I Ardlui llotel Loch Lomond, 01301 704243. Sun-Thurs Ham—midnight; Fri and Sat 11—2am. Last orders for food 9.15pm; drink Sun—Thurs 11.45pm; Fri and Sat 1.45pm.
The eleven-bedroom Ardlui Hotel is situated on the edge of one of Scotland‘s most beautiful and popular lochs - Loch Lomond. The old hunting lodge attracts a fair number of visitors with their boats. and those without can hire the hotel‘s 16ft boat for the day. Visitors can also get a ferry to the other side of the Loch to walk the West Highland Way. On warm days. watch the boats and the water-skiers from the shore-side beer garden (lager £1.65) or later. sit by the log fire in the cosy. wood- lined bar. The bar‘s three-page menu offers a huge variety including venison casserole from local deer (£7.15) and goulash (£4.95). Salmon steaks are also on offer at £12 but availability can be limited as only salmon from Loch Lomond reaches diners' tables.
I The Barn Cologin. Lerags. by Chan (off A816. three miles frotn Oban). 016315 64501. Mon—Sat llam—lam; Sun 110011—lllldnlgl'll. Last orders for food 9pm; drink Mott-Sat 1am. Sun midnight.
In a private glen. only three miles from ()ban. you'll find The Barn. No prizes for guessing what this homely pub started out life as. bttt the original milking stalls separating the tables give the game away anyway. The animal theme continues with a collection of pot-bellied pigs. hens and donkeys which nevers fails to keep children amused. The Barn attracts custom from the nearby Ardoran Marine (01631 566123) and frotn visitors trying ottt the delights of ﬁshing or walking up Bett Cruachan. Lager is £1.65 a pint. and food ranges from an 807. hamburger (£5.25) to a chargrilled monkftsh (£8) on Friday night seafood nights. Thursday nights are always lively with traditional ceilidhs. and the nearby Rare Breeds Park (01631 770608). two miles frotn Oban. provides a good family day out.
I Blane Valley Inn 54 Glasgow Road. Blanefteld (A81 north ofGlasgow). (11360 7703(13. Mon-Sun Ham—midnight. Last orders for food 9pm; drink 1 1.45pm.
This welcoming 19th century coaching inn is a popular stop-off for hillwalkers en route to the Trossachs. and is itself on the main road at the foot of the Campsie Fells. ()ther attractions include the Glengoyne Distillery (01360 550254). which offers tottrs (and samples). There are large beer gardens at the back of the stone-built pub. and children are welcome. Inside. the pub. traditionally decorated with wood panelling and old prints. has a rustic feel to it. Meals and snacks are available from noon until 9pm every day. with home-made soups and pales very popular. A starter and main course will set you back £6; lager is £1.65 per pint. Chartbite presenter Ewan
MacLeod was once hustled at darts here. but don’t let that put you off taking a shot. I Carbeth Inn West Carbeth. Blanefteld (on the A809 north of Glasgow. just south of thejunction with the B821). 01360 770002. Sun—Thurs noon-1 1pm; Fri and Sat 12.30pm—midnight. Last orders for food 2pm/9pm; drink 10.30pm (Fri and Sat 11.45pm).
Just a few miles north of Milngavie. the Carbeth Inn is popular with tourists and walkers on the West Highland Way. The Queen Elizabeth View two miles up the road is well worth a visit for the spectacular scenery of the Kilpatnck Hills and the Campsie Fells. The old L-shaped white cottage (built in 1816) boasts four open fires. making the Saturday night folk bands even more welcoming. Belhaven's and the local Carbeth Ale are the most popular pints (lager £1.65 per pint). and you can take them out into the pleasant beer garden. Outside there's also a children's play area. featuring a tree house and a climbing frame. Kids are well catered for with their own menu (£1.95) of bar meals too. while adults can enjoy smoked salmon. haggis or traditional Yorkshire pudding on a Sunday (two courses £7 approximately).
I Clachan Inn The Square. Drytnen (on the A81 1 north west ofGlasgow). 01360 660824. Mon—Sun Ham—midnight. Last orders for food 4pm/10pm; drink
On Saturday nights you cart drink in this cosy. lively pub to the sound of a pipe band. or if that‘s a little too crowded. try taking your pint out on to the village green just in front. Belhaven‘s and Boddington’s on draught feature alongside guest ales which are changed every two to three weeks (lager £1.63 per pint). The bar meals are satisfying to say the least. A wide menu offers Cajun tnonkftsh. fillet steaks (£12.50). and home-made kipper pate. Snacks are available too. The Clachan is a pub with real character: its original owner in 1734 was Mistress Gow. Rob Roy MacGregor‘s sister. and more recent times have seen the likes of Pattl McCartney. Clint Eastwood and even Barry Manilow grace its doors. thanks to the popular golfcourses nearby. The Loch Lomond Golf Club counts Clint as one of its members. so you could always try joining him ifyou‘re in the area (01436 860223). Alternatively. the surrounding countryside boasts the Glengoyne Distillery (01360 550254) ten miles away. and a couple of miles away at Gartness you can watch salmon jump.
