The Sheep Heid Inn

The Sheep Heid Inn, Edinburgh 43-45 The Causeway - Edinburgh

Bar
• British
• Pub
• Scottish
• Sit down

96/100
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Ratings and reviews

96
/100
Based on 1761 ratings and reviews
Updated

Ratings of The Sheep Heid Inn

TA

Trip
Last update on 11/11/2023
4,0
1482 Reviews
Google
Google
Last update on 17/11/2023
4,4
2 Reviews
Foursquare
Foursquare
Last update on 15/11/2019
7,8
114 Reviews
Zomato
Zomato
Last update on 07/10/2020
3,9
33 Reviews
Yelp
Yelp
Last update on 15/11/2019
4,0
70 Reviews

The menu of The Sheep Heid Inn suggested by Sluurpy users

Available menus

Reviews

Zomato
Kingy
+4.5
Scotland's oldest pub established in 1360!! What a treat after a long stroll up Arthur's seat. Luckily a fellow scrambler advised us about this awesome pub In duddingston which is the other side of Arthur's seat. It was a very cosy warm pub and booked out for food on a Saturday afternoon so some beer and Coke kept us company for a hour or two. :)
Jan 20, 2016
Zomato
Kimberley Laing
+4
I love this place! I wanted to go because it is Scotland's Oldest Pub, but when I found out it had old fashioned skittles I was even more excited to visit! After a year or living in Edinburgh, I finally made it.
Myself and 2 friends headed along at the weekend and played skittles before enjoying dinner. Skittles were so much, we had the room to ourselves which made it more enjoyable and we all voiced how great it would be for a group of people to rent out the room for an evening.
Being the Oldest Pub in Scotland I didn't have high hopes for the food as I thought it would be quite gimmicky. I couldn't have been more wrong! There seemed to be a lot to local people in The Sheep Heid Inn and the food was great. We shared halloumi to start and then I chose the lobster brioche roll and fries for my main. I took a while to decide on my main as many items on the menu sounded extremely appetising! For dessert I opted for the chocolate fondant. I really enjoyed all of my food and I can't wait to go back to sample more from the menu.
The atmosphere is lovely in the Sheep Heid Inn; so warm and cosy! It's perfect for a cold winters evening. The only let down was the service. The bar staff were friendly, but the wait staff were not very cheerful and approachable.
Nov 10, 2015
Zomato
Lisa Ellerbrock
+4.5
We went for family dinner and skittles last Saturday. It was as beautiful and charming as it always is. I introduced the boyfriends family to Sheep's Heid as now it's the first choice to take visitors that come to town. They love it as much as I do. The family from Australia were quite impressed with the surroundings. They LOVED playing skittles, had a cosy drink in the beer garden and we all enjoyed a delectable dinner and a lot of wine! The Sheep's Heid is such a unique experience, I realise a lot of tourists don't see it and maybe it's better for us locals that was. We can keep it our secret:-) The food is sometimes usually very good, sometimes inconsistent, but enjoyable. Service is always very very good. And of course amazing atmosphere.
Aug 06, 2015
Zomato
Emma Dunn
+3.5
A welcome sight for those who have just come down from Arthur’s Seat, The Sheep Heid Inn in Duddingston is the oldest running pub not only in Edinburgh, but Scotland as a whole. With a charming exterior and a lovely warm pub inside, it’s a great way to reward yourself after a long day rambling around Holyrood Park.
Jul 01, 2015
Zomato
Hungry Canuk
+4.5
A burger, a pint and Skittles!. What a fantastic place! This traditional pub nestled into the streets of Duddingston is thought to be Scotland's oldest pub. It is filled to the rafters with all sorts of odds and ends, which combined with dim lighting gives the pub a fantastic atmosphere! Through the week you can order wholesome pub food and be fed in the downstairs bar, and at weekends in the upstairs bar. There is a large courtyard full of tables, heaters and umbrellas should you wish to brave the Scottish elements, and on weekends in the summer there is a BBQ here cooking up all your snacking needs(ostrich burgers no less). The best bit about this wee pub is that is houses a proper Skittles alley which you can hire out by the hour or evening. I recently had my birthday there and the on site catering was extremely well done. A bit out of the way, always heaving (make reservations), but worth the visit.
Oct 15, 2009
Zomato
EdinburghFoody
+4
The Sheep Heid Inn has a long and illustrious history. It’s one of the oldest pubs in Scotland (the oldest, maybe), it has a skittles alley and a beer garden. It is nestled in the village of Duddingston, in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat. It’s been there for a long time (651 years!) and is a well-known Edinburgh attraction. There’s beer, there’s food, there are charming surroundings.

When I went last Monday to look at the new menu, I hadn’t visited for years. Why hadn’t I been? Partly because I’m not over on that side of town often. But also because my memory of the Sheep Heid Inn was of a run-down, very pubby pub. A lot has changed since I was last there, and not just the menu.

