Phil's World Pub Guides - Scotland

Pub Comments Location
EDINBURGH
Abbotsford A selection of real ales, mostly served by electric pump, in this splendid preserved pub with an island bar in the middle of a large dark wood panelled room with a beautiful ceiling. There's also a restaurant upstairs.
Last visited May 2012.
Rose Street
Blue Blazer A rather fine "ordinary" street corner pub with excellent real ale. One main room plus a small side one.
Last visited May 2012.
Spittal Street
The Bow Bar A traditional one-roomed pub with an excellent range of about eight real ales, served using air pressure dispense.
Last visited May 2008.
West Bow
Brewdog Hidden away from the tourist trail a little is this small bar with modern brutal decor of bare brick and heating ducts. They serve a few guests plus the Brewdog range, including the Tokyo Stout at 18.2% when I was there. Wow!
Last visited May 2012.
Cowgate
Cafe Royal Another historic gem, marble floors and plasterwork ceiling, gold decorated columns and even some stained glass. One wall features six pictures of inventors at work, which were painted for an exhibition in 1886 and then manufactured in tiles by Doulton for the licensee of the pub. Comfortable booth seating under the large windows. The menu looks good, and the real ale is excellent.
Last visited May 2012.
West Register Street
Cask and Barrel A nice traditionally styled pub with an impressive range of real ales including some local brews.
Last visited May 2006.
Broughton Street
Cask and Barrel (Southside) A splendid (all fake, I think) impression of a traditional Edinburgh boozer, with dark wood panelling and some cut glass mirrors. A wide selection of real ale.
Last visited May 2012.
West Preston Street
Conan Doyle Fine traditional decor, possibly original, in this small busy multi-level pub in the Nicholson's chain. They are trying to concentrate on food sales, but when I visited the majority of people were just drinking, as was I. Expensive.
Last visited September 2015.
York Place, by the tram stop.
Cumberland Bar A beautifully refurbished Victorian pub serving fine food and excellent real ale.
Last visited September 2015.
Cumberland Street
Dome A truly spectacular interior in what was formerly a bank I think. Waitress service. No real ale.
Last visited May 2006.
George Street
Guildford Arms Words fail me. A fantastic Victorian pub with stunning decoration. Restaurant on a balcony overlooking the bar area.
Last visited May 2012.
West Register Street
Halfway House A minute pub hidden on a narrow alleyway just above Waverley station. The interior is well looked after and features a lot of railway-related memorabilia, pictures and posters. Four real ales and excellent food (I had haggis, neaps and tatties followed by bread pudding.) served to a mix of locals and tourists. Probably not a good choice if there's more than four of you!
Last visited May 2012.
Fleshmarket Close
Mitre Impressive high ceiling in the large front room, with a dining area to the rear. Concentrating on their pub food (And not doing a very good job judging by the grumbling I overheard.), but also serving superb real ale.
Last visited May 2012.
High Street
Monty's Excellent real ale in this small corner house on two floors.
Last visited August 2018.
Morrison Street
Nor' Loch Formerly Coopers, this small busy bar on the station serves an excellent pint of Caledonian's Deuchars IPA.
Last visited April 2013.
Waverley Station
Oxford Bar A gem of a different sort, a tiny front room contains the bar counter, plus a larger side room, with plain decor apparently unchanged (but well cared for) for many years. I found it quiet and friendly on a Wednesday afternoon. Famous as Rebus's bar, I'll be watching more closely next time it's on the telly. There's a Cambridge Bar at the other end of the street.
Last visited May 2012.
 
