For those of you who don’t know, I’m a bit of a drinker. While traveling (especially solo) I love going into a pub and getting to know the locals over a pint (or more often, a vodka diet). While in Edinburgh I came across some amazing pubs that I wanted to share with you!
Maggie Dickenson Pub:
Not only does this place have a great atmosphere, it has one of the best back stories I’ve ever heard! Maggie Dickenson. Maggie Dickson was a fish hawker from Musselburgh and in 1723 she “fell pregnant” after a secret relationship with an innkeepers son in Kelso. The newborn baby died and Maggie decided it was best to conceal the body so the affair would not be discovered. However, the baby’s body was discovered and Maggie was found guilty of killing a child. She was returned to Edinburgh for execution, which took place in Grassmarket on September 2, 1724. Her execution was followed by a near riot as friends and relatives fought with the medical students for possession of her body. The friends and relatives won, and Maggie was placed in a coffin and taken to Musselburgh for burial. While the party paused en route for a drink at a roadside pub, the lid of the coffin began to move and Maggie was found to be alive. She was even well enough to walk the rest of the way Mussleburgh the next day!!! Rumor has it she was a “good friend” of the ropemaker who supplies the hangman and the early breaking of the rope allowed her survival. She could not be executed again since she was already pronounced legally dead once. She lives another 40 years and was universally known as Half-Hangit Maggie. After opening the pub, for the rest of her life, whenever there was a hanging going on outside, she would bring the accused a pint and say not to worry, she survived her own hanging.
The Last Drop
This place immediately drew me since one of my favorite dive bars back in Boston is also called The Last Drop (and looks the exact same from the outside!) This pub is in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, it’s dark and dimly lit, with wooden beans and brick archways leading to a back room covered in foreign bank notes and bright posters from local events. Great mix of people too! It also has super cool chalk drawn pictures from famous movies!
Having a father that loves horror films, I had to go into this bar just for the pure fact that it was named after an old school scary movie. A sign when you walk in greets you with the following words:
“The Good Dr. would like to cordially invite you to his private dwelling deep in the very centre of ‘Auld e’. Here you will encounter sights and sounds beyond those yet experienced by human kind. Take your pick from the seven sings and seven virtues, all chosen from the Drs personal favorite cocktail recipes. All facilities are catered to but will you have the wits to discover them hidden in our library.
Is this not enough to peak your interest? well then ladies and gentleman delve deeper through this very portal into our world. Witness my adventures with the great man in the video section or perhaps even this is not enough, well, the crypt bar is available to you and any other curious souls for private hire.
So come along and visit our family.
Trusty disfigured manservant
You can choose a wide range of beers and wine OR you can try one of their seven virtues drinks (Faith, Prudence, Temperance, Justice, Hope, Charity, and fortitude. I tried Justice (Peach Snapps, Baileys and Grenadian)! The other cool thing about this bar? The restrooms are completely camoflouged!
My absolute FAVORITE bar in Edinburgh. Not only did they have vanilla vodka (I can’t seem to find that in any of the pubs around here!) but they had an absolute amazing atmosphere. The whole entire pub is covered from in wall to wall built in book shelves with all different types of books, mostly older hardcover books (I’m a huge book worm for those of you who don’t know and I refuse to buy a kindle-I love the smell of books, actually touching the paper to turn the page…huge geek I know). It’s also the type of pub where you can sit and talk with a friend for hours over a few drinks…unless its a weekend with live music then its a huge party.
There are so many other fun pubs and bars around this area, I couldn’t try them all! I’m looking forward to going back and discovering some more hidden gems!