A historic pub with spectacular views over the Forth Rail Bridge is to undergo a major refurbishment


An old historic pub that sits under the Forth Railway Bridge is about to undergo a major refurbishment.

Edinburgh City Council recently approved a proposal for The Hawes Inn on Newhalls Road in South Queensferry.

The old boozer is almost 400 years old and was originally a late 17th century coaching inn, with an inscription on the wall dating from 1638.

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Over the years, the cozy little pub has become quite famous, and perhaps due to the picturesque setting, featured in various novels over the years.

The Hawes Inn rose to fame in Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped’ as the location where the kidnapping of hero, David Balfour, was staged.

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There are four painted panels of the main characters in the story on the main elevation: Uncle Ebenezer, Captain Elias Hoseath, David Balfour of Shaws and Alan Breck Stewart.

The old pub also has other literary connections: it is mentioned in Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Antiquary‘ and again by Stevenson in ‘Memories and Portraits’.

In the 18th century the inn was used as a changing room for stagecoaches using the Newhalls Ferry and the adjacent garage was once the stables and coach house.

CEC Planning Portal
Graphics show pub, restaurant and hotel after refurbishment

The historic nature of the pub has seen it receive a B-list and the developers promise they have no plans to alter the fabric of the building. Mitchells and Butlers PLC owns the site and operates the premises under its Vintage Inn brand.

They promise on the planning application that proposals affecting the listed building itself are merely decorative in nature or involve minor fit-out elements that do not physically affect the fabric of the building.

The bar, restaurant and hotel will all be refurbished, with new interior decor, a new TV area, refurbished toilets and the bar area is also slated for an upgrade.

Edinburgh City Council is expected to make a decision on the development application in the days and weeks to come.


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