City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Good watering hole after a ramble in Holyrood Park


By edg - Posted on 13 January 2008

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It may not look it, but the Sheep Heid Inn in Duddingston may be the oldest surviving public house in Scotland, dating possibly from around 1360.

Its name arises from a story handed down that in 1580 King James VI, who played skittles in the yard, gifted an embellished ram's head snuff box to the landlord.

Set on two floors the interior provides a rustic, olde worlde glow, with old photographs, pictures, maps, and suchlike on the walls. It's a pleasant place to rest after walking in Holyrood Park (the Sheep Heid is located at the South East corner of the park) for a pint or for its traditional pub grub.

The Sheep Heid also has an antique wooden skittle alley (much like 10 pin bowling), which the pub owners proudly proclaim is very little changed since it was built on the site of the old stable block in 1882.

There is also a small beer garden, again one of the oldest in Edinburgh, with an open air balcony over-looking it. Between May and September there is a barbecue grill in the beer garden at weekends.