Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

11 historic bars and inns across the north and north-east

Grab a pint at these fine establishments.

Where everybody knows your name. Image: Shutterstock.
Where everybody knows your name. Image: Shutterstock.

Nothing beats a catch-up with friends over a drink or two, and what better way to do that than in one of the many historic pubs and inns across Aberdeen, Moray, Inverness and the Highlands and islands?

Ma Cameron’s, Aberdeen

Exterior of Ma Cameron's, one of the oldest pubs in Aberdeen.
Enjoy live entertainment. Image: Shutterstock.

This cosy bar in the heart of city centre is said to be the oldest pub in Aberdeen, dating back to 1746, with the snug at the front its oldest part. The name of the bar goes back to Amelia ‘Ma’ Cameron who took over the business in the 1930’s.

And the pub is even said to have its own resident ghost!

These days there is live music often providing the entertainment on weekends and a popular Monday night quiz that brings out everyone’s inner mastermind.

The Ben Nevis Bar and Restaurant, Fort William

At heart of Fort William is the bustling Ben Nevis Bar. Originally built in 1806 as an inn for cattle drovers, the newly refurbished bar has kept its traditional Scottish mood and appeals to locals and tourists.

Guests can enjoy a dram at the whisky bar, which features a wide selection of Scottish malts, and can enjoy the view over Loch Linnhe whilst they’re at it.

The Grill, Aberdeen

Exterior of The Grill restaurant in Aberdeen, which dates back to 1870.
Grab a chair ladies. Image: Shutterstock.

The Grill, which dates back to 1870 when it was established as a restaurant, was famously the place where female protesters stormed through the doors of the then men’s only pub in 1973.

During the protest a sign saying ‘No Ladies’ was snatched from the door and passed around. The incident was the subject of a short film released in 2019 called No Ladies Please.

These days The Grill which is part of the McGinty’s Group remains a popular venue on Union Street.

Old Blackfriars, Aberdeen

Front of Old Blackfriars on Castle Street.
Follow the cobblestone road. Image: Shutterstock.

Located in the historic Castlegate going to Old Blackfriars pub has been described as like “stepping back in time”.

It has many unique and interesting features, including the stained glass and church pews – and reportedly one or two ghosts!

The award-winning cask ale pub holds an extensive menu of food and drink, all freshly prepared.

The Stein Inn, Isle of Skye

The oldest inn on Skye dates back to 1790 and is surrounded by stunning scenery as it is situated on the shores of Lochbay in the conservation village of Stein.

The village on the Waternish Peninsula was designed by renowned engineer Thomas Telford. The inn was bought by celebrity chef Paul Rankin and Charlie Haddock in 2019.

St Machar Bar, Aberdeen

The St Machar Bar in Aberdeen.
The St Machar Bar. Picture by Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

This 18th-century building has been deemed “a university bar since 1904”, due to its convenient location in Old Aberdeen’s High Street, in the heart of the University of Aberdeen’s campus grounds.

The pub has a wide selection of beer, gin and more than 100 whiskies to be sampled as well as a small, but filling, menu to browse for an evening bite. Recently it proved to be popular with visitors from a cruise ship docked in the city’s harbour.

Lauders Bar, Inverness

Exterior of Lauders Bar, one of the oldest pubs in Inverness.
Perfect for tourists. Image: Shutterstock.

Many locals might fondly recall when Lauders was known as the Criterion Bar. This bar, which is noted for its Edwardian-style revolving door, is situated right in the city centre just a short distance away from Inverness Castle and the River Ness.

Lauders is a definite must visit for anyone passing through the city and promises a fun weekend scene with a DJ and musicians providing the entertainment.

New Inn Hotel, Ellon

The New Inn Hotel at Ellon, which was built in 1704.
The New Inn Hotel at Ellon. Picture by Kenny Elrick.

Built in 1704 as a coaching inn, this historic hotel overlooks the River Ythan.

In days gone by the inn was a changeover point for horses pulling coaches between Aberdeen and the Blue Toon.

Now it is home to a popular hotel, bar and beer garden, and The Cornkist restaurant.

Prince Of Wales, Aberdeen

Exterior of Aberdeen's Prince of Wales, which was established in 1850.
Established in 1850, Prince of Wales is one of Aberdeen’s oldest pubs. Image: Shutterstock.

Popular with shoppers, local patrons, tourists and families, the Prince of Wales has been on the go since 1850 and business isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Not only is the establishment renowned for its menu of food and drink, it captures the traditional pub aesthetic that many look for on a evening out.

Ship Inn, Stonehaven

Aerial shot of Stonehaven with one of the town's most historic pubs, Ship Inn, in view.
Take a gander around Stonehaven. Image: Shutterstock.

The Ship Inn, which was built in 1771, is one of the oldest inns along the Aberdeenshire coast.

Located on the town’s Shorehead, it’s the perfect place to relax with a pint and take in the stunning views of the town’s harbour.

The Gellions, Inverness

Signage outside The Gellions in Inverness, which reads: 'The oldest pub in the Highlands capital'.
The Gellions claims to be the oldest pub in Inverness. Image: Andrew Smith.

Reputedly the oldest pub in Inverness, the Gellions was established in 1841 and is home to seven days of live music as well as an impressive variety of Scottish Gins, Whiskys and beers, so sit back and enjoy.