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Edinburgh Rose Street: A Wee Wander Through History, Pubs, and Fun!

Ah, Edinburgh! The city never disappoints, with its charming cobbled streets, an ancient castle perched high, and a history that whispers from every corner. But today, we’re setting off to explore a specific gem – Rose Street.

Whether you’re a history buff, a pub aficionado (lover!), or simply someone who enjoys a good stroll, Rose Street has something for everyone. So, grab your virtual walking shoes, and let’s get going!

A Street Steeped in History

Street Steeped in History

Rose Street weaves its way through the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed in the late 18th century, the New Town was all about wide boulevards, elegant squares, and a touch of Georgian grandeur. Rose Street, named after England’s national flower (a symbol of unity with Scotland’s thistle, perhaps?), became part of this swanky new development.

But Rose Street wasn’t always about pubs with cheery signs and laughter spilling out onto the pavement. In the 1800s, it was a hub for posh shops – think tailors, milliners (hat makers!), and even a bakery that supplied the city with some of the best treats around (we’re talking McVitie’s, folks!).

Fast forward to the mid-20th century, and Rose Street took a bit of a turn. It became a popular haunt for writers and poets, with the likes of Hugh MacDiarmid and Sydney Goodsir Smith raising a glass (or two) and letting their creativity flow.

The Pubs of Rose Street: A Legendary Lineup

These days, Rose Street is best known for one thing: pubs! From traditional taverns with dark wood interiors to modern cocktail bars with funky lighting, there’s a pub for every mood and taste.

Here’s a wee taster of what you might find:

  • The age-old pubs: Deacon Brodie’s (named after a notorious Edinburgh figure!), The Rosebank and The Canonbridge offer a taste of old-fashioned pub life. Expect friendly locals, hearty pub grub (think fish and chips!), and a warm atmosphere.
  • The lively ones: The Bramble Bar and The Amber Rose are always buzzing, with live music or DJs keeping the party going. Perfect for a fun night out with friends.
  • The hidden gems: Tucked away down side streets, you’ll find smaller, cozier pubs like The Hanging Bat and The Guildford Arms. Great spots for a quiet chat with a pint.

What Else Does Rose Street Offer?

While the pubs are undoubtedly a big draw, Rose Street isn’t all about beer and banter. Here are a few other things to keep you entertained:

  • Shopping: A few independent shops still hold their own amongst the pubs. Browse for unique souvenirs, and Scottish crafts, or simply window shop and soak up the atmosphere.
  • Food Glorious Food: From casual pub fare to fancy restaurants, Rose Street caters to all appetites. You might find a cozy Italian restaurant, a bustling burger joint, or a traditional Scottish eatery serving up haggis, neeps, and tatties (a must-try for the adventurous!).
  • People Watching: Find a comfy spot on a pub bench and watch the world go by. Rose Street is a melting pot of locals, tourists, and everyone in between, making for some prime people-watching opportunities.

Top Tips for Your Rose Street Ramble

  • Comfy Shoes: Those cobblestones can be tricky in heels, so lace up your trainers (sneakers) for a comfortable wander.
  • Weather Woes: Edinburgh weather can be unpredictable, so pack a light raincoat or jacket, just in case.
  • Cash is King: Not all pubs accept cards, so it’s handy to have some cash on hand.
  • Pace Yourself: With so many pubs to choose from, it’s easy to get carried away. Pace yourself and enjoy the experience!

Exploring Further: A Wee Detour from Rose Street

Wee Detour from Rose Street

While Rose Street is a fantastic wee destination in itself, there’s plenty more to see nearby. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Princes Street: Edinburgh’s main thoroughfare is just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Here you’ll find iconic landmarks like the Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens, and the Scott Monument.
  • George Street: Parallel to Rose Street, George Street offers a more upscale shopping experience with high-end brands and department stores.

Rose Street: A Storied Past, a Vibrant Present

So, there you have it! Rose Street: a charming wee street with a rich history, a legendary pub scene,

and something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a history buff wanting to delve into the Georgian streetscape or a pub enthusiast on a mission to sample the local brews, Rose Street delivers. For those seeking a taste of Scottish culture, there’s always the chance to catch a traditional music session in a cosy pub, or simply soak up the lively atmosphere as you wander past.

Rose Street After Dark: A Night to Remember

As the sun dips below the horizon, Rose Street transforms into a vibrant hub of nightlife. String lights twinkle overhead, casting a warm glow on the bustling crowds. Live music spills out from open pub doors, tempting you in with its infectious energy.

If you’re looking for a lively night out, head to a pub with a band or DJ. Dance the night away with friendly locals and fellow travelers. Feeling a bit more low-key? Settle into a traditional pub with a crackling fireplace and enjoy a good conversation over a pint of Scotland’s finest ale.

A Wee Bit of Romance

Rose Street also has a certain romantic charm. Picture this: you and your special someone strolling hand-in-hand down the cobbled street, popping into a cozy pub for a pre-dinner drink. Candlelight flickers on the tables, soft music plays in the background, and the air is filled with the warm aroma of delicious food. Perfect for a romantic evening in the heart of Edinburgh.

From Day to Night: Rose Street Has It All

Rose Street Has It All

So, whether you’re a solo traveler, a group of friends on an adventure, or a couple seeking a romantic escape, Rose Street caters to all. With its rich history, vibrant pub scene, and diverse offerings, this charming wee street promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of Edinburgh.

Ready to Experience Rose Street for Yourself?

If you’ve been inspired to explore Rose Street for yourself, here are a few resources to help you plan your trip:

  • VisitScotland ( This website is a great starting point for planning your trip to Edinburgh. You’ll find information on things to see and do, accommodation options, and how to get around the city.
  • Edinburgh Pub Guide ( This website is a comprehensive guide to Edinburgh’s pubs, including many on Rose Street. You can search by location, type of pub, and even by what kind of beer they serve!

So, pack your bags, grab your walking shoes, and get ready to experience the magic of Rose Street. You won’t be disappointed!