With lockdown restrictions easing and some freedoms being restored, many have been longing for that first pint in months.
And in Inverness, keen pub-goers weren’t fazed by the chilly weather.
Beer gardens in the city centre were well attended with friends and work colleagues meeting up.
Some even popped in unplanned to sample their favourite tipples.
At the Black Isle, some pub-goers were left reassured as police visited to ensure the numbers were under control with adequate safety measures.
‘I was most encouraged by the fact that, about half an hour ago, the police came in and did a head count’
Giles and Nicola Gilham popped in for a spontaneous pint while on a dog walk.
Mr Gilham said: “We were just out for a dog walk and took the opportunity.
“We saw they’ve done a lot of Instagram work, we saw it on there, they said categorically ‘bring your dog’.
He said he feels reassured by the safety measure in place at the pub, as well as the police presence in the city.
“I think it’s set up really well and I was most encouraged by the fact that, about half an hour ago, the police came in and did a head count. That was really good.
“I work in a superstore and we’ve been open for the whole lockdown, we’ve had none of that but seeing it here is quite positive.”
‘I’m delighted that it’s got a shelter’
The safety measures weren’t the only thing drawing pub-goers to the Black Isle.
Daniel Scott was happy to be sheltered from the elements and right next to the outdoor heater: “I’m delighted it’s got a shelter. I took a jacket, I often get cold but I’m just fine.”
Friend David Marnoch was happy to be back and making the most of the eased travel restrictions to meet friends from further afield: “We’ve had beers and stuff throughout lockdown just here and there but nothing major.
“We’ve got a pal coming through from Kinloss, of course with the travel restrictions easing now.”
The pair were ready to head to more venues afterwards, with Mr Scott desperate for a Guinness: “I’m a bit gutted that it’s a blonde for my first one.”
‘Everybody has got to stick to the rules and be sensible, but we’ve got it quite good.’
Others felt a trip to the pub was their way of supporting the local economy after months without customers.
Nurses Gordon McIlroy, Ally Cheyne and Dougie Cooper met up for a pint together in the Corriegarth.
Mr McIlroy said: “These places have to run and it’s about showing a bit of solidarity. You feel like you are supporting local businesses – it is Baltic and we are sitting here freezing in a beer garden.
“Everybody has got to stick to the rules and be sensible, but we’ve got it quite good.”
Mr Cheyne was delighted with the pint on offer, adding: “It’s the first pint of draught we have had in a few months and it tastes nice – it’s lovely actually.”
The trio was not planning to meet up with others, with Mr Cooper adding: “It’s just as we remember it.
“We’re just going to have a couple of pints and see how it goes.”
‘Hopefully things keep going the way they are and we can get back to normal’
Friends Kayleigh Mackenzie and Nicole Mac also enjoyed being out together under the newly installed marquee at the Corriegarth.
Miss Mac said: “It’s the first time we have been able to see each other in a wee while.
“I am looking forward to getting a few drinks. It’ll be good to take photos and have a laugh together again.
“Hopefully things keep going the way they are and we can get back to normal.”
Miss Mackenzie added: “We are always excited to see each other. We are looking to meet up with other friends but not just now.
“This is our first drink together in a pub; we did manage to have a drink together a few months back.
“We are just excited to see each other again – I mean who isn’t?”
Louise Smith who runs the Banks of Ury pub in Inverurie said: “We’re really happy to be open to be honest, we’re buzzing about it.
“It’s a bit annoying with the weather being the way it has but we’ve had to turn folk away and we’re not taking any more bookings, so it’s obviously not stopped people coming out. So, it’s been really good.
“We had to get a new marquee, so we’ve ordered it and have to get it set up. We actually decorated the inside of the bar with the time off.”
Drinks and food were being shared in the outdoor dining area of All Bar One in Aberdeen’s Marischal Square.
Christie Donaghy, 25, and Emily Wilson, 25, caught up over a bottle of prosecco.
The two nurses moved from Australia a year ago and said they feel they can finally take the time to explore the city with restrictions easing.
Ms Donaghy said: “It was just excitement being able to get out into the city and explore places we hadn’t been before, but we always get recommended to go to.
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“It’s really nice just to see other people interacting with each other.”
Stuart McPhee, manager of Siberia Bar on Aberdeen’s Belmont Street and a committee member of Aberdeen Hospitality Together, welcomed the return of customers.
He said: “It was great to see some life back in the city centre.
“People keeping their distance, wearing masks where appropriate and making the most of the new things they can now do.
“Despite the weather’s best efforts the public are out supporting local and sticking to the rules.”
Earlier in the day, shoppers hit the high streets to bag themselves some bargains as stores opened their doors for the first time.