The Magical World of Edinburgh – Scotland for Harry Potter Fans

Where are all my Harry Potter fans?  Based on the amount of fan-fiction and fan websites out there I know I am not the only one. I also know that my 2 girls join me in my love of Harry Potter. Therefore, when I started planning my Scotland adventure I decided some Harry Potter sites needed to be included – you know for the kids, wink, wink.  So read along as we discover the hidden secrets of Harry Potter  in the magical world of Edinburgh, Scotland.

After spending a great day and a half in London where we got to see Kings Cross Station and the famous Platform 9 3/4,  my family and I boarded the Hogwarts Express (well in my imagination it was the Hogwarts Express) from London to Edinburgh’s Waverly Station. While the journey was long, it was uneventful, and we were quite fortunate not to be attacked by any dementors while we slept. We arrived in Edinburgh safely and ready to discover the World of Harry Potter that awaited us.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter

 

Edinburgh is a lovely city that holds many secrets on its beautiful cobbled streets, alleyways, and kirkyards. And in order to discover its secrets we did what every other self respecting Harry Potter fan would do – grab a wand, and join our very own witch/wizard guide to discover all the secrets which are normally hidden to muggles.

With the magic of our newly issued wands we say spells that help us safely navigate the streets of Edinburgh while listening to the witch/wizard tell us all the secrets, and show us all the sites:

 

Elephant House Café.

This café proudly brands itself as the “Birthplace of Harry Potter”. But what some do not know is that Book 1 was actually written at another small café. A Cafe owned by relatives of J.K. Rowling called the Spoon. So how can the Elephant House get away with those claims? Well, they did provide J.K. Rowling a place to write and lots of inspiration outside its windows, and she did complete Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban at this location. 

Elephant House

Spoon

 

Greyfriar’s Kirkyard.

The kirkyard which can be seen from the Elephant House where Rowling penned Harry Potter, is said to be Rowling’s inspiration for Tom Riddle’s graveyard. This is the cemetery where the real Thomas Riddell rests. If you walk the cemetery you can find the other names that served as inspiration for some of the characters in the book.

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George Heriot’s School.

Right behind Greyfriar’s Kirkyard is George Heriot’s School where J.K. Rowling’s daughter was a student. Not only does the architecture of the school closely resemble the description of Hogwarts in the books but the 4 Hogwarts houses (Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Gryffindor, and Hufflepuff) mimic the 4 houses at Heriot’s (Castle, Lauriston, Raeburn, and Greyfriars).

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Victoria Street.

Also near the Elephant house is Victoria Street. A quaint, narrow, curved street which is said to have provided inspiration for the shops on Diagon Alley. There is even a shop at the bottom of the street called AHA HA HA Jokes & Novelties.

 

Streets of Edinburgh - Victoria Street

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The Balmoral Hotel.

It is said that J.K. Rowling could not concentrate at home to finish the last Harry Potter book. She had gained such notoriety that she could no longer write in the cafes she used to love.  So she moved in to Room 552 at luxurious Balmoral Hotel where she penned the last sentence of her last book. You can book a stay (pun intended) of your own at The Balmoral Hotel. And you can even reserve the “J.K. Rowling suite”.  If the £1,000 a night fee is not in your budget you can always have afternoon tea instead. Otherwise simply stroll by to take a look at the magnificent hotel.

Balmoral Hotel

 

To learn even more secrets and become wizards or witches for an hour and a half, I highly recommend the FREE (pay what you think it is worth)  -“Potter Trail Tour

For even more Harry Potter sites in Scotland but outside of Edinburgh you could visit Glencoe, Loch Shiel or the Glenfinan Viaduct. All locations that have either been used for filming or been a source of inspiration for the books.

If you want to see the Hogwarts Express going over the Glenfinnan Viaduct make sure to be in the viewing area by 10:45 as the train goes by between 10:45 and 11:15 am

Hogwarts Express

 

For more pictures and daily inspiration connect with me on Instagram and Facebook

Scotland for Harry Poter Fans

So tell me what other Harry Potter inspired sites have you visited? Leave me your comments below I would love to hear from you.

Happy Roving!!!

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12 Comments

  1. Such a great article! I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and would love to go to Scotland sometime to visit all the film hot spots. I do have been to King’s Cross Station as well and visited some other film hot spots in London. I would love to go to the Harry Potter park as well one time! 🙂

    1. We were only in London for a short time so did not get to see all the Harry Potter sites there although I hear they have a tour there as well. There is so much Harry Potter things to do. I am lucky living in Florida so I have been to the park (Universal and Islands of Adventure) and that is lots of fun as well. Happy Roving!!!

    1. There is a Harry Potter tour in London as well so you can see the sites that inspired the author or that where in the movies as well. There is also a castle in England called Alnwick castle (close to the Scotland border) and that is also Harry Potter related. Glad you enjoyed. Happy Roving!!!

    1. It was simply amazing. I hope you get to go to Scotland one day and enjoy the many sites it has to offer. Happy Roving!!!

  2. Love it! I can’t wait to start reading Harry Potter to my children. They are still a bit too little but once they are hooked we will certainly be doing trips like this. Bookmarking for later, thanks!

    1. I know what you mean. It actually took a while for my oldest to take interest in the books but once she started reading them she was hooked. My little has yet to read the books but likes following along with what my oldest does. You can also see lots of Harry Potter related sites in London and they have a tour there as well. And of course if you ever come to Florida the parks in Orlando are a must. Happy Roving!!!

  3. I have to admit that I haven’t seen all the HP films, or even read all of the books, but still this looks like awesome fun! It makes me wish I had children so that I had a better excuse to visit 🙂

    1. Edinburgh is magical with or without children, it is actually a great place for adults with lots of pubs and a great night life. There is so much to do there and most of it is actually not Harry Potter related. You should definitely check out Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland even if you are not a big Harry Potter fan. Happy Roving!!!

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