Forget queuing, door policies and rubbish atmosphere. Readers share their favourite pubs for a friendly, fun and great New Year’s Eve. Tell us about your NYE favourite by adding a comment
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WINNING TIP: The Sheep Heid Inn, Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the best city to be in on New Year’s Eve and the best pub to enjoy Hogmanay is the Sheep Heid Inn, which claims to be the oldest pub in Scotland, dating back to 1360. Drink and party with the locals by a roaring log fire, then step outside around midnight – if you can still stand – for a terrific view of the fireworks after a hearty chorus of Auld Lang Syne. The owners will even let you hang around for breakfast and a hair of the dog.
0131-661 7974, thesheepheidedinburgh.co.uk
The Cairn Hotel, Carrbridge, Inverness-shire
A short hop from the A9 south of Inverness takes you to Carrbridge, one of the most picturesque villages in the Cairngorms. In the Cairn Hotel an open fire, malt whiskies, speciality ales, excellent pub grub and locals of both the canine and human varieties greet you on a standard evening. For Hogmanay add a ceilidh band, shoulder-to-shoulder good cheer and a high chance of snow. You wouldn’t want to be stranded anywhere else.
01479 841212, cairnhotel.co.uk
Clachaig Inn, Glencoe
The Clachaig Inn is a favourite not just for climbers but also kayakers, walkers and anyone who loves the outdoors. A crackling fire, live music, cask ales and over 200 whiskies make a party atmosphere every weekend and Hogmanay is no exception. There are en suite rooms, but the hardy can be seen staggering back to the campsite in their beer jackets.
01855 811252, clachaig.com
The Queen’s Head, Troutbeck, Cumbria
This cosy pub serves ales from a bar that used to be a double bed. It’s all dark wood, stone flags, creaky benches and a fire that throbs and crackles. If you feel guilty for imbibing, there are nice low-level walks around the valley that can begin and end back in the bar. The limited mobile signal means no one is telling other people about where they are. It is tranquil.
015394 32174, queensheadtroutbeck.co.uk
Jenkins and Sons, Poole, Dorset
Jenkins and Sons was a butcher and fishmonger from the 1920s and still sells local produce, but now it also has a bar. On New Year’s Eve, a three-piece folk-indie band called Thinker will be playing rousing fiddle-led tunes, so you can welcome 2013 in good spirits.
01202 746604, jenkinssons.com
The Horn, St Albans, Hertfordshire
Refurbished last year, the historic Horn has won music pub of the year more than once; even the late John Peel was a frequent customer. This year it’s doing what it’s good at: live music with good food and drink. It’s the perfect place to welcome in 2014.
01727 853143, thehorn.co.uk
Fox and Hounds, Toys Hill, Kent
This is a wonderful, cosy, joyous pub. It’s on top of Toys Hill without many houses around so you feel like you’re having a private knees-up. We ate dinner there one New Year’s Eve before the impromptu dancing and it was lively, friendly and happy. Good ales on tap, a piano to pretend you can play, no pretences or airs and graces. Perfect.
01732 750328, foxhoundstoyshill.co.uk
Rose and Crown, Clapham, London
If you’re in south-west London on NYE, this is your place: lots of guest ales, plenty of bar staff, great landlord and no tickets required: just get there early. Clapham is generally terrible for boozers but this place is a gem.
2 The Polygon, London SW4, 020 7720 8265
The Royal Albert, New Cross, London
I love this pub for its friendly staff, welcoming atmosphere, tasty food and festive spirit. It’s not hip or glamorous, just simple, jovial and honest, though it will undoubtedly be busy. If you like people you will find it a perfect space to dance, laugh, smile and flirt on this or any New Year’s Eve.
020-8692 3737, royalalbertpub.com
The Princess Victoria, London
Even if nothing else happens in the pub on New Year’s Eve you are guaranteed to eat and drink well. It used to be the Shepherd’s Bush tram stop and has been refurbished beautifully. The staff are really nice and the atmosphere is relaxed and a tad refined: big leather seats, yummy bar snacks. You feel a bit like you’ve gone back to an age where people maybe didn’t see in the New Year wearing glitter wigs and comedy glasses …
020 8749 5886, princessvictoria.co.uk
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