The Horse Shoe Bar: My First Real Scottish Pub
The Horse Shoe Bar is the very first authentic Scottish Pub that I have ever drunk in. This sort of pub is now found throughout the world, even in Shanghai. However there is nothing like the real thing. In Scotland they are not all "corporate" (although some are) and have a homey feel. The Horse Shoe is no different. It is rather large and has mutlipule flatscreen televisions. The bar is at the centre of the tavern and offers quite a few brews. I did not drink my first malt scotch here but had some Scottish beer. Even this was a Sunday afternoon it was still pretty full.
Dress Code: Casual
Bannerman's Bar in Edinburgh: A Great Place for a Pint and a Live Band
I figured that Edinburgh would have plenty of places of hang out and have a pint and I was right. Out of the bunch that I visited Bannerman's may have been my favourite. I was so swept up with the layout of this bar that I wanted to take it back to Toronto.
Bannerman's is divided into two sections. The front has an island bar and is decorated in sort of a Goth set up with spiders and bats. The back which is actually located right under an overhead bridge and feels like it is in a crypt is set up for live bands. I walked in and saw rock band that was decent. Usually you should expect to pay a cover of abou 5 pounds. The staff here was quite friendly. I hung out here before dinner and enjoyed myself.
Dress Code: casual
Finding "trad" in Scotland: Traditional music
I am a fan of traditional music of all nations, and Scotland's music scene is legendary. You can find excellent local music being played live all over the country. Check out this website to see who'll be playing in the towns you're visiting.
The Whiski Bar: The Scottish sure love their "Whiski" ;)
During the day, the Whiski Bar is a pub where great food and drink can be enjoyed inexpensively within a quiet, relaxed, comfortable environment. At night, the pub comes alive with nightly live music (with a changing musical theme every night) and a crowd of Edinburgh locals. The bar itself is overly decorated, but in a good way. All throughout the place there is dark wood, decorative mirrors, signs, nic-naks, and bottles of good 'ole fashion Whiskey.
Dress Code: CasualRelated to:
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
Camp Forster: Water and Skies
From where we camp it is the most wonderful sight watching the sky change colour and reflect in the sea as the night draws in.
It seems to become really calm and just the most amazing sight. Often we spot seals just before darkness as conditions are perfect.
And there are always the sunsets to watch....... Yes, you do get them in Scotland!!Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
The Garage: Scotlands Biggest Club
Boasting over 8 different DJ’s on any one night all acting as whirling dervish pied-pipers leading the crowds into fits of spontaneous dancing, The Garage has established a substantial following in Glasgow and are unrivalled in their ability to deliver memorable nights out. Keeping the musical standards high while maintaining all the important elements of fun, atmosphere and very pocket friendly bar prices.
From Indie and Alternative Rock to R’n’B, Chart, Pop, Classic Hits and the Ultimate Guitar music split over 5 incredible rooms, they have it all under one, giant, roof.
Dress Code: Anything.Related to:
Cathouse: Glasgow Metal Nightclub
Decent nighclub right next to Glasgow Central Station.
2 floors, first playing metal, second playing more emo stuff.
Drinks can be a bit expensive so look out for the offers.
Also has themed nights, check the website or flyers for more details.
The Cathouse also reguarly holds live gigs, for more popular bands such as Gorgoroth, Turisas, Abgott, Enthroned, etc, as well as small local/unknown bands.
Can make a good night, but expensive to get in, so look out for half price tickets availible for free at the Catwalk Bar just up the road from the Cathouse.
Dress Code: Anything goes, but avoid football colours.Related to:
Great listings website: Good website for live music in Scotland
Scotland is rightly proud of its musical heritage. Live music is a BIG thing in Scotland and you can happen upon music performances in many pubs and bars across the country, much of it free of charge.
This website centralises information on some key Scottish cities and is kept very up to date. Music is categorised (folk and world music, jazz etc). Details of venues are provided. All you need to do is put on your party head and get out there.
Dress Code: Mostly "come as you are".Related to:
- Budget Travel
Uisge Beatha: A Fine Scottish Welcome
Don't ask me how to pronounce it, but definitely stop by if your in Glasgow's west side. This was the first place my friends took me after I arrived, and it happened to be a night when they had live music. The crowd was quite diverse - young & old, conservative & hippie - and everyone was friendly. Good times had by all.
