#223: The White Horse, Canongate, Edinburgh

The White Horse, Canongate, Edinburgh (exterior)

From just peering in the window of The White Horse you would be forgiven for thinking it was small. The front room is bright and simple, with white walls, soft lighting, a few ornaments, pictures and mirrors. There’s not much trace of its previous “old man pub” incarnation except maybe the fitted leather benches. What you can’t see from the street is that there’s another room through the back. The “Stable Room” almost doubles the space. It’s got stone walls, a barn-like ceiling, fitted benches, a few old photos and more fairy lights. In general, it’s all refreshingly straight-forward, yet cosy and charming.

This TripAdvisor review from “a local” seems to suggest that the back room was “the capital’s answer to Gretna Green” back in the 1700s. Take a look at it anyway because the photos are better than mine (not difficult).

As we arrived at around 845pm the barman was just closing up the back room. Apart from us there was just one customer, presumably a regular, sitting at the bar chatting to the bar man. When we left at around 930 the bar man was locking up behind us. Another victim of quiet Tuesday nights. On the radio was something like Absolute 80s, lots of tunes we recognised, but I don’t remember any specifics.

The Bar

The White Horse, Canongate, Edinburgh (interior, bar)

Kegs: Stella Artois, West 4, Estrella Damm, Carling, Guinness, Olde English cider, Belhaven Best, McEwans Red. Bottles from Stewart’s and Brewdog.

The round was something under £12 for 2 pints and a bottle of Stewart’s. The bottles were definitely £3.95, so let’s put a pint at that too, it won’t be far off.


Mains are all simple Scottish pub classics like stovies, haggis, macaroni cheese, mince & tatties, lasagne, all £6 except for the lamb shank at £7; baked potatoes and sandwiches £4 and large nachos £7, or £8 with chilli (they’re not really nachos otherwise).


Live music at least occasionally and the back room is available for functions. It says “karaoke available” outside, no mention of regular karaoke nights that I noticed.

Castle View



Website: thewhitehorsebar.weebly.com (possibly long forgotten)
Facebook: The White Horse Bar (not updated since 2012)


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