This wasn't really one of our normal haunts and I think that in my 4 years in Edinburgh, I was only in there once. We normally wandered down the road for a further 10 minutes till we came to the grass market, a large open market place, which really hasn't changed all that much since this old picture was painted - stick a couple of modern shops in and a little parking down the middle and you're just about there.
The Black Bull is the first pub you come to that we tended to go into - perhaps needs a special mention as it was here that my sister met her husband.
The White Hart is occasionally quoted as being the oldest pub in Edinburgh even though it started in the century following the Golf Tavern. You also have to pretend that Duddingston isn't really part of Edinburgh as The Sheep's Heid there has a history dating back to 1360. Burns stayed here in 1791, scribbling a poem on one of the beams (it's a wonder he didn't get chucked out of more pubs as in Moffat he scratched a poem on a pub window). For our part, we went to the White Hart in the mid '80s because it had regular folk music on. At the time it also had astoundingly bad beer - I really should pop in at some time and get an update on the beer quality.
Just along from the White Hart was another of our favorite hostelries, The Last Drop, so called because it overlooked the spot where Edinburgh held most of it public hangings (not to mention the odd beheading). I remember the last drop had a carpet that had lots of little gallows woven into it.
The spot where most of the executions were held. (notice that the square pump in the left of this photo appears clearly in the old picture earlier on)
A new shop in the Grassmarket is Olde Jock's Pie Shop where I bought a rather tasty haggis pie and a cuppa for my lunch
At the end of the Grassmarket 3 streets come off it. 2 go up to the George IV bridge and the other The Cowgate goes under it. The Cowgate is a dark old street with high sides and I think gives a feel of how ancient Edinburgh must have felt.
Just a little way down the Cowgate is Sneeky Pete's pub which I'm not surprised to see is closed here since it's the hours of daylight. Some years ago, David and I went back into Sneeky Pete's to find disappointingly clean and tidy - you should never go back to places, they only change.