Ghost Walks in Edinburgh: A new definition of Nightlife
When walking on the Royal Mile you cannot miss the ticket booths for ghostwalk tickets. A ghostwalk during the evening hours (duration of most walks is approx. 1 hour) is really to be recommended. The walks have different themes, but the general idea is that the one who is leading the group tells you “terrible” stories from the past and leads you to the scariest places of the Old Town, dark alleys and corners as well as the many underground vaults that lie beneath the city streets. Abandoned nearly 200 years ago, these atmospheric chambers have been recently discovered and excavated. You are lead through candlelit tunnels and dark, gloomy passages, while several frightening and creepy tales are told. It is really incredible how many vaults and underground locations can be found in the city.
One of the best known operators are Mercat Tours.
Dress Code: Not something too cool.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
various: Whisky, Music, Dance, Laughter ... Welcome to Scot
To listen to Scottish Music whilst reading this tip, first open up in a second window
Imagine you are here, and read on :-)
... Find yourself a bar with a wood fire and fiddles on the wall, ... coffee, beer and whisky, tall stories and smiling faces. Maybe a dog on the floor.
Get a large single malt Scotch whisky, in a cut crystal glass, and warm it in your hands or beside the wood/peat fire.
Lose yourself in the moment ... as the music and laughter whirls around you.
Dance with the locals as the whisky warms a fire in your belly. Sip the whisky slowely, over one or two hours, savouring its smell.
Welcome to Scotland !
If you want to really go for it in a Scottish Ceilidh (pronounced something like cay-lee) learn some of the crazy dances first ... maybe stop yourself looking such a fool and doing an injury!!!
If you go to this website, you can learn the steps - but more interesting click on the link and watch the video!
Now, imagine a lot of whisky, beer and confusion and laughter and spinning and you have a recipe for a great night out!!!
Dress Code: *
Wear a smile :-)
- Women's Travel
Wester Lix by Killin, Highland Scotland: A Party in the Teepee
Bonfire, Music, Drink, Dance, ... in the Teepee at Wester Lix,by Killin.
This was our wedding night - don't ask what my relatives were up to - they don't know either!
Be adventurous - think outside the box - and you should find "like minded people" in Scotland - but don't expect to find it "on a plate". Ask. Talk to people, take time to get to know them, get beyond the "how do I get to ... " questions. It's people that make these places really special, what they think, how they do things, crazy sense of humour, jokes, stories ... etc.
What I am really saying is - be yourself - and contribute to the places you visit - you can have a big impact on the tiny communities you end up in - make that a positive thing!Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Women's Travel
Counting house, Glasgow: Where to plan you campaign from
This JD Wetherspoons pub is the perfect place to plan your visit of Scotland.
You either love 'em or hate 'em - Wetherspoon's pubs and this is no exception. Cheap beer, reasonable food and friendly staff come as standard in most Wetherspoon establishments.
What sets it apart is it's location on St Vincent street on a corner of George Sq. and the fact it has kept many of the original features of its former life as a somewhat flamboyant home for a branch of the Bank of Scotland.
The Lack of music and its' proximity to Tourist Information plus the Easyinternet cafe means it is agreat place to plan your time in Glasgow / Scotland.
Dress Code: none - as far as I can surmise
Pubs in General
In general try to go to a local pub! In most cases you can join the people at the bar (don't try to sit at a table! you will stay there until closing time).
Try not to go into a pub of very small towns, they see you as an intruder and you will feel yourself not welcome.
Dress Code: streetwearRelated to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
(Irish) Pubs: Inverness nightlife
There are a few pubs where there is a life band playing. You find them in the Scottish "Throtter".
Be prepared to get drunk, talk to tough guys drinking Guinness and Whisky! Go to there favorite pubs and show them that Belgians can “drink until they slip under the table” :p
By the way, say hello there from there Belgian Brother! And don’t ask the girl behind the bar a “good whisky”, she don’t know nothing about whisky.
That Irish pub was also great! Nice decoration, … that’s all I remember of it :)
Dress Code: Be yourselfRelated to:
- Study Abroad
- Budget Travel
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