Travel UK

Travel || A Harry Potter Fan’s Guide to Edinburgh

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

>>>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! 

riddle's grace

>>>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. 

school

>>> 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. 

the elephant house
elephant house

>>> 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? 

Pin it for later: 
potter pin for later

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  • I have been & would 100% visit all over again πŸ˜ƒ It’s must be so odd having a table as a tourist draw…

  • Saving this for our trip, I can’t wait to let my Harry Potter nerd out in Edinburgh!

  • I don’t know if you read this but after she finished the final book at the Balmoral, she totally trashed the room! You can now book that exact suite and see where she graffitied her name πŸ™‚

    • I had only heard that she graffitied something, but I love the idea of her trashing a room even more!!!! x

  • Oh I wish I had seen this before our trip! I am such a Harry Potter nerd…all we did was go to the Elephant House, which is something in itself. Although when we went it seemed like a normal cafe–we sat down for a cup of coffee πŸ™‚ Are the bathrooms still full of Potter graffiti?

  • I didn’t really do Potter stuff in Edinburgh:(

  • I absolutely would! I just moved to Edinburgh and have to explore more, so these sights are getting ticked off! Glad you enjoyed visiting Scotland πŸ™‚
    Laura | LARETOUR.com | Scottish travel blog

    • I’m pretty jealous of you having just moved to Edinburgh. I spent the entire time convincing Sam that it would make a nice move away from London πŸ˜‰ How are you liking it so far? xx

  • I’m going to Edinburgh for “work” for two weeks in July/August (Festival Fringe!) – and will definitely be doing these things!

    • Sam and I both trained as actors, and I was sooooo shocked to hear that despite him going to the Fringe about 6 times, he’d never done any of the tourist things at all! What are you doing at the Festival? I’m so excited for you! xx

  • Sounds like a bloody nice place to visit

  • Leslie Nichole

    That’s so awesome! I can understand why the staff wouldn’t want people leaving things at that grave. I love the colorfully painted houses!

    • Definitely! It would be horrible to be that man’s family/descendants and see a note telling him “Shame on your for killing Snape” etc. The colourful street is so lovely xx

  • This is such a great list for Harry Potter fans! When I was there I made it a mission to go to as many HP-related places as I could xx

  • AHHHHHHHH! So jealous!