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Raise a glass to history as we journey through Scotland’s most storied taverns.
From haunted inns to beloved poet hangouts, these watering holes are steeped in centuries of lore and legend.
Each pub tells a tale, with every pint poured echoing the past. Step into these establishments and you’re not just having a drink – you’re immersing yourself in Scotland’s rich heritage.
Join us as we explore the nine oldest pubs in Scotland, each offering a unique blend of history, charm, and, of course, excellent drinks.
The Sheep Heid Inn
Address: 43-45 The Causeway, Edinburgh EH15 3QA
Believed to be the oldest pub in Scotland, The Sheep Heid Inn in Edinburgh traces its history back to around 1360.
Its current building is about 300 years old, but the pub’s historical significance is undeniable, having welcomed patrons such as Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth II.
The pub is famous for its warm welcome, charming interior, and popular Victorian skittles lane.
The White Hart
Address: 34 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH1 2JU
The White Hart, dating back to 1516, contends for the title of “Edinburgh’s oldest pub”.
While the majority of the pub was built in 1740, parts of it still hold the charm from its historical origin.
The pub’s name traces back to an incident in 1128 involving King David I and a white stag.
It is now regarded as one of the most haunted pubs in the city.
Old College Bar Glasgow
Address: 219 High St, Glasgow G1 1PP
Parts of the Old College Bar in Glasgow, another of Scotland’s oldest pubs, were believed to have dated back to 1515.
The pub was a reminder of the University of Glasgow’s original location on High Street.
Sadly, the Old College Bar was demolished in 2021 following a fire.
The Globe Inn, Dumfries
Address: 56 High St, Dumfries DG1 2JA
Established in 1610, The Globe Inn in Dumfries was a favourite haunt of the renowned poet Robert Burns.
Now, it houses a bar, restaurant, and a small museum featuring artefacts and original items from Burns’ era, including etchings he inscribed onto the windows in his room.
Coylet Inn, Dunoon
Address: A815, Coylet, Dunoon PA23 8SG
The Coylet Inn in Dunoon, originally a coaching inn dating back to the 1650s, is located on the shores of Loch Eck.
It is said to be haunted by the ghost of a blue boy who drowned in the loch.
The Drovers Inn
Address: North Loch Lomond, Inverarnan G83 7DX
The Drovers Inn, opened in 1705, remains virtually unchanged since its days as a popular stop-off for farmers on their way to market.
The cosy inn, located on the northern road past Loch Lomond, is now a favourite stop for walkers along the West Highland Way.
The Clachan Inn
Address: The Clachan Inn, Drymen Square, Drymen, G63 0BL
The Clachan Inn, located in the picturesque village of Drymen, is said to be the oldest registered licensed pub in Scotland, dating back to 1734.
It’s believed that the building served drinks even before that, and legend has it that Rob Roy MacGregor’s sister was once the landlady.
The pub’s name translates to “a building of stone”.
Address: 6-8 Little Belmont St, Aberdeen AB10 1JG
Ma Cameron’s, a former coaching inn in Aberdeen, is widely accepted as the oldest in the city.
The snug bar at the front of the building is said to be over 300 years old, dating back to its origins.
The pub is named after its famous matron, the eponymous Ma Cameron, and is reputed to be one of the most haunted in Scotland.
The Scotia Bar
Address: 112 Stockwell St, Glasgow G1 4LW
Established in 1792, The Scotia Bar not only stands as one of the oldest bars in Glasgow but also resides on one of the city’s original four streets.
The bar retains many of its original features and remains a popular destination for a nightcap after a day’s work.
It is believed to be haunted by spirits from every era of its past but continues to attract tourists, musicians, and music lovers.
From the cosy corners of The Sheep Heid Inn to the haunted chambers of The Scotia Bar, these historic pubs offer a journey through Scotland’s past.
Each pub provides more than just a pint – it offers a glimpse into centuries of history, culture, and storytelling.
Next time you find yourself in Scotland, don’t miss the chance to enjoy a drink in these time-honoured establishments.