Situated round the corner from Duddingston Loch, the Sheep Heid Inn rightly claims to be Scotland’s oldest pub, with a history dating back to 1390. Halfway between Holyrood and Craigmillar castles,
it was once a favourite with Scottish kings of yore, who would come and play in the pub’s skittle alley; it’s also said that James VI gifted an ornate ram’s-head snuff box in 1580, which probably
explains the name. The pub’s historical clout and quaint charms are undeniable, but the place now has something of a chequered reputation in other departments: prices are reckoned to be quite steep
for superior gastropub fare such as slow-braised shoulder of lamb with spiced couscous, while service can be glacially slow. Be warned that Sunday lunch is a bun fight – so take comfort in the
excellent cask ales, well-chosen wines and flashy cocktails.