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InformationVisitor Information:
4 High Street, EH1 1TB.
Tel: 0131 556 3628.
Awards: Cask Marque
The World's End
The World's End

The World's End is something of an Edinburgh institution. It lies on the south side of High Street at its junction with St Mary's Street and is on the "must visit" list of many tourists coming to the city.

Looking Towards the Front Door
Looking Towards the Front Door
Beer Pumps on the Bar
Beer Pumps on the Bar
Worlds End Across High Street
Worlds End Across High Street

What you find is a low ceilinged pub which oozes character. Dark wood is everywhere, including the ceiling rafters, and the walls are either dark-wood panelled or the original stone of the building. The interior is rather smaller than you expect from outside, with the attractive bar at one and and the tiny kitchen occupying the angle of the outer wall at the other. A selection of well kept real ales is available, and the food quality and choice is excellent.

False Window on Side of Pub
False Window on Side of Pub

"The World's End" sounds the sort of whimsical name a national pub chain might have come up with. The truth is very different. At the Battle of Flodden, near Coldstream, in 1513 King James IV and most of the Scottish nobility of the day were killed by the English (see our Historical Timeline). Scotland lay defenceless and the citizens of Edinburgh rapidly built a stone wall around the city to protect it, the Flodden Wall.

Parts of the wall can still be seen, and its course ran along the west side of St Mary's Street underneath where the World's End is now built (the pub reuses the foundations of the wall). The main gate on this side of the city, the Netherbow Port, was on the High Street here. Its outline is marked in the street by brass coloured cobbles.

The wall proved pretty useless when Henry VIII's forces invaded in 1544, but it did very clearly mark the outer limit of what was considered to be Edinburgh at the time. This, then, was the point at which the world ended and Edinburgh began. Hence "The World's End".

Interior and Bar
Interior and Bar
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