Spending time in a traditional Scottish pub after a day out adventuring is possibly the best way to finish off a day. Welcoming atmospheres, friendly staff, great food, local ales and live music are but a few of the things to look forward to – especially when the fiddles come out!
The Scots are renowned for their big characters, and we can confirm this is the case all across the country. Wherever you are, you will come across different local personalities and cultures. But the Scots love welcoming you in to experience a bit of local life, and one of the best places to enjoy this is in a Scottish pub.
We thought it would be fun to highlight the oldest pubs in Scotland: establishments that have been around for years and years, holding stories of the past from those who have set foot in them. Here are some to put on the bucket list…
Which pub is said to be the oldest in Scotland?
The Sheep Heid Inn in Edinburgh is said to be the oldest pub in Scotland, dating all the way back to 1360! In medieval times, sheep were brought to Duddingston for slaughter after fattening in Holyrood Park and it is said that the locals would figure out lots of dishes that could be made with their heads – hence the name! A few big names have visited this pub throughout history, Bonnie Prince Charlie being one of them.
Today, whilst you won’t find any locals boiling up sheep heads, you will experience a warm and welcoming pub with lots of cosy corners, traditional furnishings and open fires. There is also a skittle isle which is said to be the oldest surviving one in Scotland – it’s very cool! The dishes on the menu, which you can check out on their website, are delicious. There is everything on offer, from delicate cuisine to traditional Scottish meals. Location: 43-45 The Causeway, Duddingston, Edinburgh, EH15 3QA
Stay in our Edinburgh cottages and take a trip to Scotland’s oldest pub.
Where will you find some of the other oldest pubs in Scotland? We thought it would be fun to look at other cities and famous regions. Check out these oldest pubs and see if they will fit into your next Scottish break.
The oldest pub in Aberdeen
Ma Cameron’s was once a coaching inn in Aberdeen and is around 300 years old – apparently, it’s haunted and has a resident ghost but we will let you decide on that! This little pub is very unique and the friendly staff want you to have a lovely time, so you will be able to eat and drink until your heart is content. Named after Amelia ‘Ma’ Cameron who bought the business in 1937, it is atmospheric and true to the Aberdonian style – soak it all up with a pint in hand. You will find it in the city centre and the ‘rabbit warren’ layout will keep you guessing around every corner – it’s great! Location: 6-8 Little Belmont Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1JG
Take a trip to this friendly pub whilst staying in our Aberdeenshire cottages.
The oldest pub in Loch Lomond
The Clachan Inn in Drymen, Loch Lomond, is said to be one of the oldest in Scotland and it has a rich history. The first licensee of the establishment was Mistress Gow, who was Rob Roy MacGregor's sister. For those of you unfamiliar with him, he was a Scottish folk hero. The pub sits in the village square and is popular with walkers throughout the year who take on the Rob Roy walk from Pitlochry to Drymen. This is no surprise when the food is so delicious and the selection of drinks on tap is second to none! Location: Drymen Square, Drymen, Glasgow, G63 0BL
Stay in our Loch Lomond cottages and take a trip to Drymen for a pub lunch or to drink in one of Scotland’s oldest pubs. These two properties are very close to Drymen:
Discover more about this amazing area with our ultimate guide to Loch Lomond.
The oldest pub in Dundee
When we looked for the oldest pub in Dundee, the one that came up the most was ‘Pillars Bar’. Established in 1864, historically it was a popular drinking house for the locals, and still stands today as a Scottish bar with a great selection of drinks on offer. The interior of the building is true to its historic routes, with many of the original interiors still there today, and these features mixed with paintings and photos of a bygone age all add to the atmosphere of this old drinking pub. Location: 7G Crichton Street, Dundee, DD1 3AR
Here are some cottages that are close to Dundee which would be a great place to return to after a visit to Pillars Bar:
The oldest pubs in Inverness, the Highlands
The Gellions on Bridge Street is said to be the oldest pub in the Highlands capital, and it was uncovered recently that it may even be older than originally thought. Dating back to 1841, this has long been a much-loved pub with locals and visitors alike. Today it is a lively establishment with live Scottish music seven days a week! Located in the city centre, it is well situated amongst shops, bars and eateries, so whatever the time of day, you can pop in here for a cooling refreshment and some local culture. Location: 14 Bridge St, Inverness IV1 1HD
Stay close by to the oldest pub in Inverness and pick from our Inverness cottages.
Find out more about this amazing area with our comprehensive guide to the Highlands.
We hope you have enjoyed finding out about some of the oldest pubs in Scotland. There are hundreds of pubs all over Scotland, and the best way to pick your favourite is to try them! Stay in our Scotland cottages and explore them all.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.