Historic Pubs of Edinburgh

Every pub has a past - now you can discover their stories!

Historic Pubs of Edinburgh have exciting and intriguing tales to tell, here are a few to whet your appetite!


The Sheep Heid Inn

The Sheep Heid Inn is situated at the entrance to Holyrood park at the Duddingston loch entrance. Dating back to 1360, the recently refurbished the Sheep Heid Inn was a favourite watering hole for poets and monarchs throughout the centuries. Today it sits on a quiet residential street, with beautiful natural wood benches, soft atmospheric lighting and pretty summer gardens. You still find that old inn ambiance, it will instantly transport you back to the middle ages as you enjoy a pint from the wide selection of local beers.


Bennet’s Bar

Originally opening in 1839, Bennets was created as an establishment to serve the King’s Theatre next door. It has managed to retain its old worldly charm throughout, intricate wood lines the gantry and glass topped tables filled with Edinburgh city maps delight as you settle in to enjoy one of the many malt whiskies or cask ales on offer.


Greyfriars Bobby

If you are a dog lover the story behind the name of this old Edinburgh establishment will melt your heart. The bar occupies the ground floor of a Georgian building which adjoins Candlemakers Hall dating back to 1722. The story goes that Greyfriars Bobby was a Skye terrier. When his owner passed away in 1858 Bobby watched over his master’s grave at Greyfriars Kirkyard every day until he was buried with his owner there in 1872. Today the Greyfriars Bobby statue sits proudly outside the bar, you can raise a glass to him with one of their award winning ales. If you can’t decide what to drink they have their own in-house expert cask master to assist you.


The Last Drop

If you have ever visited the Grassmarket in Edinburgh there are a multitude of wonderful bars to choose from, each of which come to life after dark with visitors from around the globe. We chose to add the Last Drop to this list because of its chilling and macabre history. Firstly the name the “Last Drop” refers to the last hanging in the Grassmarket and it is said the spirit of a small girl in medieval clothing haunts the cellar and bar areas. Spooky! These days the bar is known for its lively atmosphere, good traditional pub food and ales.


Milnes Bar

Milnes was where the cream of the Scottish Literary scene came to put the world to rights. The basement of the bar was used for lively poetic and political debates with poets like Sydney Goodsir Smith, Sorley MacLean and Norman MacCaig standing at the helm. Milnes has since been linked with the literary history of the city. It is fitting that its location is just a stone’s throw from Edinburgh’s annual book and literary festival. Milnes today serves quality bar food, and has almost 40 single malt Scottish whiskies to tempt your palate. Nestled on Hanover Street, Milnes bar sits between some of the main shopping areas in Edinburgh – Princes Street and George Street.






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