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Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour

The Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour is most certainly an educational tour with a difference. It takes visitors on a fascinating journey through Edinburgh, not only discussing the vibrant personalities that once roamed the streets, but also visiting the favorite drinking establishments that the famous writers and poets of Scotland frequented. As Edinburgh is known for its age old pubs and the fact that it has more pubs in a square mile radius than any other city in Europe, it is no surprise that there is a tour that combines literary genius with a cold one.

The tour is led by two intriguing characters known as Clart and McBrain. Together they take visitors on an adventure of fascinating discovery and historical intrigue, often entering into a comical debate and discussion, which raises valid questions and answers, while entertaining their tour group. Through their quick wit and humorous banter, they highlight some of the most vital facts in regard to literature in Edinburgh and the history of Scotland.

It is at the Beehive Inn, in the Grassmarket area of the city, that the quest begins. It is said that the Beehive Inn is approximately three hundred years old, making it one of the oldest pubs, and was the preferred drinking spot of Willie Wordsworth and the poet Robert Burns (1759 – 1796). From the Beehive Inn, the pub tour winds its way through to Victoria Street, takes a shortcut through the Victoria Street Steps and heads towards Lawnmarket. The second pub on the agenda is the Jolly Judge that looks out over James Court. The massive open fire and magnificent wood finish of this pub gives it a very warm and inviting atmosphere. Once the venue of heated political debates during the construction of the Parliament buildings, it is now the site of hilarious scenes that are re-enacted by the Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour. The tour then moves on to the Ensign Ewart pub, which is the nearest pub to the Edinburgh Castle, and it’s believed that there has been a pub on this location since 1690. It was named after the officer that captured a French regiment during the Battle of Waterloo, which took place in 1815. Dancing, singing, business talk and gossip is what still draws locals to this pub, as it did Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894), Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1932) and Robert Burns. Visitors will be fascinated with the large collection of horse and military memorabilia adorning the walls. The last leg of the pub tour takes visitors up Princess Street, past the Sir Walter Scott monument and to the last stop on the tour, the Café Royal Bar. This wonderful establishment is draped in elegance and style, complete with marble floors and revolving doors. One of the most prized decorations of the pub is the collection of murals that were painted on tile by John Eyre. It is also known for its scrumptious meals and distinguished history.

The Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour is a unique and uplifting experience. While educational, it is fun, amusing, fascinating and refreshing. Other tours such as the Literary Bus Tour, Makars Literary Tour and Literary Suppers, take a greater look at the poets and writers themselves. For a day of adventure and excitement, join the team of the Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour on an breathtaking journey of discovery.


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