sep 2020
Updated 20 th Sep 2023

Get out of the cold and enjoy a warming drink in one of these cosy Scottish pubs this autumn and winter.

The warm glow of a cosy pub on an autumn afternoon could just be the comfort we need right now.

In 2020, the way we go to the pub has changed but allow yourself the company of a good ale or a fine glass of wine and feel the atmosphere close in against the world outside the window.

A real fire and a comfy seat will hopefully be yours, as well as those warm connections of the type only forged under the roof of a hostelry.

Kirkstyle Inn

(Kirkstyle Square, Dunning, Perth PH2 0RR)

cosy pubs

Picture: Kirkstyle Inn

At the Kirkstyle Inn at Dunning in Perthshire, the creeak of the old latch door sets the tone for a visit to a pub that does tradition and friendliness so well.

Old flagstone floors give way to a roaring fire in the lounge, where dogs happily nap and a relaxed atmosphere falls.

The inn prides itself on welcoming everyone from the “Laird to the Layman” and there’s no doubt you’ll feel so nicely at ease here.

The Cross Keys

(Main St, Kippen, Stirling FK8 3DN)

cosy pubs

Picture: Cross Keys Facebook

The Cross Keys over at Kippen in Stirlingshire, on the fringes of Loch Lomond National Park, offers a perfect place to warm up and reset after a day roaming the woods and hills.

They have been serving food and ale here since 1703 to travellers and locals. Some things just don’t need to change – although today the Cross Keys is particularly regarded for its gastro pub-style fare.

The Drovers

(Memus, by Forfar, Angus)

Picture: Drovers Inn Facebook

The same is true of The Drovers at Memus near Forfar in Angus, a modern country pub where food is made with love and care and offers a great stop after a day exploring the Angus Glens, which are dressed in beautiful purple heather right now.

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The Boat Inn

(Charlestown Rd, Aboyne AB34 5EL)

cosy pubs

Picture: The Boat Inn

Still in the North-east, you can warm your boots by the fire and unwind in the heart of Deeside at The Boat Inn at Aboyne, where food and drink can be enjoyed by the riverside.

Clachaig Inn

(Ballachulish PH49 4HX)

cosy pubs

Picture: Clachaig Inn Facebook

Another important staging post comes at the Clachaig Inn at Glencoe, famous for its roaring fires, good beers and – in normal times – the buzz of a folk or ceilidh band.

There is everything still to be had from a visit to the Clachaig, where you will enjoy your food and drink in the shadows of some of Scotland’s most stunning mountains.

The Anderson

(Union St, Fortrose IV10 8TD)

Picture: The Anderson

Up in Fortrose, The Anderson glows warm with wood burning stoves and a whisky bar.

At the moment it’s supporting local, independent breweries who are struggling amid the pandemic. Definitely worth raising a glass to that.

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(Clachan-Seil, Oban PA34 4QZ)

Picture: Tigh-An-Truish

You’ll find Tigh-An-Truish on the Isle of Seil across the 18th Century Bridge over the Atlantic, just south of Oban.

Rich in Jacobite history, a rickety piano and real ales speaks west coast charm with the cafe/restaurant proudly serving local seafood.

The Marine Hotel 

(9-10 Shorehead, Stonehaven AB39 2JY)

Picture: The Marine Hotel

As the temperature falls and cold winds come in, there is a special sort of refuge offered by a pub by the sea.

At Stonehaven, the Marine Hotel offers fabulous real ales, many from its own 6 Degrees North Brewery, and hearty plates like salmon skink in a bread bowl.

The Dreel Tavern

(16 High St W, Anstruther KY10 3DL)

Picture: The Dreel Tavern

At the Dreel Tavern at Anstruther, the low ceilings and log fires offer a genuine welcome.

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The Ship Inn

(121 Fisher St, Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD5 2BR)

Picture: The Ship Inn

The Ship Inn at Broughty Ferry offers warming charms by the water’s edge.

The only hard thing will be trying to leave.

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