History of traditional Scottish inns

In the 18th and 19th centuries the Scottish economy was largely dependent on cattle, which were moved to market by 'drovers' who had to drive their cattle from every corner of the country to the markets in the central belt. Drovers were thirsty folk and needed sustenance to keep them going on their considerable journeys. ‘Drovers inns’ were born and most of the Scottish inns we feature were one time ‘drovers inns’.

Country inns in Scotland are not hotels. They are masterful fusions of foods, drink, comfortable accommodation and great individual hospitality, and these differences will usually strike you as soon as you enter. Usually owned and personally run by great characters, who’ll be more than ready to sit down and have a drink or a chat with you, when you will learn about what life in their part of Scotland is really like!

The age of carriages also produced coaching inns, where the stagecoach stopped for the night or changed horses. A network of wayside inns was established and many are still going strong today.

Ask anyone who eats out regularly in Scotland to name some of the top restaurants, and you can guarantee that some great Scottish inns will feature. The Peat Inn near Cupar, the Three Chimneys on Skye, the Old Inn at Gairloch, the Udny Arms at Newburgh. These are some of the finest country restaurants in Scotland, set in the traditional surroundings of an old inn, usually with quaint, characterful and very rustic and cosy bedrooms.