Official Guide to Edinburgh

Edinburgh's 101 Objects Pub Crawl

*Please note - this unique campaign has now ended, however the majority of objects are still available to see around the city so please continue to browse and enjoy our Edinburgh's 101 Objects itineraries. The information was correct as of 30/07/2019.

Edinburgh has no shortage of pubs and bars both old and new, catering to a wide variety of tastes - from the elegance of George Street, to the warmth and old world charm of the Old Town.

It should come as no surprise then that a few of Edinburgh's 101 Objects are to be found in the city's watering holes. Below you'll find a handy guide to some of our city's most historically interesting objects located in pubs and bars around the city.

As the majority of these objects are free to view, you're encouraged to buy the odd drink. It goes without saying that we encourage you to drink responsibly, and if you're aiming to visit all of these objects in one go, make sure you either bring a designated driver with you or use taxis/public transport!

"The only pub I know with an emergency entrance."

100 Oxford Bar Hero

The Oxford Bar, 8 Young Street EH2 4JB

If you're a fan of the Inspector Rebus novels, you'll be familiar with The "Oxford" Bar. The sign outside is Object 100, while the bar inside is the perfect place to begin this whistle-stop pub tour into Edinburgh's story.

The pub isn't just a favourite of Inspector Rebus though, it's also a known favourite of author Ian Rankin - with his character Professor Gates apparently based on the pub's owner. Buy a drink at The "Oxford" Bar and you'll be joining the ranks of Edinburgh's literary history. And if you're wondering why those quotation marks are so important, head to the full list of Edinburgh's 101 Objects, or just ask the bar staff.

Traces of the Great Exhibition

66 Cafe Royal Hero

Café Royal, 18 West Register Street EH2 2AA

It's time to make your way to the other end of the New Town to the Café Royal. Here, you'll find Object 66nine Victorian framed tile panels adorning the walls, each painted with the images of various famous inventors.

The panels are one of the few remaining traces of the Grand World Expo, held during the golden era of the British Empire in the summer of 1886 on the Meadows in Edinburgh. Part of a display of Royal Doulten pottery work, the panels now line the walls of one of Edinburgh's finest Victorian pubs.

The city's favourite pup

Greyfriars Bobby Hero

Chosen in a public vote as Object 101, Edinburgh's favourite mutt sits atop a pillar by Greyfriar''s Kirkyard - where not only will you find the grave of Bobby's master, where he is said to have kept watch daily, but you'll also find a few names that are said to have inspired JK Rowling in writing the Harry Potter novels. Make a pit stop and raise a glass to Bobby in Greyfriar's Bobby's Bar, which you'll find right by the entrance to the kirkyard, behind his statue. 

Insider tip: there's no need to rub Bobby's nose for luck - buy a drink instead!

The Head of Hamish Henderson

40 Hamish Henderson Hero

Sandy Bell's, 25 Forrest Road EH1 2QH

Down at the end of George IV Bridge, move towards Sandy Bell's - a pub not far from the Meadows. Here you'll find Object 40, a bust of author Hamish Henderson sculpted using the pages from one of his books by artist Jan Miller, against which rests a bottle of Lagavulin whisky (Hamish's favourite).

Known as one of the fathers of the Scottish folk revival, creating and inspiring others to produce great works, Hamish frequently gathered folk musicians and poets together in Sandy Bells, helping create and cement its reputation as one of the Edinburgh folk music bars. If you're lucky, you may get to enjoy some top quality live music with your drink.

A fountain of Gin

67 Pickerings Hero

The Royal Dick, 1 Summerhall EH9 1PL

If you count yourself a gin conoisseur, Object 67 is for you. The next stop at the Royal Dick bar in Summerhall is home to a very special tap that spouts Pickering's Gin on draught, piped through from the distillery next door.

While Edinburgh is better known for whisky, gin has long been enjoyed in the city, so much so that the 1751 Gin Act was enacted to tax the spirit and curb the effects of its rather widespread popularity.

The oldest pub in Scotland

64 Skittle Alley Hero

The Sheep Heid Inn, 43-45 The Causeway EH15 3QA

Established in 1360, making 2017 its 657th year of serving food and drink, the Sheep Heid Inn is Scotland's oldest public house and has seen numerous visits from Scottish and British monarchs through the centuries. The pub is also home to Object 64a Victorian skittle alley built in 1882.

Skittles has been played at the pub for centuries, so if you pop in for a pint, why not join the ranks of old (including kings and queens) for a game? Just make sure you get your booking in early - if the place has been around for this long, you know it's got to be popular.

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