Whether you are following the Castle Trail, travelling between rounds of golf, or simply exploring, Aberdeenshire has a wealth of country pubs to pause, rest, and refuel at. Some offer rooms, like the old coaching inns the modern country pub has evolved from, some specialise in food, others in a large selection of whiskies or real ales to delight those who aren’t the designated driver, and many manage to offer all these things. Here are six of the best for you to try.
Pub, Hotel Restaurant, British, Pub Grub
If you are looking for a traditional country pub with a restaurant and classic pub dishes, well cooked and served with by attentive and friendly staff, then The Redgarth is for you. Situated in the village of Oldmeldrum, there’s no shiny chrome or loud music here, just comfort and relaxation, along with a good selection of beers, cask ales, wines and malt whisky (including the local Glen Garioch, distilled only a stone’s throw away), there’s everything here you need in a country pub. And did we mention they have rooms available to stay in too? With The Redgarth the old adage, “If it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it” fits perfectly.
With the River Dee flowing just across the road, and serving food all day, The Boat Inn is an excellent place to drop in for a bite to eat if you are exploring Royal Deeside, or perhaps stay on a longer drive across the Cairngorms, or travelling from castle to castle. Serving breakfast from 7.30am and with a reputation for excellent service, a cosy atmosphere, the same food in the bar as the restaurant, and a brilliant selection of drinks, The Boat Inn is a hidden gem.
If you are looking for somewhere providing a warm Scottish welcome, bot visitors and locals alike, then the Ythanview Hotel should be on your list. When it is a cool day outside warm up beside the real fire with a pint of Scottish real ale, or a healthy measure of single malt. If you are hungry there is a restaurant serving fresh, local food (check their website for serving times, which are different to those of the bar). The surrounding area offers fishing, golf and an array of lovely walks and historical sites to visit.
Constructed as a coaching inn in the 18th century, The New Inn really isn’t very new any more! Although the address has “Aberchirder” listed as the village, this was the name given to it in 1764; before then the settlement was known as “Foggieloan,” and many locals still use this name, despite it not being called that in over 250 years! The New Inn is an intrinsic part of this historic community, and continues to be at the heart of things, providing meals, rooms, and an extensive selection of whisky, gin, wine, cask ales and other tipples. This is about as authentic a coaching inn as you can find, although what was the stable is now the dining room!
With a 100-cover restaurant, over 60 malt whiskies and 20 excellent gins, Beekies Neuk is a great spot to call in if you are in the area north of Aberdeen. Situated in the village of Newmachar, the pub is on the popular walk along the old railway line that forms the Formartine and Buchan Way. It is dog-friendly and there are even free sausage rolls and sandwiches. The opening times listed are for the bar, check with Beekies Neuk for restaurant opening hours.
Serving award-winning food from midday until 9pm, The Cock and Bull has built up a solid reputation as a destination in itself. Using the freshest local ingredients, the food is complemented by excellent service and the cosy pub itself; with low ceilings and exposed beams, this is a quintessential country pub. Situated north of Aberdeen, it is ideally located for those who are either fans of golf, nature, walking or exploring the historic coast, and should definitely be on your list of places to visit.