The renaissance of tradition within Edinburgh comes from the community
To coincide with the Festival, we want to showcase that Edinburgh – and indeed Scotland – is hoaching with folk talent year round so we’ve put together our TradFest Trail to help you find the shops, eateries, pubs and clubs that have traditional values and historical connections at their heart.
More information on the Trad Trail Venues
Home of Edinburgh Rum Club, weekly whisky tasting sessions, live music and £1 pizza Mondays, Kilderkin (meaning a cask for liquids) is one of the Royal Miles most exciting pubs.
Homemade sweet treats, light bites and specialty teas in a time-warp tea shop with chintzy décor.
Named after Joy Division’s debut album, this is a small but excellent CD and record shop specialising in vinyl.
The City’s treasure box – a maze of historic rooms crammed full of iconic objects from the Capital’s past.
The People’s Story explores the lives of Edinburgh’s ordinary people at work and play from the late 18th century to today. Visitors can see displays showing a bookbinder’s workshop, a wartime kitchen and much more, all packed with real objects. You can even see a former jail, an original part of this historic building.
A colourful part of the Canongate since 1978, this is a small, family-run business selling Celtic and Pictish knitwear and crafts, all made in Scotland.
A traditional Scottish pub on the Royal Mile dripping with 16th century atmosphere, including its own resident ghost, who tends to knock things over…
Founded in 1842, Cadenhead’s is Scotland’s oldest independent bottler. Their eclectic range features traditional whiskies from all over Scotland, making them a well-known name in the whisky world.
Family-run retailer of Traditional Highland dress and accessories, including an extensive Outfit Hire service.
27 fabulous fudge flavours made by hand in this celebrated Edinburgh shop, with a special mention for Pistachio & White Chocolate!
Macrae’s are the proud stockists of quality knitted garments made in Scotland and Ireland, offering a variety of classic and traditional styles.
This outstanding bar – with no fewer than six real ale hand pull pumps – features excellent food and a great atmosphere. Also hosts the monthly Gaelic ‘Bothan’ club, and a trad folk session every Wednesday.
A charming café specialising in homemade baking, afternoon tea and exquisite lunches, in addition to quality tea and coffee.
This treasure trove features the finest range of Scotch whisky that Scotland has to offer, including several special and rare bottlings from our finest independent bottlers and distilleries.
A unique Scottish retail experience on Edinburgh's Royal Mile presenting a selection of the finest food, drink and gifts.
Established in 1742, this is the Royal Mile’s oldest pub and no visit to Edinburgh is complete without a visit– you’ll probably see Copper the Cat too! With a great range of premium Scottish beers, gins, vodkas and whiskies plus arguably the best pies on the Mile, enjoy the offerings as you soak up to soak up the history.
This independent gallery stocks top quality prints, all with a Scottish theme. Here you’ll find a wide range of Edinburgh prints, from bygone times to the modern day.
Funky, colourful, comfortable and stylish knitwear and accessories, with an emphasis on quirky design and quality natural fibres.
This relaxed café serves hearty, well-priced food from breakfast through to dinner, surrounded by original art hanging on whitewashed walls, chunky wooden furniture and colourful Turkish lamps.
This quirky gift shop is passionate about unique and unusual gifts and cards. A bit vintage, a bit kitsch and a wee bit rock'n'roll!
Filling bellies with delicious, artisan shortbread and making sure you look fabulous in the kitchen with their handmade Pinnies!
A must for pipers and enthusiasts, Kilberry is dedicated to supplying the best range of Highland pipes, Scottish smallpipes, practice chanter kits, reeds and many more piping accessories.
An independent, newly established whisky and cigar shop who offer whisky tastings, cigar events, pipe tobacco, pipes, rum, brandy, gin, fortified wine and more.
A traditional Scottish pub offering a fantastic selection of Scottish whiskies and cask beers, with traditional Scottish dishes and contemporary favourites. A guaranteed warm welcome with convivial company, plus live music sessions four times a week.
If proof were needed of a pub steeped in history, look no further than The World's End on the Royal Mile. This old-style locale is the ideal spot to quench your thirst as you wander the Old Town.
Small Scottish family business which aims to make a big difference by providing great wholemeal, organic and Fairtrade products from local suppliers who share their vision of ethical trading.
Give into temptation with a 'wee bit o' fudge!’ This sumptuous range features over 50 flavours, from double chocolate to strawberry and cream.
A fantastic attraction for all the family: young people can learn about the children of the past and discover a great range of toys and games, while adults enjoy a trip down memory lane.
An ideal spot to find unique gifts for both men and women, Palenque sells a stylish range of sterling silver jewellery, bracelets, cufflinks, watches and other accessories.
‘Where quality and service still matter’ is the motto of this family business, run by Geoffrey and Lorna Nicholsby, which creates bespoke kilt wear for men, women and children.
Stop by HAGGIS HQ, right in the heart of the Royal Mile, to find out about unforgettable trips around Scotland. These are bus tours with a difference!
Traditional Scottish Highland dress for sale or hire, plus wedding gowns and accessories, with stocks of over 1500 real wool 5 yard and 8 yard kilts, with a full made to measure facility and Kilt Hire.
Be transported back in time as you enjoy tea and snacks at Forsyth’s Tea Room, an Edwardian-style parlour that’s a must for tourists and residents alike.
