Part of the same chain and with the same menus as The Four Marys, this was quite similar for me, in that it was a pleasant welcoming pub with decent beer. We didn’t eat here, but the beer was fine and other diners seemed to like the food. Staff were friendly and helpful and there was a nice atmosphere.
This was a real surprise: it was on our list because of its literary connections (being the favourite bar of Ian Rankin and his well known character Inspector John Rebus).
It’s lovely. Positively lovely. It’s a bit of a timewarp, still subdivided up, and the back room we were in had a real fire. No food, no music, no TV, just a quiet, relaxing bar with some superb ale and a lovely quiet bolthole from the city. The staff and locals have a reputation for surliness, but we found them friendly- and we were very obviously tourists.
One of many pubs/restaurants in Rose St, we chose this as the menu looked more our thing, and we’d arrived in the city at lunctime. Inside, it’s standard modern slightly (but only slightly) la-di-dah bar, and pretty pleasant. Some cracking beer on offer, and the food was good. As you’d expect, prices a bit steep (£4 a pint) though.
Nice little pub on the way up to Stirling Castle from the bus station, so a handy stop for lunch. Didn’t see any ale, but the website specifies ales available. The lager was perfectly acceptable anyway, and the lunchtime food was excellent, and service friendly. Interesting decor including the slogan above the exit “You are now entering grim reality”, which i liked a lot.
Next door to The Black Bitch Tavern, this is a hotel, but the bar area feels like a pub. It didn’t hit the spot with us, being a modern take on traditional that’s so popular right now; all green paint, stripped wood and blackboards. Staff were fine, as was the beer, but it just didn’t hit home- this wasn’t helped by the noisy kids shouting at one table (from the same family that left their scared, unhappy dog tied to railings outside).
Named for the town’s coat of arms and the associated legend, this was a pleasant pub with traditional decor (including an explanation of the legend) and real ale. Staff were friendly and the beer decent.
Another Belhaven pub, this looks tiny from outside, but inside it’s a Wetherspoons-a-like (or maybe a Goose-a-like) pub and a cavernous space. No real ale, but bearable lager. Nothing special though.
Lovely small pub named because it’s right next to the station. No food, real ale, friendly staff. Only downside when we visited was the loud TV.
Right in the middle of town, this is a Belhaven pub, and another one claiming to be old. From the website:
The Marys in question are the four ladies-in-waiting of Mary, Queen of Scots, who was born over the road in Linlithgow Palace. Back then, there was no pub here, but the building The Four Marys occupies was already standing as a family home. It means this welcoming family-friendly pub has a tremendous historical atmosphere. With its low ceiling, stone walls, cosy corners and attractive bar, it feels like it’s been here for ever.
There’s been crticism of it lately on Tripadvisor, saying it had gone downhill following a Greene King takeover of Belhaven, but we found it a pleasant pub, with nice staff, a great choice of beer, and a modern pub-food menu (so a little fussy, but OK). Inside it’s traditional pub front, and a restaurant at the back (which we didn’t go to, preferring the bar).
Our local for a week. This pub was established in 1665, sitting alongside a bridge over the river Avon on the main road to Linlithgow.
It’s split into two, a bar one side, and a spacious restaurant the other; the bar is traditional (with open fire), the restaurant a little dated perhaps, but beer, wine, and food all fine (one guest ale), and the staff were very friendly. Seemed very popular for food- got crowded on Fri/Sat night.