Isle favourite voted best rural pub in UK by public

The Steam Packet in the Isle of Whithorn
The Steam Packet in the Isle of Whithorn

The Steam Packet Inn in the Isle of Whithorn has been voted the UK’s best rural pub by readers of the BBC’s Countryfile magazine.

After a hard-fought campaigning period – during which time readers voted online, by email and post – the voting closed on 31 January. The results were announced in an online Twitter ceremony last week and saw the ‘Packet’ come up trumps.

This year there were 12 categories, ranging from Rural Pub of the Year to Greatest National Park.

To whittle down contenders in various categories, the magazine asked an expert in each field to provide it with their nominations. Then you voted in your thousands.

Owned by the Scoular family for 35 years and located on the village’s historic harbourfront, The Steam Packet Inn is “renowned for its warm, friendly atmosphere, excellent service and fantastic food and drink.”

Throughout the seasons the inn uses local Scottish produce and unsurprisingly - in view of its location – it specialises in fresh seafood, taking advantage of its quayside location and the catch of local fishing boats.

The Packet also has a great reputation for its award-winning real ales and varied wine menu.

Countrfile Editor Fergus Collins said: “This is our way of saying thank you to the people and places that make the countryside so special.

“The awards clearly roused great passion and amassed thousands of votes, a testament to the strong contenders in each category. It was a closely fought competition generating great interest.”

Colin added: “Our winners can be justly proud of their titles – they have been endorsed as outstanding examples in their field by our readership.”

The full list of winners, including first, second and third place, is available to view on and will also appear in print in the May issue of the magazine, on sale April 10.