The Buccleuch Arms Hotel at St Boswells, near Melrose in the Scottish Borders has beaten off stiff competition and won the inaugural Best Sporting Pub in Scotland Award.

The Buccleuch Arms was originally built as a hunting lodge by the 5th Duke of Buccleuch and is now run by Billy and Rachel Hamilton, who hunt with the Lauderdale. The pub is the unofficial HQ of the Duke of Buccleuch’s hunt, a regular venue for shooting lunches and dinners and is close to the Tweed, so frequented by fishermen.

The 4 Star Coaching Inn is also close to fabulous scenery and walks, delightful market towns and yet is only one hour by road from Edinburgh and Newcastle and only seven miles from Tweedbank Station, a key stop on the new Borders railway.

In addition to its new accolade, The Buccleuch Arms holds the title of Scottish Inn of the Year 2015 and prides itself on use of local produce, most notably in its Blue Coo Bistrot, as well as offering the best possible service to customers.

The Britain’s Best Sporting Pub 2015 competition is run by the Countryside Alliance and Country Life magazine and selected one Scottish and one Welsh winner in addition to five regional winners across England.

Rachel Hamilton said:

“Winning this award is a wonderful bit of news. We are very proactive and supportive of local countryside groups, we both hunt, my husband shoots and we both come from agricultural backgrounds, so we have a deep connection to the countryside around us.

“Billy is a self-taught chef and loves to cook game, so that enthusiasm for locally sourced food transfers to our menu.”

This is the first year of the Britain’s Best Sporting Pub competition and hundreds of nominations were made by the public, keen to put forward their favourite watering hole after a long day in the saddle, on the river bank or shooting for the honours.

Jill Grieve of the Countryside Alliance, said:

“Our sporting pubs are the beating hearts of their communities. They host the shoot lunches and hunt meets we love to attend, are the backdrop to many a tall tale of fishing prowess and they deserve our support.

“The judges had an enviable job, travelling round the country to sample the welcome of these unrivalled hostelries, but we finally made up our minds and drew up our list of the best sporting pubs in the land.

“The Buccleuch Arms is a fabulous all-round sporting pub, where anyone weary from the field will find a warm welcome. We are delighted to give them this award.”

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