Founded in 1960, The Tappit Hen is one of the Royal Mile’s oldest businesses, specialising in Scottish and Celtic gold, silver and pewter jewellery and gifts.
Named after Scotland's most famous Bard, this pub is well worth visiting, be it for live music in the atmospheric downstairs area or a simple drink with friends.
Eccentric décor, live music and a formidable range of whiskies make this bar a must for any fan of Scotland’s national drink.
A traditional Scottish public house bursting with charm and character serving an enormous selection of drinks, including over 100 different whiskies and a healthy stock of ever-changing craft ales.
Step in to discover a traditional pub of unique character, revered for its eclectic range of real ales and its quality pub food – all served with a generous measure of British hospitality.
The authoritative kilt makers, Hector Russell provides a wide range of Scottish luxury quality clothing, made-to-measure kilts, Highland dress and accessories.
Home to the world’s biggest celebration of the arts, the Fringe Shop is the best place to pick up colourful t-shirts, hoodies and other merchandise commemorating the summer festival.
Loved by locals and office workers just as much as tourists, this classy bar puts equal emphasis on food and drink.
Specialists in single malts, the Whisky Trail stocks traditional whiskies from all over Scotland and also hosts regular tasting sessions.
The Writers’ Museum celebrates the lives of three great Scottish writers – Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.
Small but very specialised, this store stocks a wide range of the very finest, hand-rolled Havana stogies, plus a plentiful supply of pipes and rum.
Established in 1875, this stylish antiques shop deals in a collection of vintage silver and gold Scottish jewellery and decorative items.
Originating in Inverness, James Pringle has been one of the most important names in Scottish textiles for decades – quality products at affordable prices.
One of the most renowned and trusted whisky merchants, with their Aladdin's Cave near the top of the Royal Mile a mecca for whisky fans since 1991, with every inch of this small shop proudly displaying a bottle of the world's favourite spirit.
Bringing you the best of the Scottish landscape on a plate, Edinburgh Larder sources seasonal ingredients from conscientious producers who treat Scotland’s wild, natural resources with respect.
Located on the historical George IV Bridge in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, a traditional Scottish public house bursting with charm and character.
Murky, atmospheric live music bar with bands every night, cask ales and free entry Sunday-Thursday.
One of the best bars in Edinburgh and a local secret, Brass Monkey offers all manner of delights, from monkey art, iconic posters and an intimate, relaxed vibe with the back room a mound of mattresses and cushions featuring movie screenings every day at 3pm.
The oldest bookshop in Edinburgh with over 250,000 titles in stock, ranging from Scottish Fiction to Medical.
Classic pub with dado panelling and an intimate ambience, hosting a wonderful mix of original and traditional Scottish folk music.
One of the great folk music venues in Edinburgh, known by musicians and lovers of traditional music worldwide. Local musicians have been keeping the spirit of traditional music alive here for over half a century. Traditional music sessions go on every night and sometimes in the daytime too.
The famous Royal Oak is amongst the capital’s best loved music pubs, offering traditional music most nights in a cosy, atmospheric setting.
Dovecot Gallery is a landmark centre for contemporary art, craft and design built around a leading international tapestry studio, with a fantastic café and shop too.
Dedicated to delivering the very best travel experiences every day, award-winning Highland Xperience offer tours across Scotland.
Previously known as Café Florentin, this cheerful café was established in 1991 and is still owned and run by founder Frederic Pellet. The bare brick and wood floors give a rustic feel to a buzzing, tourist-friendly hangout.
Discover the sound of Scotland at Coda, the country’s premier supplier of traditional music. Also stocks folk, blues, jazz and more, with staff who know their stuff.
A quality independent bookshop committed to promoting literature out with the mainstream, making it more accessible and helping to support small presses and new writers.
This enchanting old-style bookshop on Victoria Street places quality over quantity, a rarity in the middle of the Old Town, with a remarkable range of vintage titles.
Recommended by Gourmet Britain, Cuttea Sark is a must-visit for ‘tea jennies’ – a great range of fresh tea leaves, bags and pots, as well as freshly ground coffee beans and espresso machines.
Discover a unique selection of rare and artisanal yarns, all produced in Scotland. You’ll also find bags, jewellery, clothing, and knitting patterns for those keen to create their own items.
A hidden gem and social enterprise, supporting the ongoing work of the Grassmarket Community Project. Alongside workshops and a flexible community hall, there’s a public café offering a simple but satisfying array of sandwiches, drinks and cakes, including a soup and hot dish of the day.
Homburgs, fedoras, trilbies… there’s a hat for every kind of hat lover at Fabhatrix! A mixture of traditional and unique designs, including many made from Scottish materials.
Edinburgh's premier music venue, located in the heart of the city. This established pub boasts an atmospheric warren of nooks and crannies for whisky, real ale and live bands and solo artists.
Beneath the spectacular Edinburgh Castle, the only Scottish market accredited by FARMA takes place every Saturday from 9am-2pm, offering top quality, fresh local produce from over 50 specialist producers.
A 900-capacity live music venue located in the heart of the Old Town, next to the vibrant Grassmarket area. Operating over two floors with a significant live music stage, accessed from all areas courtesy of a unique mezzanine floor, the quality, appearance and interior, establish Stramash as a ‘larger than life’ venue and one of the most unrivalled and individual bars in Edinburgh.
Established in 1986, this independent second-hand book shop is a great place to browse a selection of classic literature, popular fiction and sci-fi, plus a great source for rare old movie posters.