Edinburgh’s Pubs #ScotlandHour

When you’re on holiday, visiting a local pub might be on the agenda, whether as a means of grabbing a quick refreshment on the way to do something else, or as a destination for an evening with friends or to listen to music.

The Twitter chat #ScotlandHour in March 2014 got us thinking about local pubs which we like to recommend to guests, or ones which our visitors have commented about in our visitors’ book.  There are hundreds of different types of pubs to choose from on a visit to Edinburgh, so here are some favourites for you.

Pubs with a View

We’re still trying to think up the best answer to this one – perhaps #ScotlandHour participants will be able to help us out.

What local pub would you direct an overseas visitor to, and why?

We’d send our visitors at Craigwell Cottage out to explore in the Canongate section of the Royal Mile, or to Holyrood Road where they can find plenty of different pubs to choose from.

Hemma Bar, Holyrood Road – read more or @HemmaBar.

Holyrood 9a, Holyrood Road – read more and on Facebook or @Holyrood9A

Canon’s Gait, Canongate – read more and on Facebook.

Kilderkin, Canongate – on Trip Advisor and Facebook.

The White Horse Bar, Canongate – on Facebook.

5 pubs near craigwell cottage

Or head further up the Royal Mile where there are plenty more to try:

pubs in the royal mile, Edinburgh

Pictured here are The Whiski Bar, Whistlebinkies, The Mitre and The Royal Mile – all on or near the Royal Mile as you walk up from the Canongate towards the central Royal Mile (High Street).

What makes a great pub – drinks, food, music, ambience?

We think the answer to this one lies more in the people you’re with – friends, acquaintances, pub quiz contestants.  We’ve recently been to Scran Salon at Hemma Bar and a Tweet Up for travel bloggers at The Antiquary in Stockbridge.

The Antiquary Edinburgh


What’s your favourite story about a pub in 140 characters or less?

Pubs with a story – so many to choose from in Edinburgh.  Here are a few we’ve picked out for personal and historical reasons:

  • The Spotted Dog pub in Leith, at 1 Burlington Street – above which my father was born in 1932.  I need to do some research about this to confirm the exact location of the pub.  At present this is just a family story.  It needs to be corroborated with facts, but the Edinburgh Room at the Central Library was not open on the day I went to do some research. More on our Pin.
  • The Oxford Bar, Rose Street, Edinburgh – featured in many current-day Rebus stories by Ian Rankin. Read more.
  • The Royal Oak, Infirmary Street, Edinburgh – a board there talks of the cellar levels below the pub where the morgue of the original Edinburgh Infirmary was positioned, and where Burke and Hare were rumoured to have carried out their gruesome trade.  Now more famous as a venue for Folk Music in Edinburgh, and the starting point of Rebus Tours with Colin Brown. Read more on the Pin.
  • The Rutherford Bar, Drummond Street, Edinburgh – the frontage remains but the bar does not, being an extension of a nearby Italian Restaurant.  Robert Louis Stevenson writes of having drunk in The Rutherford Bar, and a plaque nearby on the corner of Drummond Street has been erected for the encouragement of those who read it. See our Pin
  • Scott’s Bar on Rose Street, Edinburgh – where Susan and Sandy McNaughton first met. See our Pin.
  • Deacon Brodie, Lawnmarket, Royal Mile, Edinburgh – named after William Brodie who was a Deacon of the Guild of Wrights.  He had to turn to burglary to pay his debts, and was an inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde. See our Pin.
  • Milne’s Bar, Rose Street, Edinburgh – a meeting place for poets in 20th century Edinburgh. Read more on our Pin.


Name the pub that serves your favourite pub grub?

Our current favourite: Hemma Bar.  Close to Craigwell Cottage and a great line in comfort food just when we need it.

food at Hemma Bar, Holyrood

And for a holiday treat, try The Scran and Scallie in Stockbridge.  Fabulous food.

lunch at the Scran and Scallie

Share your favourite images of Scottish pubs

We’ve created a set of our favourite Edinburgh Pub photographs on Flickr.

You’ll also find our Craigwell Cottage Pinterest board about Edinburgh Pubs.

Have you a favourite Edinburgh pub you’ve discovered while visiting Edinburgh? Do let us know in the comments below.  We’re always on the look-out for the best places to send guests who are staying at Craigwell Cottage.

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