Southsider A pleasant traditionally-decorated two-sided pub, plus a couple of side rooms. Real ale spot on.
Last visited May 2012.
Clerk / West Richmond
Thomson's Bar Excellent real ale from hand-pull and air propelled in this beautiful wood-panelled on room pub. Remarkably quiet on a Saturday afternoon during the Festival.
Last visited August 2018.
Morrison Street
Wetherspoon's Alexander Graham Bell A medium sized one room Wetherspoon's, nicely decorated.
Last visited May 2012.
George Street
Wetherspoon's Booking Office A large very busy 'spoons conveniently located at the top of the ramp from Waverley station. In the building which used to be Jimmy Chung's Chinese buffet.
Last visited August 2018.
Waverley Bridge
Wetherspoon's Caley Picturehouse A magnificent cinema conversion in which the seating goes up to the gods!
Last visited August 2018.
Lothian Road / Western Approach Road
Wetherspoon's Playfair A modern-styled Lloyds No. 1 located in a large entertainment complex.
Last visited May 2012.
Leith Walk
Wetherspoon's Standing Order A spectacular former bank with a large main hall plus a number of side rooms. Stunning!
Last visited September 2015.
George Street
Wetherspoon's Turnhouse A small Wetherspoons in the airport terminal, with a reduced menu and increased prices.
Last visited September 2015.
Land side, Edinburgh Airport
World's End A traditionally styled multi-room pub concentrating mainly on food with only the bar room available for drinkers. On a Tuesday evening they were doing a roaring trade, and turned away a number of prospective diners because all the tables were occupied. I just enjoyed a fine pint of ale and stood at the bar.
Last visited May 2012.
 
FIRTH-OF-CLYDE
M.V. Caledonian Isles A typical ferry bar on the Ardrossan to Brodick crossing, but in addition to the inevitable plastic Tennant's they also serve bottles of various beers from the Arran Brewery in Brodick.
Last visited August 2006.
 