The Sheep Heid Inn had a complete re-fit in November 2011. The new decor is neutral and comfortable. The upstairs dining room is inviting and warm. During the week, most people choose to eat downstairs where there’s a really nice little room between the bar and the skittles alley. (Yes. The skittles alley is a very good reason to go to The Sheep Heid Inn. Have a drink, a bowl of chips and throw those wooden balls down the skittle lane. If you’re lucky, you’ll hit some skittles.) 

I started one of the kitchen’s very special specials: Cy’s cullen skink. It was good! Filling, smokey, delightfully peppery and finished off with mussels in the shell and crispy leeks. It was the perfect soothing dish and I’m not surprised it is one of the dishes they sometimes offer as a special snack-bowl in the bar. I’d have it every time. I blame the fact that I was too full to have pudding on the skink’s greatness. But don’t worry – I had a thorough look at the dessert menu and will talk about that later. 

The Sheep Heid Inn is owned by a chain – Mitchells & Butlers – but the individual restaurants are given quite a lot of autonomy. The Sheep Heid Inn is a local pub that serves neighbours and visitors alike. Because it’s so close to Athur’s Seat, it gets a lot of visitors at the weekend: walkers come for lunch and families drive over at the weekend. They are so busy at the weekend that if you want to visit, you’re best booking a table. On a Sunday the kitchen serves a Sunday roast with all the trimmings. Book a couple of days in advance to make sure you reserve a spot.

In the summer, they have plans for the barbecue in the beer garden and events and festivals will start this spring. The Sheep Heid Inn Beer Festival will not stop just because the management changed. A local restaurant/pub like this needs to strike a balance between new and traditional. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest specials and events.

For my main, I had salmon with bubble and squeak and a mushroom sauce. I was quite intrigued by the sea bass on the specials menu, but stuck with the salmon. It was generous and tasty and more than I could finish. The specials on the day that I was there included pan fried sea trout on sauteed wild mushrooms and a Parmesan encrusted white bean and pancetta cassoulet, veggie and non-veggie haggis, neeps and tatties with a brandy pepper sauce and crispy duck breast with confit duck and celeriac lasange. Rather more exciting and tempting than you normally expect from a pub. One the standard menu are all the things you’d expect: burgers, steak, beef and Guinness pie, mussels of the day (sauces vary. nice idea), and a couple of vegetarian options. There’s a good variety on the menu and even without the specials I would have founds things I wanted to eat. With the specials I was in a serious quandry since I couldn’t have everything. The specials menu is what makes The Sheep Heid Inn exciting for food.

To my great regret, I don’t seem able to eat as much as once I could. No really, it is a sadness. There was lemon tart, creme brule and treacle and ginger tart on the dessert menu, and bitter chocolate cheese cake on the specials. Home made bitter chocolate cheese cake. Mmm. The special dessert is made by the resident pastry chef, Meehan, so there are some very special things on offer. I’ll have to come back for dessert…

I’m nosy so I talked Sharon, the manager, into letting me visit the kitchen and say hello to Richard, the chef, and some of his team. Much magic happens in the kitchen and it’s always interesting to see one. The Sheep Heid Inn kitchen isn’t the biggest in the world so they don’t take bookings for groups of over ten. Space dictates how many plates they can get out at the same time. The restaurant is so cosy and intimate that groups bigger than that would be rather annoying to other diners, I think, so it’s a good idea to cap the table size. 

The Sheep Heid Inn has had a lick of paint and a new menu and drinks list. They do sensibly priced supper and lunch menus during the week so there’s something there for most budgets. There’s a car park if you prefer driving to walking and the 4, 42 and 44 stop nearby. Those are all good reasons to go, but warm service, a really pleasant ambiance and good food are even better. If you haven’t been for a while, it’s time to visit again.

If there’s anything in particular you want to see on the menu, why not suggest a spcial? The Sheep Heid Inn is running a competition: suggest a special and be in with a chance to win a free meal. Find out more on their website.
Nov 06, 2014
Zomato
Alexandra Gushurst-Moore
+3.5
When I lived on West Nicholson street, my flatmates and I couldn't go far wrong on a sunny day by visiting the Pear Tree. Now I've moved further afield, I'm lucky that the famed Sheep Heid is my local beer garden. The pub is famous for being the oldest establishment in Scotland, tracing it's history back to 1360, as well as having welcomed a slew of historical figures to it's well trodden hearth over the years. A group of friends and I set off for the sunny spot last week for a late lunch in the summer heat.
To start, I had the 'Sauteed Portobello and Oyster Mushrooms in a Marsala Sauce on Toasted Brioche'. This is one of my favourite dishes and one that I make at home for myself often. I was pretty impressed that the Sheep Heid's version came up to scratch. The sauce was creamy and the brioche was tasty, if a little blonde, and the mushrooms were the hero.

