A much-loved 17th-century Aberdeenshire venue will re-open its doors at the end of the month following a two-year closure.
The Feughside Inn at Strachan – or Whitey’s as it is known to locals – closed its doors in 2013.
The hotel, bar and restaurant was originally in line for conversion into three homes, but will now be revived as a licensed premises by a Highland couple.
The watering hole – which dates back to 1644 – has been bought by Catherine and Donald Callander, from Kyle of Lochalsh, who intend to re-open it on January 30.
Locals have welcomed its return with open arms, with 50 meal bookings already placed for opening night.
The couple ran a bed and breakfast, the Seadrift, on the west coast for nine years before deciding to move to the north-east to be nearer their daughter in Alford.
Yesterday Mrs Callander, 48, said the reaction to the building’s re-opening had been overwhelming.
She added: “I just can’t believe the welcome we have had.
“We had Christmas messages from people we don’t even know. I have never been made to feel so welcome.
“We have 50 meals booked in already. One is a party of 26. They are all trying to show their support. I don’t know what it is about the people here and this place.”
Mrs Callander said the couple searched online for small country hotels in Aberdeenshire and fell for the Feughside Inn instantly.
“We actually visited quite a few, but this is the one we liked best,” she said.
“We have been trying to buy the place for two years, we have been in the background the whole time, and eventually we got it.
“I haven’t had time to think, it is just been so busy, But the welcome we have had has made me feel at home here.”
Mr Callander, 56, will be retiring from his work offshore to focus on running the inn with his wife.
Previous owners David and Rose Neal, successfully appealed to the Scottish Government last year after Aberdeenshire councillors rejected their bid to turn the inn into homes, however the plans did not come to fruition.