John Byatt-Smith's Pub Tour

Bars: The Secretary's Recommendations. This is a rough guide to the pubs in the rectangle bounded on the north by the High Street (Royal Mile) and on the East by Dalkeith Road, starting opposite Pollock Halls, continuing northwards along St Leonards Street, The Pleasance (you will pass a plaque marking part of the original Flodden Wall here) and St Mary's Street. The furthest distance from Pollock Halls is no more than 30 minutes' walk (early evening!).

The first pub is the Physician and Firkin, which is opposite Pollock Halls on Dalkeith Road. The attraction here is that it sells four beers which are brewed on the premises, and nowhere else as far as I know. You can then head for the High Street.

If you turn left into the High Street (there are also pubs to the right which are worth exploring), the first pub is The Worlds End with the Royal Archer on the opposite side of the road. There are many pubs in the High Street, for example, The Mitre, Deacon Brodies, The Jolly Judge and Ensign Ewart.

Also worth a visit is the Malt Shovel which is at the bottom of Cockburn Street, which is a right turn off the High Street just after you have crossed the North/South Bridge, going westwards. The attraction here is Organic Golden Promise, a beer well worth tasting and served in few pubs. Continuing past Cockburn Street, turn left from the High Street into George IV Bridge and then take the first right into Victoria Street. This will lead down into the Cowgate which is worth exploring. In Victoria Street you will find Nicky Tams, Finnegans (an Irish style pub, but not for serious drinking) and the author's favourite, The Bow Bar.

Returning to George IV Bridge, you will find further along past Victoria Street, Scruffy Murphy's (no description necessary) and Greyfriars Bobby Bar. Bobbie's Bar, as it is known by the locals, is at one apex of the area called the triangle; taking the right fork you will find Sandy Bells and at the next apex is the Doctors. Following the road round (left) with the George Square complex on your right you will pass the Woolpack. When you get to West Nicolson Street turn left. The Pear Tree is just on the corner and the pub next used to be called the Partridge. The main road you come to is Nicolson Street and a right turn will take you back to Pollock Halls. Just on the corner is The Southsider. On the way back to Pollock you will come across McEwan House and the Abbey.

An alternative route to Pollock Halls is not to take the left turn into West Nicolson Street, but to continue straight along Buccleugh Street. This will take you past The Meadows (not a watering hole: the area was drained by Dutch engineers 200 years ago). Eventually you will pass Minders and Jamies, turn left here into Salisbury Street and cross into Salisbury Road to get to Pollock Halls. If you still want to walk further then carry on past Jamies without turning and visit Leslie's Bar. It is worth it for the interior design.

Those who wish to explore further afield can try a walk down Rose Street, which is to the North of Princes Street. You will find that there are over twenty pubs in Rose Street.

Stagger back to more information for participants.