The best pubs in Inverness – real ale and good music in the Highland capital

There are 3 really great pubs in Inverness city centre.

Hootannany on Church Street (serial winner of Inverness pub of the year) has live music in 3 bars every night of the week. The Ceilidh Bar on the ground floor has traditional folk and blues, Madhatters (upstairs) has alternative/rock, and the Bothy Bar has acoustic music. With Thai food (available in the Ceilidh Bar until 9 pm) and beer from the Black Isle Brewery, this makes for a great combination.

Blackfriars
on Academy Street dates back to 1783 and is a traditional and unspoilt pub, offering a great selection of award winning cask ales (and features in the Good Beer Guide 2009) and excellent pub grub (available from 11 am to 9 pm daily). Blackfriars is also a great live music venue : “Traditional, folk, country, jazz, big band, rock and blues… something for every musical taste.”

The Castle Tavern, opposite Inverness Castle and overlooking the River Ness, is also a real ale pub with a great atmosphere. On sunny afternoons and evenings the attractive terrace is very popular, while the cosy bar downstairs and the upstairs restaurant (with great views, and serving food from 12 till 10 pm) also have a great buzz. The Castle Tavern hosts a real ale festival every September (along with another excellent pub, the Clachnaharry Inn, on the outskirts of town overlooking the Beauly Firth)