I had an absolutely wonderful time in Edinburgh, and I will look forward so much to continuing to share all our adventures with you. But first and foremost, for any Potter fans traveling to Edinburgh, I wanted to make a Potter “to do list”. I will hold my hand up high and claim my love for Potter for all to see, so it’s only fair that I share some of this knowledge with you all.
A Harry Potter Fan’s Guide to Edinburgh
>>>Victoria Street was one of JK’s inspirations for Diagon Alley. Besides the Potter connection, Victoria Street is a wonderful place to do some window (or real) shopping. The street even has a very amazing joke shop (that has a sign on the window asking tourists not to mistake it for the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes). It’s a colourful, narrow and windy street perfect for some picture taking!
>>>The Balmoral Hotel is Edinburgh’s swankiest hotel; and also the place where JK would go to do some writing in peace when she was working on the last book, as she found it too distracting to work at home. You can really tell her circumstances in life changed when you compare where she wrote the first book at to the last!
>>>Tom Riddle’s grave in Greyfriars Kirk Cemetery served as the name inspiration for Lord Voldemort. Fans started coming by and leaving notes and Potter memorabilia on the grave, but the city and graveyard staff strongly discourage you from doing so. Don’t blur fact and fiction. This is the grave of a completely unrelated elderly man who just so happened to have a name that Rowling wanted to use. Go have a look, but please don’t leave anything behind.
>>> George Herlot’s School (founded in 1628) was one of Rowling’s inspirations for Hogwarts. It was four houses and with its imposing renaissance architecture, you can definitely see its influence on Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
>>> And any true Potter buff has to stop in to the Elephant House, the cafe were Rowling wrote the first and second Potter books when she was a poor single mom. When we went by there was a queue out the door waiting to get in just to see the table that she wrote at. The cafe allows you to come in to see it without being a customer but asks that you leave a donation in their box for charity.
Would you visit the Potter landmarks in Edinburgh or give them a pass?