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The Playfair

Some of William Henry Playfair's finest architecture overlooks this pub.

Omni Centre, Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH1 3AJ

The Playfair is named after William Henry Playfair, responsible for some of New Town’s finest architecture, including the National Monument on Calton Hill, overlooking the pub. Calton Hill also overlooks the New Town area of Edinburgh, conceived in the mid 18th century by the Lord Provost, George Drummond. New Town contains some of Edinburgh’s finest architecture. It was William Henry Playfair, more than any other architect, who earned Edinburgh its label as ‘the Athens of the north’. His classical-style buildings include the National Monument, Royal Scottish Academy and National Gallery of Scotland.

Framed prints and text about The Playfair and Omni Centre.

The text reads: The Omni Centre stands in the ancient Greenside area of the city. Recorded as early as 1180, Greenside was once a place of execution for criminals and witches and later a venue for open air plays and revels.

Carlton Hill looms above the Omni Centre and is well known for its two observatories and many monuments. The largest is the National Monument, designed by William Henry Playfair, part of the Edinburgh skyline since the 1820s, nearby is the Nelson monument, commemorating the Admiral’s victory at Trafalgar.

Calton Hill also overlooks the ‘New Town’, which contains some of Edinburgh’s finest architecture. It was William Henry Playfair who, more than any other architect, earned the city its label as “the Anthem of the North”.

Photographs of The Royal Scottish Academy.

Photographs of the National Monument.



External photograph of the building – front.


If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: pubhistories@jdwetherspoon.co.uk