In this fantastic, beautiful and historic city there is always something to do, whether it be noon or night. The Real Ale Tour is a great way to taste the real Edinburgh. Real Ales, Cask Ales and Whiskys is a great way to enjoy the tastes with history and great atmospheric surroundings.
Tour Stops and Attractions
1) Greyfriars Bobby BarJohn Gray had a dog called bobby. John was a Policeman, who died in 1858 and was buried next door to the bar in the Kirkyard. For 14 years Bobby would watch over johns grave as a sign of devotion. A statue is outside the bar to mark the memory of this faithful dog. Great real ales and whiskys to go with its remarkable history. Located opposite the National Museum of Scotland this history has even made it to the big screen. Comfortable seating, great food as well with a great company of regular locals.
2) The Bow BarA traditional Scottish pub with a great range of Real Ales. It uses Scottish Tall Founts to dispense the Real Ale which comes from all over the United Kingdom. Not many pubs have this dispenser anymore. With its Gantry behind the bar which houses 150 single malt Scotch whiskys, you will feel the warmth as soon as you enter. Many people miss this bar as it fits in with the historic buildings around, a great bar in a great location.
3) The Last DropSitting behind the Castle and far below is an area that is important to Edinburgh and its history. It was the location of Public Executions and The Last Drop sits next door to one of these scenes up until the 1800's.
A small bar which is rather big on atmosphere, Ghosts in the cellar and decent whiskys and ales, which makes it a perfect stop off. It's cosy even with all its nooks and crannies. Definitely a real ale stop off and maybe a cheeky malt whisky to give you the courage to head up the hill to the next bar.
4) Ensign EwartThe closest Pub to Edinburgh Castle, which is a top tourist attraction, can be dated as far back as 1603. It attracts royalty and celebrities due to the popular traditional ales. Once you are inside you will understand how much character this building has. Charles Ewart is the gentleman where the name of the pub comes from. He was a sergeant who captured the standard of the French 45th Regiment in 1815. There is a large picture of this inside the pub itself.
5) Milnes BarDating back to 1790, this building was Edinburgh's first phase for the New Town. In 1910 Lomond and Milne opened a spirit merchant in the cellars, then it became a pub in mid 1900's. It was also a meeting place for Scottish poets in 1920's. With its Real Ales selection you can't go wrong.
Milnes is one of the larger bars on this tour, after it expanded in recent times, it serves traditional tasty food and generally attracts older local clientele, but either way it's definitely worth stopping for a drink as it's part of history.
6) Auld HundredWith its traditional Scottish Hospitality the Auld Hundred is a warm and inviting pub which looks smaller than it actually is. The building has its history, originally a Mission Hall and it became a pub in 1800 which makes it one of the oldest in Edinburgh. The origin of it's name comes from the traditional tune the 23rd psalm was sung or was it its address, 100 Rose Street, either way a great place for a real ale or two.
7) The Queens ArmsHidden away is this discreet pub, with open spaces and bottle lined ceiling to the rear and even a library of books. The original sign, a portrait of Mary Queen Of Scots, is no longer there, but they had her in mind when they originally named the pub. With its grown up atmosphere, the real ales are a must for the locals, tourists, students and business people. It has recently gone through renovations and re-opened in May 2010, but still has its charming feel.