GALASHIELS
Wetherspoon's Hunters Hall A medium-sized Wetherspoon's suddenly busy when a steam special has arrived at the station!
Last visited September 2015.
High Street
GLASGOW
Beer House Quirky modern decor in this pub serving quality real ales, located on the concourse at Central Station.
Last visited September 2015.
Glasgow Central Station
Bon Accord Up to ten real ales in this splendidly done out pub with wood floor and dark wood panelling. The leather chairs are extremely comfortable!
Last visited November 2018.
North Street, near the Mitchell Library
Clockwork Beer Co At least twenty pumps serve their own brews and wide range of guest ales. (These are not hand pumps but are powered by electricity or some other means. They are pretty rare in England but still found sometimes in Scotland. It still counts as real ale as gas pressure is not used to propel the beer.) In addition there are a number of imported beers on draught, including Budvar, Budvar Dark, Erdinger, Hoegaarden and Staropramen. If that isn't enough, the specialist beer menu includes a fantastic range of bottles, including my favourite Rochefort 10 and even a Geuze. The food menu looks good as well. In my enthusiasm I nearly forgot to say that it's a large hall with a big skylight, nicely decorated in a plain unobtrusive style. There's also a room upstairs and a beer garden not visited.
Last visited August 2006.
1153 Cathcart Road, Mount Florida
Drury Street A wonderful basement bar with comfy sofas where I had Japanese whisky. Despite the lack of real ale I really like this place. Busy but not too busy on a Saturday afternoon. The cellar is amazingly large compared with the upstairs entrance, and there's room for four pool tables and table fitba at one end. A big stack of board games is available if you're, er, bored, but I didn't see anyone playing.
Last visited November 2018.
Drury Street
Hard Rock Cafe Yow! 6 for a pint of Goose IPA. Up-tempo friendly staff serving overpriced food and drink.
Last visited November 2018.
Buchanan Street / Dundas Lane
Horseshoe A proper traditional boozer with a rather excellent interior, right in the middle of town about a minute's walk from Central Station. Three real ales were on, one by electric pump, and the place was heaving when I visited on a Saturday afternoon.
Last visited April 2014.
Drury Street / Renfield Street
Pot Still A small very busy traditional boozer, four handpumps serving quality real ales, and a fantastic range of whiskys.
Last visited November 2018.
Hope Street / West Regent Lane
Three Judges A slightly grubby one room street corner pub, with an excellent range of real ales - I counted the products of eight breweries - and the sign implied that all of them were guests. They also have an impressive selection of bottled Belgian and German beers.
Last visited August 2002.
Dumbarton Road / Byres Road
Vale A plain ordinary boozer conveniently located right by the entrance to Queen Street Station. One noisy busy room with tables and chairs around the edge and a large standing area in the middle. Two hand pumps provide quality real ale.
Last visited September 2015.
Dundas Street, by Queen Street Station.
Waxy O'Connor's What a great higgledy piggledy multi-room multi-floor interior, with wonderful (all fake I think) antiquey decor throughout. Impossible to describe, you just have to go and see it.
Last visited November 2018.
W George Street / Buchanan Street
West Brewing Company In a small corner of a spectacular old building, a former carpet factory, is this wonderful German style brewery and restaurant. Their own brews are excellent, my favourite being the dunkel hefeweizen, and the food, sausages, schniztels etc. is good as well. Highly recommended.
Last visited August 2006.
Binnie Place, Glasgow Green (Near Bridgeton Station)
Wetherspoon's Crystal Palace Standard Wetherspoons fare in a large open room with floor-to-ceiling windows on two walls. There is also another bar upstairs.
Last visited August 2002.
Midland Street / Jamaica Street
Wetherspoon's Counting House A large Wetherspoon's with a spectacular interior. One main room with a spectacular dome and a number of side rooms.
Last visited September 2015.
St Vincent Place
Wetherspoon's Hengler's Circus A large open corner room, busy but not as packed as I expected on a Saturday afternoon.
Last visited November 2018.
Saughiehall Street / Holland Street
Wetherspoon's Sir John Moore A large open Wetherspoon's with a good range of real ale.
Last visited May 2012.
Argyle Street
INVERNESS
Wetherspoon's King's Highway Cheap good real ale and food. In other words, a typical Wetherspoon's.
Last visited April 2013.
Market Place
LANARK
Horse and Jockey A plain pleasant one-roomed local serving good real ale. Pretty quiet on a wet Tuesday afternoon.
Last visited August 2006.
High Street
LEITH
Wetherspoon's Foot Of The Walk A large standard Wetherspoon's where I enjoyed an excellent Scottish Breakfast and a pint.
Last visited May 2012.
Constitution Street
LINLITHGOW
Platform 3 A tiny pub at the bottom of the station approach, one room with a small counter in the corner. Excellent real ales. A toy train, complete with sound effects, runs on a track high up on the wall.
Last visited September 2015.
Star and Garter A rather fine hotel bar with five real ales on hand pump. The pleasant decor is hard to categorise, a mix of traditional and contemporary.
Last visited September 2015.
PERTH
Greyfriars A splendid tiny traditional pub frequented by friendly regulars who all seem to know each other. The four real ales included the rather nice house beer called Friars Tipple.
Last visited August 2002.
South Street / Speygate
Wetherspoons Capital Asset A standard Wetherspoons in a splendid old building on the river front. Only four hand pumps, and the usual W'spoons problem of umpteen staff but you can't get served! I had an excellent pint of Orkney Dark Island.
Last visited August 2002.
Tay Street / High Street
ROTHESAY
Taverna All the pubs round here seem very plain on the outside, including this one. Inside, a nicely decorated and well cared for one bar pub with side rooms partialy knocked through.
Last visited August 2006.
High Street
SOUTH QUEENSFERRY
Ferry Tap A proper traditional boozer, serving four or five real ales. Quiet, apart from a handful of regulars, on a Monday afternoon.
Last visited September 2015.
Forth Belle The small bar on this tourist boat has a number of bottled beers available, including Caledonian's Edinburgh Castle.
Last visited September 2015.
Firth of Forth
Hawes Inn A slightly up market restaurant/pub obviously aimed at the tourist market, it's just across the road from the pier where the Forth cruises arrive and depart. Very pleasant, and a small range of quality ales is served.
Last visited September 2015.
WEMYSS BAY
Station Bar In the excellently preserved station and ferry terminal is this convenient watering hole; a small friendly bar with a larger cafe attached. No real ale.
Last visited August 2006.
Station
WICK
Wetherspoon's Alexander Bain A large pleasant Wetherpsoon's with only limited choice of real ale on my visit.
Last visited April 2013.
Market Place

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