Home » Exploring England » Tolbooth Tavern, Edinburgh: Traditional Scottish Pub

Tolbooth Tavern, Edinburgh: Traditional Scottish Pub

Nestled along the historic Royal Mile in Edinburgh, the Tolbooth Tavern stands as a testament to centuries of Scottish history, intrigue, and perhaps even supernatural encounters. Originally a medieval building used for toll collection and as a prison, this traditional Scottish pub has evolved into a charming establishment known for its eerie atmosphere, hearty fare, and friendly hospitality.

History and Hauntings:

  1. Medieval Origins: Built in 1591, the Tolbooth Tavern has a rich history dating back to the medieval era. It served various functions over the centuries, including as a council chamber, police court, and prison, where many suffered in the cause of liberty.
  2. Escapes and Incarcerations: The tavern’s dark past includes daring escapes by prisoners detained by Oliver Cromwell’s guard in 1654. The infamous Tolbooth’s walls failed to contain them, leading to their dramatic escape using makeshift ropes.
  3. Ghostly Encounters: Rumors abound of paranormal activity within the tavern, with reports of unexplained phenomena such as glasses and bottles mysteriously falling over. Some staff members claim to have seen apparitions, including two gentlemen in old-fashioned military attire, adding to the eerie ambiance.
  4. Quaint Charm: Despite its haunted reputation, the Tolbooth Tavern exudes a quaint charm, with its clock tower, carved wooden bar, and cozy interior welcoming visitors to indulge in Scottish hospitality and hearty fare.
  5. Location and Reviews: Situated centrally on the Canongate, the tavern enjoys a prime spot along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Visitors praise its decorative exterior, friendly service, and reasonable prices, making it a favored haunt for locals and tourists alike.

Exploring Edinburgh’s Royal Mile:

  1. Historical Landmarks: The Royal Mile is steeped in history, boasting iconic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and St Giles’ Cathedral, offering visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich heritage.
  2. Hidden Gems: Cobblestone closes and narrow stairways crisscross the Mile, leading to hidden gems like The Real Mary King’s Close and the Scottish Storytelling Centre, adding to the area’s allure and mystery.
  3. Modern Marvels: Amidst the historical backdrop, modern attractions like the Scottish Parliament showcase Edinburgh’s blend of tradition and innovation, providing visitors with a diverse range of experiences to enjoy.
  4. Scottish Hospitality: The Tolbooth Tavern epitomizes Scottish hospitality, offering a warm welcome, fine ales, malt whiskies, and locally sourced cuisine that delights the senses and satisfies the soul.

Whether you’re drawn to its haunted history, cozy ambiance, or delicious fare, the Tolbooth Tavern offers an unforgettable experience along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Embrace the city’s dark past, immerse yourself in its spooky atmosphere, and indulge in the pleasures of Scottish hospitality at this historic establishment.

If you’re eager to explore Edinburgh’s dark history and immerse yourself in a spooky atmosphere, The Tolbooth Tavern is a must-visit destination while in town.

Address: 167 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BN.

Experience the charm, history, and hauntings of Tolbooth Tavern, where every visit promises adventure and intrigue amidst Edinburgh’s storied streets.

Scroll to Top