I Crinan llotel Crinan. by Lochgilphead. Argyle (six miles from Lochgilphead; take the A83 frotn Glasgow to Catnpbeltown. then onto the A816 to ()ban for two miles). 01546 830261. Mon—Sat
l lam-2.30pm. 5-1 1pm; Sun noon—3pm. 6—1 lptn. Last orders for food 2pm/9pm; drink 10.45pm.
Crinan's probably tnost famous for the annual Crinan Boat Races. ‘The Big One'
COUNTRY PUB GUIDE FEATURE
The Galley ot lorne Inn plays host to both hippies and mllllonalres
starts out from Crinan on 27 July. and has been going for well over 30 years: around 200 sailing boats set out for Chan. spend a week out. and then wend their way back to Crinan in dribs attd drabs. There's a smaller race a fortnight earlier on 13 July involving around 50 to 100 boats. Locals. however. advise day trippers that. if they want to enjoy the best of what the area has to offer (peace. quiet. relaxation). then best avoid the boat races. So. at its quietest. the hotel offers a location right on the sea front. with tables and chairs on the patio and a magnificent view right over the canal. The interior was restored a couple of years ago. bttt retains its original wood floors and panelling. and features. unsurprisingly. a strong nautical theme. with plenty of boat pictures. The lounge bar has a 100-year old pictorial history of the area lining the walls. and in winter you can enjoy a game of dominoes before welcoming open fires. lts award-winning Lock 16 Restaurant offers the very finest in seafood. and in the bar you'll find. again. a predominance of seafood. ranging from £3 for soup. to £12.50 for smoked salmon or lobster. A pint of lager costs £1.80. Children can eat from their own Junior Diner menu. Apart from delightful walks in the area. you can explore archaeological sites at Kilmartin. and there are plenty ofcastles nearby.
I Galley of lame Ardfern (24 miles south of Chart). 01852 500284. Mott—Sat
I lam—lam; Sun noon—1am. Last orders for food Mon—Thurs 9pm; drink 11pm. This old fashioned pub was built in the 18th century and boasts clientele ranging from hippies to multimillionaires. The small village of Ardfern is surrounded by rolling hills and lochs. and boat owners from the marina at Loch Craignish often take timeout to sample the Galley of Lorne's meals. Many are made from local fresh produce. and lobster features on the menu alongside seafood pasta (£6.55)
attd moules marinieres (£4.95/£8.50). Customers can admire the scenery with a cool drink in the beer garden (lager £1.75) or alternatively take a short cruise round Loch Craignish (Kingfisher Cruises ()1852 500662).
I Inverarnan Drovers Inn lnverarnan (A82 north of Loch Lomond). 01301 704234. Mon—Sun Ham—midnight. Last orders for food 2.30pm/8.30pm; drink
Easily recognisable by the red cart outside the front of the pub. the Drovers ltm is fatned for the number of weird and wonderful stuffed animals and sporting trophies which grace every room. This is a traditional. old-fashioned pub which is nearly 300 years old. Guest draught ales are available. and you cart get a pint of lager for £1.43. In the restaurant. steaks and trout dishes are popular (£7.20 and £6.25); lunch is served frotn noon until 2.30pm. dinner is 6—8.30pm. lfyou fancy exploring the place a bit more. bed and breakfast will set you back £17. As well as good hill walking in the area. fishing
rights for Loch Lomond are available from Ardlui Hotel. a mile down the road. I The Salmon leap 19 Main Street. Drymen. 01360660357. Mon-Sun
1 lam—midnight. Last orders for drink
Popular with walkers on the West Highland Way. this old-fashioned 18th century pub is also a local favourite. since it houses the only pool table in Drymen. There are a few guest ales. while a pint of lager will set you back £1.43. Horse brasses and similar paraphernalia decorate the walls. including an old photo of a
Clydesdale horse which once catne into the bar. An open fire also makes the place cosy. ()utside there's a beer garden. and a dry moat sun'ounds the pub. Kids are welcome until 5pm. Only three miles from Loch Lomond. the village also attracts tourists and golfers going to and frotn Buchanan_Castle. a mile up the road (Buchanan Castle Golf Clttb 01360 660307).
I Tayvallich Inn Tayvallich ( 12 miles from Lochgilphead. past the Crinan Canal). 01546 870282. Mon—Thurs llam—l 1pm; Fri and Sat 1 1—lam; Sttn 110011-11‘ll(l111gl1l. Last orders for food 2pm/8.30pm: drink Sun—Thurs 1 1pm. Fri and Sat 1am.
Those in the know visit this inn on the shore of Loch Sween for its seafood. fresh from the Sound oflura. Mussels (£3/£6). scallops (£9.95) and a vast seafood platter (£13) are all popular in the bar. and a more extensive selection is served in the restaurant (open 7-9pm). The natural harbour on the loch has room for 100 boats. and many sailors visit the tnodern. pine-furnished bar for a drink (lager £1.60). The surrounding forests make excellent walking country. and energetic souls cart hire moutain bikes frotn Crinan Cycles (01546 60351 1) to tackle the marked trails.
The List 14-27 Jun 1996 21