The Royal Oak Edinburgh

Image by Alasdair MacQuarrie

The Royal Oak – A folk music institution

Nestled on a side street just off North Bridge in the old town this tiny pub is the beating heart of Edinburgh’s traditional music scene. Downstairs there are nightly gigs, whilst upstairs local musicians turn up throughout the day to play for tips, drinks or just for the love of performing. This is a gem of a place to visit, as you never quite know what you will walk into; a hushed crowd listening to mournful folk music or a raucous sing along to modern classics. What makes this place special is that you could walk in at any time of day, any day of the week and witness something completely unique. I like to head there on a Friday or Saturday night when the place is standing room only and the music is in full flow. 

Order a pint of Heavy (dark Scottish beer) and a large whisky, find a seat if you can (the upstairs bar is little bigger than a postage stamp) and enjoy the music. One word of warning though: the patrons take the music very seriously so never talk over the musician! You may be ejected from the premises with very little warning.

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Details about this spot



1 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh

Telephone number


Opening Times

Mon - Sat 11:30 - 02:00, Sun 11:30 - 00:30


Double whisky: £ 4


Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)