I The Birds and the Bees liaster‘ Cornton Road. (‘atisewayhead Stirling. ()l 786 463384. Sun~Thurs l lam —2.30pm. 5pm—midnrght: Fri and Sat ll-- lam. l.ast orders for food Sun—~Tlrurs 2.30pm/‘l.30pm: Hi and Sat l0pm: drink Sun—'l‘hurs ll.45pm. l‘rr and Sat l2.45am. This old farmhouse is an excellent base from which to explore Stirlingshire's rrrarry attractions. Climb Wallace Monument. take the kids to Blair l)rummond Safari Park (01786 84 l456) or go for a walk round historic Stirling Castle (0l786 450000). The pub still has its original aninral stalls and a coal fire gives the place a cosy feel on chilly evenings. Spend a summer afternoon at one of its barbecues. or relax over a game of petanque. The prrb also serves a huge range of Indian. Chinese. Italian. Mexican and Scottish food. You can wash down

(‘llRlS Bl.()'l'l~

your preferred dish (the range includes Chicken Korma at £7.50 and .»\rbroath Smokies at £3.45) with a pint of real ale (lager i l .60).

I Blacktord lnn Stirling Street. Blackford. l’er'thshire. 0l764 682336. Sun-Thurs noon—2.30pm. 5—l lpm; Fri and Sat noon—2.30pm. 5pm—midnight. |.ast orders for food 2.3(lplll/‘).3(lprtll drink Sun—Thurs l lprrr. Fri and Sat

l l.45pm.

Highland spring water is bottled from the springs it) the hills around Blackford. and the family-run Blackford Inn has been pouring pints (at around 1; l .68 these days) for almost as long as the water has been llowirrg. It's a friendly. relaxed pub where hillwalkers. having trekked over the hills from 'l‘illicoultry. rest their weary legs with a seat on the old church pews and enjoy some fine food. The Inn‘s varied menu attracts hungry customers from all over Per'thshire and popular dishes include

Sail away to the Ship Inn


Country pleasures

It can be thirsty work, this summer-in-the-city business. All those parched throats choking on overheated exhaust fumes and the like. In the interests of your health, we’ve come up with a selection of the best hostelries and inns within comfortable driving distance of the central belt. So comrnandeer a vehicle, nominate a non-drinking driver. soak up the views and then reward your diligence with a well-deserved pint or two. Cheers!

Chicken (ilengarr'y (£5.95) and their own Sweet and Sour Chicken (£4.95). The area is also a bit of a golfer"s paradise with the legendary (.ilcttcagles (iolf Course (0l764 663543) nearby and another popular golf Course at Auclrter'arder (0 I 764 662804). I Byre Inn Brig () Turk by Callandar'. l’er'thslrire. 0l877 376202. Suri—-'l‘lrurs rioorr--l lpm; Hi and Sat noon—midnight. l.ast orders for' food 2.30pm/9prti; drink Strrr-—'l’hurs l lprn. Fri and Sat midnight. For a pub with a real Scottish flavour. the Byre Inn is definitely one to try. Despite starting life as a cow byre. it has a Highland Cottage feel with a stag's head on the wall and a selection of 25 different whiskies. as well as a range of real ales (lager U .70). The small restaurant in the building is often frilly booked but customers cart enjoy horrre-cooked dishes such as chicken. bacon and haggis (£5.95) and Cottage l’ie (£5.25) in the bar. Aclrray l-"orest Drive is not far away for walks and mountain biking. while Ben l.edi and Ben An offer tougher climbing btrt rewarding Trossachs views from the top. A gentler

sightseeing tour might be a trip on the SS.

Sir Walter Scott steamer (0l4l 355 5333) on l.och Katrine.

I Farriers Country Hotel \Vootlltttlrls‘ Country Park. Alva (A91 east of Stirling). 0l25‘) 762702. Mon~Sat llam~ l l.45prn: Sun l2.30pm- l lprn. l.ast orders for food 2pm/l0pm; drink .\lon— Sat ll.30pm. Sun l0.45pm.

Set in the middle of Woodlands Country Park. this friendly hotel offers a lot more than a quick pint. ()riginally a stable block for Alva House. which was demolished during the Second World War when used as bombing practice for the R Ali barriers has been converted and sympathetically decorated. There's a craft shop attached. selling work by local artists. If you're _|tl.\‘l after a drink. you can sink a pint of the Broadsword real ale (lager £ l .60 per pint). Alternatively. the three-course lunch is

. i. re - ' The Byre Inn: Scottish to the foundation stones filling (“0- U2) and a steak in the evening costs U). The emphasis here is on good restaurant food rather than bar snacks. and vegetarians are well catered for. You can walk off your lunch in the pleasant wooded park across the road. where there are designated walks and a children’s play area. The Wallace Monument is only ten rnrnutes drive away. or if you want to stick around for a bit longer. you rnrglrt enjoy the live music on Sunday afternoons throughout the I Harviestoun Inn 'l‘illicoullr'y owl east of Stirling). (H250 752522. Surr-Tl‘hur's llam—l l.45pm; l-‘ri and Sat I l—Iam. Last orders for drink Sun—Thurs l |.30pm. Fri and Sat l2.45am. Nestling at the foot of the rolling ()chil Hills. thrs restored farmhouse offers good food and drink in attractive surroundings. There‘s a mill trail passing the prrh. along the hillfoors. where visrtors can check out the woollen mills and factory shops in the area. The Wallace Monument. ten minutes

The List l4-27 Jun l‘)‘)6 19