Traditional Highland coaching inns don’t come much more traditional, nor more welcoming than this gem in wild and wildly scenic Wester Ross out on Scotland’s northwest fringes. Think exposed stone walls and cosy fires to ease weather battered bones; just secure your cattle and head in. It’s a whitewashed stunner, nesting in a wee glade just back from the Atlantic with forest and hills tempting away to its rear. It sits on the increasingly popular North Coast 500 long distance driving route (they brew some of their own ales and serve a North Coast 500 brew), but it’s well worth lingering for a longer pit stop.
The Old Inn – ably steered by Alastair and Ute Pearson since 1999 - has won awards and it’s easy to see why. Bedrooms are cosy and well kept. Then there is the food with Atlantic seafood and game culled from the mountainous hinterland. A night is best finished off with one of the regular music slots. If there are no tunes on just head outside and check out big night skies that challenge the Planetarium for clarity and breadth of view. The next day sandy beaches tempt nearby, the wee village of Gairloch awaits with its whalewatching cruises and a mass of hills and mountains just beg to be tackled by well-prepared walkers.
PricingDoubles from £99, including breakfast.
Old Inn, Flowerdale Glen, Gairloch, IV21 2BD
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