Love Harry Potter? Make sure you head to Edinburgh, and you'll discover that finding Harry Potter in is easier than you think! Not only did JK Rowling start writing the legendary Harry Potter series in Edinburgh, but she also finished them there! Submerge yourself in a real life theme park for true fans of the wizarding world with our guide through Edinburgh.
Branded as ‘The Birthplace of Harry Potter”, the Elephant house is a gourmet tea & coffee house and restaurant. Located just a ten minute walk from Jurys Inn Edinburgh, you can start your journey where it all began and sit where JK Rowling did when she indeed write the Chamber of Sectrets.
Following on from the Elephant house, you don’t want to miss Greyfriar’s Kiryard, a Franciscan graveyard in Edinburgh’s old town. It was here that Rowling got inspiration for Tom Riddle’s graveyard, featured in the goblet of fire! When you visit here, you will see that it also houses the graves of the real life aristocrat Thomas Riddell Esq and his son, also Thomas Riddell – coincidence? We think not!
If you travel a further five minutes, you will come across George Heriot’s School located directly behind Greyfriar’s Graveyard. The turreted roof and stone exactly matches the description of the magical school in the novel. Not only did Rowling take inspiration from the school’s archictecture – she modelled the Howarth’s house system on the one in place at George Herot’s!
Heriot’s houses castle, Lauriston, Raburn and Greyfriars
Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Gryffindor and Hufflepuff
On your way back to curl up for the evening after the excitement of walking through the world in which Harry Potter came to life, you need to stop at Victoria Street! Just a ten minute walk from Jurys Inn Edinburgh, the narrow curved street with stony high-rise buildings and pointed roofs makes Diagon Alley come to mind. At the bottom of the street, a sign in the ‘AHA Ha HA Jokes & Novelties window warns tourists not to mistake their shop for a real life take on Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes (who wouldn’t want to miss that?!).
If you are inspired by the magical shopping street, it is important to remember that during the 1990s, an RBS bank and stationary shop were located in the same positions on Victoria Street as Gringotts and Flourish and Blotts are on Diagon Alley!
If you want to discover the muggle world of London, check out our guide to a magical world of witchraft and wizardy!