14 of the most scenic beer gardens in Scotland

As we approach the summer months, it'll soon be time to head outside for a drink or two.

Published 8th Jul 2023
Updated 31 st Oct 2023

As it is summer Scotland, here we take a look at some of the most scenic beer gardens to enjoy a pint or two.

From overlooking the river Spey to enjoying views of Edinburgh Castle, we can’t wait to get back to these scenic beer gardens and outdoor drinking spaces when the weather permits.

Fiddichside Inn, Craigellachie

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Picture: Fiddichside Inn

The Inn, which sits on the bank of the River Spey, is famous for its welcoming and friendly atmosphere and was built in 1840 as a meeting house for the men working on the nearby railway line.

Customers will soon be able to enjoy a dram while enjoying the scenery and listening to the sounds of the river.

In 2017 the Inn sadly lost its landlord, Joe Brandie, who had been serving drinks and entertaining guests with his stories for almost 60 years.

Cold Town House, Edinburgh

Opened in 2019 Cold Town House has an extensive roof bar with views of Edinburgh Castle. 

As the official home of Cold Town Beer, the opening of Cold Town House marked the return of brewing to the Grassmarket, a tradition dating back to the 16th century.

On the roof terrace, drinks are served from a vintage Cold Town branded Citroen van and guests can enjoy them no matter what the weather thanks to the varied seating, which includes enclosed ski-lift style booths.

Rowallan Castle Estate, Ayrshire

Rowallan Castle Estate has a Beer Garden at the Glasshouse Restaurant, which is set in the surroundings of the 600 acre estate in Ayrshire.

The beer garden will be open from 11am-6pm from Monday to Thursday and from 11am to 9.30pm from Friday to Sunday.

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Bookings can be made by calling 01563 572678, and walk-ins are also accepted.

Drovers Inn, Loch Lomond

Picture: Shutterstock

Arguably one of the most famous pubs in Scotland, the Drovers was established in 1705. Named for the highland drovers who used to drive their cattle down the side of Loch Lomond to the markets in the south, entering the Inn feels like a trip to the past. 

On sunny days their outdoor picnic tables are full of customers enjoying a drink in the tranquil surroundings.

Ben Nevis Inn, Fort William

Pciture: Ben Nevis Inn

Located at the bottom of the mountain path on Ben Nevis, this traditional pub was recently voted one as having one of the best beer gardens in the UK.

Guests can soak up the beautiful views of Glen Nevis with a drink or enjoy a meal in the 200 year old converted barn.

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Clachaig Inn, Glen Coe

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Picture: Clachaig Inn Facebook

Enjoy the atmospheric views of this famous Glen - including the West Face of Aonach Dubh - at the historic Clachaig Inn. 

The three bars serve an extensive range of real ales and whiskies.

Saint Luke’s and the Winged Ox, Glasgow

Picture: Saint Luke's Facebook

This award-winning dog-friendly bar and music venue has a large outdoor space in which guests can soak up the sights and sounds of Glasgow’s east end.

Formerly a church, the pub serves a wide range of drinks from craft beers to Scottish gins and cocktails, and for those looking forward to a substantial meal, there's a variety of delicious pub grub from pizzas to fried chicken.

Bridge Inn, Ratho

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Picture: The Bridge Inn Ratho

The Bridge Inn is situated on the banks of The Union Canal in the conservation village of Ratho, seven miles to the west of Edinburgh but it feels like a real country escape.

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When it reopens customers can enjoy drinks in the beer garden, which is open to walk-ins.

The Applecross Inn, Strathcarron

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Picture: Applecross Inn Facebook

Set in the heart of some of the most beautiful scenery the country has to offer – the Applecross Peninsula – the Applecross Inn has become something of an institution for anyone visiting the area and it’s easy to see why.

The pub not only offers a perfect escape from the rigours of urban life and a true Highland welcome, it also has some utterly breathtaking views that are best enjoyed from picnic benches outside - with a refreshing pint.

The Old Forge, Mallaig

Picture: Subarite\Geograph

The Old Forge, located on the Knoydart peninsula, is a record-breaking bar that is recognised as the most remote pub in mainland Britain, and it's now community owned.

If you manage to get there you’ll be rewarded with great service, a well stocked bar, a meni including seafood all which can be enjoyed with the stunning views of Loch Nevis.

The Dores Inn, Inverness

Picture: The Dores Inn Facebook

Located on the southern shores of arguably Scotland’s famous Loch Ness, the Dores Inn gives guests the chance to take in unrivalled views of this most beautiful stretch of water.

In warmer weather, head outside to eat your lunch on the shore, scanning the horizon for a glimpse of the loch’s famous resident.

The Ship Inn, Elie

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Picture: The Ship Inn at Elie.

This popular East Neuk pub has won multiple awards and, in normal times, is always very busy.

Serving up a menu of local produce, including fish and chips, one of the best spots to grab a seat is the beer garden which overlooks the beach.

It's easy to while away the time there watching the cricket practise that often takes place on the sands.

The Black Sheep, Campbeltown

Picture: Shutterstock

Located inside The Royal Hotel in Campbeltown, outdoor seating at the Black Sheep pub offers scenic views of the town's waterfront.

Food is locally sourced pub grub and it wouldn't be a visit to the whiskiest place on earth without a dram or two.

Radisson Red, Glasgow

Picture: Radisson Red

Glasgow’s first rooftop bar, the Sky Bar at the Radisson Red hotel has panoramic views across the Clyde and nearby Finnieston, making this an ideal spot for enjoying the sunset on brighter days.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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