Are you a big rugby fan? I am.
This time of year is an amazing time for rugby fans across Europe, as the six best teams in the Northern Hemisphere battle it out to see who’s really got what it takes. OK, so Scotland might not always come out on top, but if there was a trophy for the loudest fans I think we’d be in with a shout. This year’s Six Nations has an added element of drama as well, with it being the last major tournament that the teams will be play in before the Rugby World Cup later this year.
But here’s a question I get asked on a regular basis – where should you watch the rugby in Edinburgh? Obviously not all the matches are at Murrayfield and we can’t all go even if they are (I have tickets for the Ireland game in March – beyond excited already), so where should you watch each match? Well, as is Edinburgh Editor’s want, questions like this need an answer, so here are our Six Places to watch the Six Nations:
1. The Ghillie Dhu
If you’re looking for an electric atmostphere during a match then you’ll be hard pressed to beat the Gillie Dhu. With their four screens in the main bar (they come down from the roof in each corner, if you’re wondering why you don’t remember TVs), this West End favourite ensures you’ll get to see the action. It’s likely to be busy – especially for Scotland matches, when ‘rammed’ is probably a better description – so get there early. It’s also got a great post-match atmosphere, whatever the score, especially if the game is at Murrayfield.
14 Forest Road, EH1
I’m not normally a huge advocate of Irish bars, but as far as the rugby’s concerned Malones on Forest Road is one of the best. It’s big, it’s loud, and it gets pretty roudy. It’s great for all sorts of matches, but if Ireland are playing you can be guaranteed that things will get quite messy. If you’re thinking about the Scotland Vs Ireland match, this is the perfect spot.
26 William Street, EH3
Another West End bar that offers great rugby atmosphere is Teuchters on William Street. It’s not the biggest of pubs, so be prepared for it to be busy, but what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in enthusiastic supporters.
4. Queen’s Arms
49 Frederick Street, EH2
One for atmosphere, most definitely. The Queen’s Arms on Fredrick Street is the sort of book-lined pub that seems very sedate but there’s going to be a roar when a try is scored. Again, it’s relatively small so you’ll probably have to get in quite early, but it’s worth it for the variety of drinks on offer and the people that will be there.
5. Starbank Inn
64 Laverockbank Road, EH5
If you’re not in the city centre it doesn’t mean you’re going to miss out. There are places from South Queensferry to Portobello that could be included here, but the free pies at half time and free pint if Scotland win (correct at last check) make Starbank worth a try. It’s a brewery-owned pub, but a good one.
6. Clerks Bar
74 South Clerk Street, EH8
Most of these pubs and bars are New Town, because that’s where much of the action is, but Six Nations time is a great excuse to pretend you’re a student again and go drink/cheer in Causewayside. Clerks Bar is a great choice up here with lots of beer options available.
BONUS PLACE: MURRAYFIELD
There’s obviously one place in Edinburgh that’s better than all the rest when it comes to watching rugby and is of course our national stadium. If Scotland are playing at home get a ticket and come along to the actual action. The atmosphere is amazing and the crowd are amazing, no matter what happens on the pitch. Prepare to leave the ground slightly hoarse.