If you’ve conquered one of Scotland’s tallest mountains, there’s a good chance you’ll want to rest with a refreshment afterwards.
Here’s a selection of some popular Munro walks from Walk Highlands - all with great pubs to reward your effort.
Bidean nam Bian and the Clachaig Inn
With its dark history and dramatic landscape, Glen Coe is perhaps the most iconic and photographed of all Highland glens. Buachaille Etive Mor is the peak that features on thousands of postcards, but the highest peak here is Bidean nam Bian - a magnificent and complex mountain rising behind but almost hidden by its great buttresses, the Three Sisters.
After a challenging day that could include a second Munro (Stob Coire Sgreamhach), where better to relax than in Scotland’s premier walker’s pub - the Clachaig Inn. With real fires, a commitment to real ales that few can match, a vast range of malts and regular live music, there’s nowhere better to share your tales of mountain deeds with like-minded mountain folk.
Beinn a’ Chabhair and the Drovers’ Inn
Whilst everyone knows Ben Lomond, this peak rising above the northern end of Loch Lomond is comparatively neglected. The ascent can be a little boggy and eroded in places but the rocky ridge above is a fine one - as is the summit view along Loch Long.
At the foot of the mountain is one of Scotland’s quirkier hostelries - the Drovers’ Inn. This historic and very rustic inn has legendary status amongst those passing on the West Highland Way - with real ales, live music and ramshackle decor including a huge stuffed bear.
Ben Klibreck and the Crask Inn
Ben Klibreck is one of the most northerly Munros, a huge, isolated massif rising high above vast empty moorlands. The ascent can be a boggy one but the summit views are memorable, revealing a wide, stark vista in all directions.
A visit to the isolated, humble but very welcoming Crask Inn near the base of the mountain is perhaps even more memorable, feeling like a throwback to times long past. Mike and Kai don’t just provide home-cooked food, much of it is grown by them too, and meals are taken with guests and hosts together.
Sgurr nan Gillean and the Sligachan Hotel
Perhaps the most celebrated peak amongst Britain’s Alpine mountain range - the Cuillin on the Isle of Skye - even by the easiest route the ascent of Sgurr nan Gillean is a difficult and challenging scramble. This is an ascent which requires skill and experience - and a real head for heights. The summit is a tiny perch which feels like you have reached another world.
On your return there’s a further reward, as the Sligachan Hotel is a renowned hostelry; the huge bar has an incredible 400 malts available as well as its own brewery.
Ladhar Bheinn and the Old Forge
Ladhar Bheinn is another of the very finest Munros, situated on the Knoydart peninsula which has no road access from the outside world. To reach its base requires either a long walk in or a boat trip to Inverie, where most of this isolated community is based. The ascent is long and challenging but exceptionally rewarding with some of the best views along the western seaboard.
Back in Inverie, Britain’s remotest pub - the Old Forge - awaits. It has built its reputation on seafood, ales and live music, and is popular with yachties as well as walkers.
The Five Sisters and the Kintail Lodge Hotel
Confusingly the Five Sisters of Kintail is actually three Munros (it used to be just two!) No matter, this is as fine a ridge traverse as you could wish for, with some narrow sections, steep and dramatic flanks, and a great deal of up and down work.
Just reward for a strenuous day is the Kintail Lodge hotel, with a very friendly and well-stocked bar - serving excellent food; why not stop over and make a night of it, as there’s bunkhouse accommodation available as well as the hotel rooms.
The Munros: A Walkhighlands Guide, by Paul and Helen Webster and is available for purchase at Pocket Mountains.