- Café Royal Circle Bar (Edinburgh; tel. 131/556-1884): The Café Royal Circle stands out in a city famous for its pubs. This longtime favorite, boasting lots of atmosphere and Victorian trappings, attracts a sea of drinkers, locals as well as visitors.
- Deacon Brodie's Tavern (Edinburgh; tel. 131/225-6531): This is the best spot for a wee dram or a pint along Edinburgh's Royal Mile. It perpetuates the memory of Deacon Brodie, good citizen by day and robber by night, the prototype for Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It's been around since 1806 and has a cocktail-lounge bar and a large, rowdy tavern.
- Globe Inn (Dumfries; tel. 138/732-3010): Located in the Borders, this was Robert Burns's favorite howff (small, cozy room). Today, you can imbibe as he did in a pub that's been in business since 1610. He liked the place so much that he had a child with the barmaid. A small museum is devoted to Burns.
- The Scotia Bar (Glasgow; tel. 141/552-8681): Dating from 1792, this is the oldest pub in Glasgow, and it hosts live performers, both singers and musicians, on most nights. A good selection of malt whisky has always been available, as has pub grub. British celebs often pop in here for a pint.
- Rabbie's Bar (Ayr; tel. 129/226-2112): Robert Burns didn't confine his drinking to Dumfries. Ayr was also one of his hangouts, and this favorite pub is a nostalgic reminder of another era. Bits of pithy verse by Burns adorn the walls, and the collection of imported beers is the best in the area.
- Dreel Tavern (Anstruther; tel. 133/327-9238): This 16th-century wood-and-stone coaching inn is now a pub where old salts from the harbor and other locals gather to unwind on windy nights. Try the Orkney Dark Island, on hand pump. Anstruther, 74km (46 miles) northeast of Edinburgh, is a gem of a Scottish seaside town.
- Ship Inn (Elie; tel. 133/333-0246): Down at the harbor in this little port town is the Ship Inn, one of the best places along the east coast for a pint. The building dates from 1778, and the pub from 1830. In summer, you can enjoy your pint outside with a view over the water, but on blustery winter days, the blazing fireplace is the attraction. Stick around for dinner—the menu ranges from pheasant to venison to fresh seafood, not your typical pub grub.
- Prince of Wales (Aberdeen; tel. 122/464-0597): Furnished with church pews and antiques, the Prince of Wales features the city's longest bar counter. Oilmen from the North Sea join the regulars to ask for tap beers, such as Courage Directors, and sample the chef's Guinness pie. You'll find real flavor and authentic atmosphere; it's a good place to mingle with the locals in a mellow setting.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.