The remotest pubs in Great Britain and how to get to them

The last time they were counted, there were around 48,000 pubs in the UK of all shapes and sizes, scattered around all four corners of this fair land.

From inner city boozers to village ale houses and all in between, drinkers are spoilt for choice in this country.

And despite how small the UK is compared to many other nations in the world, the amount of remote pubs is actually quite remarkable.

Some more remote than others and which take a considerable hike to get to.

Here we have a look at those public houses off the beaten track in these islands, starting with the most remote of them all…

The Old Forge, Inverie, Scotland

This pub is in the village of Inverie on the Knoydart peninsula, in the Scottish Highlands on the west coast.

It is recognised as the most remote pub in the whole of mainland Britain by Guinness World Records and jumping on a local ferry from Mallaig for a seven-mile sea crossing, catching a plane or putting on waterproofs to hike for 18 miles is the only way to reach it, according to MailOnline.

If you fancy walking, you’ll have to hike over the rocky Munros, where mountains can reach over 3,000 feet high, while those arriving by helicopter can use the landing pad in the beer garden.

The pub offers a range of dishes, including seafood platters as a specialty, alongside fresh homemade soups. Punters can dig into local delicacies such as Loch Nevis langoustine, Loch Nan Uamh rope mussels, and Isle of Rum water lobsters. 

To wash it all down, there is a fully stocked bar with real ales available.

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Glenuig Inn, Lochailort

Located in stunning scenery, this pub can be reached by either land or sea, with some intrepid visitors even arriving by kayak.

Like The Old Forge, the dog-friendly Glenuig Inn is on the Scottish west coast, with lovely views over Samalaman Bay.

The nearest railway station is at Lochailort, eight miles away, on the West Highland Line, which is said to be the most scenic railway journey in Britain.

Guests can partake in quiz nights, bingo and jazz sessions, while they also serve food including porridge, smoked salmon, Korean beef and one of their specialities, five vegetable pot pie.

The Pilchard Inn, Burgh Island, Devon

In a popular location in the holiday hotspot of the South Downs, the 700-year-old Pilchard Inn is reached by walking across the sands at Bigbury Beach or by a bizarre-looking sea tractor when the tide is in.

Perched on a tiny outcrop on Burgh Island, it gets cut off from the mainland twice a day, so you need to time your visits well and also be sure to get yourself a souvenir Pilchard Inn plastic beer glass, replete with a dastardly-looking pirate.

Pubs by the sea have always had a link to pirates and you can just imagine some salty old sea dogs swigging some ale and rum here before sailing off into the sunset to do some looting.

Nearby is the Grade II-listed Art Deco hotel, which has welcomed famous guests such as Agatha Christie (she wrote two books while staying here), Winston Churchill and The Beatles.

The island and hotel have recently been put up for sale and they can be yours for £15million – a £6.6million increase from 2018 when they fetched £8.4million.

Ty Coch Inn, Porthdinllaen, Wales

Nestled in the small, picturesque fishing village of Porthdinllaen, on the Lyn Peninsula in Gwynedd, you can only reach this establishment by foot, unless you are staying there and then you can use a vehicle.

Voted one of the best beach bars in the world – with stunning views across the Irish Sea – it was built in 1823 and was first used as a vicarage before becoming an inn in 1842.

Meaning ‘Red House’, dog-friendly Ty Coch has been described as a “little piece of paradise” by visitors and is often busy even in the off season.

The Puffer, Easdale Island, Scotland

The Puffer Bar and Restaurant can be found on car-free Easdale Island, the smallest permanently inhabited isle in the Slate Islands, in the Firth of Lorn.

Only 60 people live on the island and to get there you take a short ferry ride (water taxi) from the village of Ellenabeich on the Isle of Seil.

Easdale used to be an important slate-quarrying centre, but now it has become well known for being home to the World Stone Skimming Championships, which take place every September.

Such delicacies as venison salami toasties and fish goujon sandwiches are served there.

The Ship Inn, Piel Island, Barrow-in-Furness

The 50-acre Piel Island lies in Morecambe Bay, on the tip of the Furness Peninsula, and not only does it have the splendid Ship Inn, but also a castle and its very own king, Aaron Sanderson, a former submarine electrician, who was crowned monarch in September 2022.

His coronation was a rather more mundane affair than King Charles III’s lavish ceremony, as he sat on an ancient wooden chair and had a jug of beer poured over him.

The king is also the landlord of the pub, so it is one of the few places in the country where you might be served by royalty. Literally.

You can catch a ferry from Roa Island or can walk there from the mainland at low tide.

Tan Hill Inn, Richmond, Yorkshire

Tan Hill Inn is not only Great Britain’s highest pub, at 1,732 feet (528m) above sea level, but it was also the first public house in the UK to be granted a licence to hold weddings and civil ceremonies.

On the Pennine Way in the Swaledale area of North Yorkshire, the 17th-century pub was originally a hostelry for miners and is known internationally, where walkers and cyclists brush shoulders and converse with people from the media, arts, music, film and theatre.

Pop-rock band Scouting For Girls have played there several times and even got trapped by snow in 2016, along with 200 of their fans after a Children In Need charity gig.

Cluanie Inn, Glenmoriston, Inverness-shire

The Cluanie Inn is situated in the remote wilderness of the picturesque Glen Shiel, on the A87, on the way to the Isle of Skye. 

With mountains all around, there are also views of Loch Cluanie and while it can seem a little bleak in the winter, in the summer months when the sun’s sunshine, it can feel like a little piece of heaven.

Built in 1787, it used to be an isolated staging post. Now the bar stocks 100 of the Highland’s finest single malts, some from distilleries that have since been long closed.

The Hikers’ Bar at The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, Lake District

Nestled beneath a rocky peak in the rugged Langdale Valley, this establishment has been on the go for over 300 years and offers the most stunning views of the Lake District landscape.

Many famous climbers, including Eiger conquerors Chris Bonington and Ian Clough, have supped some ale here, as well as King Charles III.

It makes a great base for both climbers and walkers, while other pursuits such as paragliding, mountain biking and ballooning are also popular in these parts.

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