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Sandy Bells

Certificate of Excellence
Old Town
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Address: 25 Forest Road, Edinburgh EH1 2QH, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 131 225 2751
12:00 - 01:00
Open now
See all hours
Sun 12:30 - 00:00
Mon - Sat 12:00 - 01:00

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 107 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 47
  • 22
    Very good
  • 4
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  • 5
Well Worth a Visit

A cozy wee pub with friendly staff, reasonably priced drinks and a trad session thrown in. Sandy Bell's is our kind of bar.

Reviewed 23 October 2016
Glasgow, United Kingdom
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107 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 85: English reviews
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Have been popping in here off and on for over 50 years. Traditional music every night. Good ale, and the "Malt of the Month" is always good value for a 35mm measure.

Thank Rae P
1 review
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Brilliant bar staff, very talented people that frequent the bar . However, upon our visit there was a VERY rude muso, yes talented ! But horrible attitude towards up and coming crowd x

Thank Natalie G
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
44 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2017

When we visited Scotland we really wanted to check out a pub with traditional music. We loved it so much we went each night we were there and the groups playing were different each time. The pub itself is loads of fun, just what you envision when you think of a pub in the UK. Complete with pints, whiskey, local... More 

Thank PlanItPlanet
Level Contributor
71 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2017 via mobile

I was not leaving Scotland until I sat in a bar listening to it, and so we did :) arrived 30minutes before closing and met the musicians outside who where pleasant and told us they'd play Scottish music! Unfortunately their was no bag pipes, but we had a great laugh in the pub! Was a lovely cosy spot, bar staff... More 

Thank Michelle o
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2016

Sandy Bell’s is one of the great folk music venues in Edinburgh and is known by musicians and lovers of traditional music worldwide. Sessions are hosted in the pub and folk devotees flock. They come from all over Scotland, Ireland, the rest of the United Kingdom and traditional music sessions go on every night and sometimes in the daytime and there is a sessions... More 

Thank Nigel D
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2016

A cozy wee pub with friendly staff, reasonably priced drinks and a trad session thrown in. Sandy Bell's is our kind of bar.

Thank BrainDamage
Level Contributor
49 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2016

Sandy Bells is a MUST when visitors come to stay. I always take them there for a few whiskies to round off the night. Always sure of a warm welcome by staff and locals. It is a bonus when the fiddlers are jamming together - craic is good!

Thank Mary S
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
101 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 September 2016

Sandy Bells is a small pub and the musicians play in the small room in the back. They play trad, the traditional music. What is unusual about this pub is that the music goes from 2 p.m. until 2 a.m. One group leaves and another one starts. We heard some very good music and really enjoyed ourselves. We can't comment... More 

Thank Sheri K
New Jersey
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2016

Went there on a Saturday night around 7:30. The music is in the back room so if music is what you are looking for scope out a seat there. Mind you, there are signs on the tables that will tell you if seating is for musicians only. At 7:30 there was a guitar and a fiddle playing quality tunes. By... More 

1 Thank Varnelas
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
165 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2016 via mobile

We stopped in early on a Monday evening and enjoyed a beer while listening to an informal group of musicians. Large selection of beers and whiskies which are reasonably priced. Very crowded. Limited menu of pub food is available.

Thank TsviShlomo

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Staying in Old Town

Neighbourhood Profile
Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavoured souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
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