City hostelries feature in new CAMRA book

Pub-goers outside the Beehive Inn on the Grassmarket.
Pub-goers outside the Beehive Inn on the Grassmarket.
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THREE iconic Edinburgh pubs have being celebrated as traditional coaching inns of historical significance in a new book, Historic Coaching Inns of the Great North, by acclaimed beer writer Roger Protz.

The latest publication from the Campaign for Real Ale, the book, an informative traveller’s guide, which takes readers on a fascinating journey from London to Edinburgh.

Known as ‘The Route 66 of Britain’, the Great North Road is a huge part of British folklore, serving as the main route between London and Scotland for many centuries.

The coaching inns along it are part of the nation’s living history, and include The Tolbooth Tavern on the Canongate, The Beehive and The White Hart, both on the Grassmarket.

Showcasing the three, the book highlights that The Tolbooth Tavern presents the history of the Tolbooth and Canongate on the walls with ancient prints, photos and maps while The Beehive sits in the same place that an inn has stood since the 15th century.

The White Hart, meanwhile, is the city’s oldest inn which dates from 1516 and has heavily engraved beans with quotations from the poet Robert Burns, who visited the inn in 1791.

Protz says, “The Great North Road is part of British folklore, which is still alive today thanks to the survival of these magnificent coaching inns.

“Travellers can use this guide to retrace old routes and enjoy some of Britain’s most fascinating traditional pubs while learning about the history and culture that is draped along this iconic road.”

Illustrated throughout, the book includes overview maps showing key roads for each section of the route, practical information and quirky anecdotes to convey the history and legends of the Great North Road.

CAMRA’s Historic Coaching Inns of the Great North Road is available to order from Monday, £12.99