Following this I went for the 'Sticky Chicken' on the recommendation of a friend. It was fairly tasty, a nice sauce and a standard salad to complement, but nothing extraordinary. I have to say I don't ever expect too much from pub food and this is why: it tastes good, eats well, and doesn't move a mountain. I should've perhaps stuck with my intuition and gone for the 'Sticky Crispy Duck Salad with Pea Shoots, Cucumber, Mooli & Ginger', which I'll no doubt end up ordering on another sunny summers day.
The Sheep Heid is a destination establishment. With all its history and village charm (Duddingston is adorable) it really is the best place to end up after a long walk in the sun or in the snow. Their skittle alley out back is a sure fire hit with any group of friends, and the beer garden is a place of quiet relaxation. Though the food is average, the bar selection is brilliant and the staff are very helpful and knowledgeable. I'll definitely be back.
Aug 16, 2014
5
A. T.
+5
The Sunday roast is one of the best I've had! I especially like the trio of roasts in which you get beef, pork, and chicken. Would definitely book a week or two in advance as it does get busy. It's very easy to book via the website. The location is beautiful and it's the perfect place to stop and recharge after a walk up Arthur's Seat. The only negative was that the card machine asked for a tip on top of the service charge that was automatically applied - thought this was a bit cheeky! Watch out for this if you are paying by card. Would have otherwise been the perfect pub meal.
5
S LP
+5
Lovely service! Lovely food! Kamil was the perfect definition of customer service. He had all the patience to explain for us about where the queen sat, showed us the skittle room and told us the history about the place. Jess served our table as well and she was lovely. Definitely coming back when in Edinburgh. Well done Team!
5
Sheena Curry
+5
What a cool place! Said to be the oldest pub in Scotland. It's obviously undergone renovations but it was really great! I recommend the pie of the day, mine was steak and ale and it was divine. If you are up for dessert the sticky toffee pudding is an absolute must. It's a bit out of the way of everything, not super easy to get to by public transport, but it is absolutely worth a visit.
5
David ALLWRIGHT
+5
First Class Food & Superb Service! This amazing and lovely place was recommended to us for Sunday lunch. We were greeted by Tony who is clearly highly experienced and extremely professional. We managed to get a quick drink in the beer garden before being shown to our table which was a nice touch. We were unsure which wine to pick, so we gave Tony an idea of what we were looking for and he recommended one to us. It was perfect! The Roast was delicious and plenty of it! As soon as we had finished one of the junior staff immediately cleared the plates and took our desert choices. The Sticky Toffee Pudding...wow! Thank you to everyone at The Sheep Heid Inn for a First Class experience. We will be returning!
4
Remy T
+4
Atmosphere is great, place is clean and tidy and nice and warm. Very rustic and service was kind and prompt thanks to Rose and Ciara. Portion sizes smaller than expected for the price of meals but not surprising for slightly more ‘luxury dining’ places these days
5
Katie Hudson
+5
Glorious Sunday lunch after walk up Arthur. We turned up with no booking (fully booked) and they v.kindly found us a space. DELICIOUS (fig/veggie) roast - and really lovely service. I asked for my tea to be hotter - and they obliged with a smile and without a hint of inconvenience. It's had a face lift since last being there (longgg time ago) so no longer 'shabby chic' (in case, like me, that's what you're expecting) but looks great. Highly recommend!
5
Michelle Ostrowski
+5
What a charming restaurant as being the old pub in all of Scotland. Alex the host was gracious and educated us on the renovations and the time when Her Majesty EIIR visited for an impromptu dinner. The food was amazing, the drinks superb. Even gave it go for a quick game of Skittles to burn some of the calories. I would recommend this establishment to anyone for a delightful dinner experience. Good value and Scottish charm. Worth the cab ride if staying in old or new town Edinburgh. Michelle- Toronto Canada
4
Ridley Olps
+4
I had my first drink here. A local pale ale. Looking back I regret my conservativeness. Fortunately I went with a half pint. (Drinking beer was hard at first). Location is fantastic, very quiet and tucked away behind Arthur’s seat. Apparently it was founded in the 1300s?! That’s nuts! Ran across other Americans here so that was a disappointment.
5
Stuart McCorkindale
+5
We booked & 15 of our family joined me to celebrate my birthday in this wonderful place. They did us proud. The food was really good, the service was faultless, They even prepared the birthday cake we brought. And skittles afterwards and a walk in the lovely Dr Neils Gardens across the road. What a day.
4
Robert Steele
+4
This was our third visit and the first time we have been upstairs. We felt the room lacked the atmosphere of the ground floor and there was some noise (shouting and laughing) from the kitchen staff when the staff went to and from the kitchen. I had the fillet steak which was very good. My wife had the pork and scallops which arrived almost cold. The staff quickly remedied the problem but it was surprising that this should have happened at all.

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Timetable

Monday:
12:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Tuesday:
12:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Wednesday:
12:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Thursday:
12:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Friday:
12:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Saturday:
12:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Sunday:
12:00 PM - 10:30 PM

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