Historical Pubs in Edinburgh: Drink in the Past

Table of Contents

Charming historical pub in Edinburgh with wooden interiors and antique decor, showcasing classic stone architecture and vintage sign, epitomizing famous Edinburgh pubs and traditional ales.

Introduction to Edinburgh’s Pub History

Edinburgh’s pubs have a rich history that dates back centuries. These establishments have been central to the city’s culture and social life. From medieval times to the present day, pubs have served as gathering places for locals and travelers alike.

  • Importance of pubs in Edinburgh’s social fabric:

Pubs in Edinburgh are more than just places to drink. They are vital parts of the community where people come together to share stories, celebrate events, and enjoy traditional Scottish hospitality. These pubs often reflect the city’s history and character, making them essential to understanding Edinburgh’s unique charm.

Famous Edinburgh Pubs with a Rich History

  1. The White Hart Inn

    The White Hart Inn is one of Edinburgh’s oldest pubs, dating back to 1516. Located in the Grassmarket area, it has seen many historical events and famous visitors. The poet Robert Burns once stayed here. The pub offers a cozy atmosphere with traditional Scottish fare.

  2. The Sheep Heid Inn

    The Sheep Heid Inn, established in 1360, is one of the oldest pubs in Scotland. Found in the Duddingston area, it has served many generations of locals and travelers. The pub features a historic skittles alley and a charming beer garden, making it a favorite spot for both history buffs and casual visitors.

  3. The Royal Oak

    The Royal Oak is a beloved pub known for its rich history and vibrant folk music scene. Located near the Royal Mile, it has been a gathering place for musicians and storytellers for decades. The pub’s intimate setting and live performances offer a unique glimpse into Edinburgh’s cultural heritage.

Edinburgh Historical Bars: A Peek into the Past

  • The Cafe Royal

The Cafe Royal is a gem in Edinburgh. Established in 1863, it boasts stunning Victorian architecture. The bar is famous for its ornate tiles and stained glass. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy a drink while soaking in history.

  • The Bow Bar

The Bow Bar is a must-visit for whisky lovers. Located in the heart of Edinburgh, it offers a wide range of Scottish whiskies. The bar has a traditional feel, with wooden interiors and a cozy atmosphere. It’s a great place to experience authentic Scottish hospitality.

  • The Abbotsford

The Abbotsford is another historic bar in Edinburgh. Opened in 1902, it features Edwardian decor. The bar is named after Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford House. It’s known for its real ales and classic pub food. The Abbotsford is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a piece of Edinburgh’s history.

Best Pubs in Edinburgh: A Blend of History and Modernity

  • The Oxford Bar

The Oxford Bar is a classic pub that dates back to the 19th century. Known for its traditional interior, it offers a cozy atmosphere where you can enjoy a pint of locally brewed beer. This pub is also famous for being a favorite spot of the fictional detective, Inspector Rebus, created by author Ian Rankin.

  • The Blue Blazer

The Blue Blazer is a charming pub that combines old-world charm with a modern twist. Located near the Grassmarket, it is known for its wide selection of real ales and whiskies. The pub’s warm and welcoming environment makes it a popular choice for both locals and tourists.

  • The Guildford ArmsThe Guildford Arms is a Victorian-style pub that offers a glimpse into Edinburgh’s rich history. With its ornate decor and grand interior, this pub provides a unique setting to enjoy a drink. It is especially known for its extensive range of cask ales and traditional Scottish dishes.

Historic Drinking Spots Edinburgh: More Than Just a Pint

  • The Last Drop

The Last Drop is a famous pub located in the Grassmarket area. Its name comes from the last hanging that took place nearby. This pub offers a cozy atmosphere and a wide selection of traditional ales. It’s a great spot to soak in some history while enjoying a pint.

  • The World’s End

The World’s End is another historic tavern situated on the Royal Mile. The name refers to the old city walls, which marked the end of the known world for many centuries. This pub is known for its hearty meals and local brews. It’s a must-visit for anyone wanting to experience Edinburgh’s rich history.

  • The Jolly Judge

Tucked away in a close off the Royal Mile, The Jolly Judge is a hidden gem. This small, charming pub is known for its welcoming atmosphere and a great selection of whiskies. It’s a perfect spot for a quiet drink and a step back in time.

Edinburgh Pub Tours: A Walk Through History

  • The Canny Man’s

The Canny Man’s is a must-visit pub in Edinburgh. Established in 1871, it offers a unique atmosphere with its eclectic decor. Known for its wide selection of whiskies and ales, this pub is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Don’t miss their famous sandwiches!

  • The Dome

The Dome is not just a bar; it’s an experience. Located in a former bank building, this elegant venue boasts stunning architecture and opulent interiors. It’s perfect for a classy night out. Enjoy their signature cocktails and soak in the grandeur.

  • The Standing Order

The Standing Order is housed in a historic bank building on George Street. This pub is part of the Wetherspoon chain and offers affordable drinks and meals. The high ceilings and grand decor make it a memorable spot to enjoy a pint.

Conclusion: The Enduring Charm of Edinburgh’s Historic Pubs

Edinburgh’s pubs are more than just places to enjoy a drink. They are living pieces of history, each with its own story to tell. From the ancient taverns that have stood the test of time to the modern establishments that honor their roots, these pubs offer a glimpse into the past. They have witnessed centuries of change, serving as gathering spots for locals and travelers alike.

  • Final thoughts on the unique experience of visiting these pubs:

Visiting Edinburgh’s historic pubs is like stepping back in time. Each pub offers a unique experience, blending history with modern comforts. Whether you’re enjoying a pint in a centuries-old tavern or exploring the stories behind the walls, these pubs provide a memorable experience. They are a testament to Edinburgh’s rich heritage and enduring charm.