03 Jul The AA’s Pub Guide 2020 is out now
The Scottish summer may not guarantee endless sunny days but it’s usually hot enough to merit dropping into one of our many fine pubs and bars for a refreshing beer.
Happily and by way of contrast, the Scottish winter is always cold enough to merit a pub visit for a warming whisky or two.
In short, there is no good reason not to visit one of Scotland’s bars, whatever the season.
But which pub to go to?
With around 38,000 pubs and bars in Scotland, we are spoiled for choice.
The publication of the 21st Pub Guide from The AA can help the decision-making process.
It lists 2000 of the most interesting pubs, bars and taverns from the tip to the toe of the UK.
Best Glasgow bar
Of the 2000, around 550 are singled out as Pick of the Pubs, venues which The AA’s inspectors reckon are among the best in the country.
In Glasgow, West on the Green, Stravaigin and The Ubiquitous Chip are all concerned worthy of merit.
In Edinburgh, The Café Royale, Scran and Scallie plus The Doric Tavern all make the Pick of the Pubs cut.
We would not argue over any of them being included but would also make a case for many others, especially in Glasgow.
Glasgow whisky bar
Whisky lovers might want to check out The Pot Still. A previous winner of The AA Pub Award of the Year Scotland, it is famous for its deep and wide whisky selection.
Down by the Clyde, The Scotia bar is one of a handful claiming to be the oldest pub in the city. Once a hangout for famous folkies such as Billy Connolly and Hamish Imlach, it still has regular live music and the conversation is often more erudite than the usual bar banter.
If you like your music a little more rocky, or even punky, you could try famous music bars like King Tut’s, Mono, Stereo or Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, a dive bar on Sauchiehall Street.
Eat Walk Glasgow bars
The Eat Walk Glasgow tour visits several of Glasgow’s more intriguing bars from the grand Corinthian, a former bank, to traditional howffs like Babbity Bowsters.
This scribbler has a soft spot for the subterranean charms of Alston Bar and Beef which specialises in two of our favourite things: gin and beef. (Main pic above shows some of their gin selection)
They stock more than 120 different gins including many Scottish brands.
The stone vault setting, deep under Central Railway Station, adds to the slightly illicit ambience.