The Sheep Heid Inn

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The Sheep Heid Inn
43–45 The Causeway, Duddingston, Edinburgh, EH15 3QA
  • Telephone 0131 661 7974
  • Opening times Mon–Thu 11am–11pm; Fri/Sat 11am–midnight; Sun 12.30–11pm
  • Bar open Mon–Thu 11am–11pm; Fri/Sat 11am–midnight; Sun noon–11pm
  • Food served Mon–Thu noon–10pm; Fri/Sat noon–10pm; Sun noon–9.30pm.
  • Average price £20 (lunch); £25 (evening meal)
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Photo of The Sheep Heid Inn

The self-styled oldest pub in Edinburgh has seen a recent restoration that mixes well-worn rustic charm with a bit of pleasant but formulaic pastel makeover.

A destination watering hole for a trek over Arthur's Seat, there's a refreshed menu of hearty favourites, which means that Bar Crawler’s favourite Sunday roasts are still there, as is the skittle alley, thank goodness.

The screeds of historical connections cannot be erased either, with Mary Queen of Scots, her son King James VI of Scotland and the current Queen, Elizabeth II, all having visited and even reputedly having played skittles.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2019/20 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

As Edinburgh’s oldest pub, having first opened its doors as far back as 1360, Duddingston’s Sheep Heid Inn has a true country pub feel despite being just a few minutes’ drive from the centre of town. Inside the bar’s main area, the decor is understated and modern, with muted tones and soft interiors giving the feel of an upmarket gastropub. Unfortunately, the food tells a different story; from a rather uninspired menu, deep-fried brie arrives cold in the centre, and a steak ordered rare comes out black. Though the ambience is pleasant, and the location very scenic, much of the original character of this quaint village pub seems to have been lost somewhere along the line. Fortunately Scotland’s oldest surviving skittles alley, located in a back room, remains intact and is a great feature of this historic pub.

  • High point: Home to a traditional skittles alley
  • Low point: Lacklustre food
  • Average price: £20 (lunch); £25 (dinner)
  • Private dining: Up to 50 covers
  • Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables
  • Music on stereo: Mellow pop; easy listening
  • Live entertainment: occasional bands
  • Capacity: 130
  • Largest group: 50
  • Open since: 1360
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 23
  • House wine: £14.95 per bottle