For those of you who don’t know, Harry Potter came to life while JK Rowling was living in Edinburgh. Walking around this undeniably magical city, you will see inspiration for the series at every turn. If you find yourself in Edinburgh, here’s 6 Harry Potter Locations you must visit:
6 Harry Potter Locations in Edinburgh
Apparently Victoria Street inspired Diagon Alley, and I wouldn’t doubt that at all. Such a quirky little street bursting with the brightest and coolest shops. A Curved, colourful and cobbled street with an upper story on it. You can’t get any more Diagon Alley than that right?
How to find it: Victora Street is in the Old town. If you are following the Royal Mile towards Edinburgh Castle, take a right at the crossroads on Lawnmarket street at the Bank of Scotland. This takes you onto George IV Bridge. Victoria Street is the first right.
For directions, check out the map below:
2. Edinburgh castle.
Edinburgh castle sits magestically on top of a high jagged mountain in the city. You can’t help but think of Hogwarts which, funnily enough, is described as being “perched on top a high mountain,it’s windows sparkling in the starry sky”. See the connection? Surely it served as inspiration.
How to find it: The Castle is so easy to find. In the Old Town, follow the Royal mile route which leads right to it. You can’t miss it really!
3. The Elephant Cafe.
This cosy cafe may look like any aul cafe – but wait, it’s the “birthplace of Harry Potter“, as you can see from the sign above the door! YEP, early in her Harry Potter writing days, J.K. Rowling used to sit in here and put pen to paper.
Apparently every inch of the toilets is covered in quotes from the books and messages from fans. I didn’t know at the time so I never went to look, I’ve seen the pictures though. My fav was “I’d get sleazy for Ron Weasley” – you and me both!
How to find it: It’s also super easy to find. Following my directions for Victoria street, after taking a left turn off the Royal Mile at the Bank of Scotland, instead of taking a right onto Victoria street, keep on George IV Bridge for a few minutes. You will pass right by the Elephant Cafe on the left side of the road.
4. JK Rowling’s hand prints
You can go see J.k Rowling’s actual hands!! They’ve been forever preserved outside the City of Chambers. It took me forever to find them!! Was looking for ages and Eoghan ended up finding them straight away.
How to find it: Once again there is a running theme – You can find em along the Royal Mile, just in off the street at Edinburgh City Chambers. Walking towards the castle it’s on your right.
5. Greyfriars Kirkyard
The resting place of Tom Riddle senior himself. It’s well known that J.K Rowling got inspiration for some of the characters from names off headstones in this graveyard. If you have a walk around you may see some familiar names – McGonagal for one. I’ll let you find the rest! It took quite a while to find it Thomas Riddle. I was going to leave hints to it here but yano what, where’s the fun in that!
I initially felt really weird about going here. Torn by my inner HP geek but also feeling weird about going to see a grave who belongs to an actual person and not V-man himself. I opted to go to the graveyard and have a wander, and try and not think about it too much. If you do visit, just be respectful.
How to find it: The Graveyard is also along George IV Bridge, just passed the Elephant House also on the right.
6. SO MANY Harry Potter shops
I love Harry Potter. I’ve read the series over 17 times. Still though, never been one for merch – but even i had to refrain from buying the maroon R Jumper. Who wouldn’t want a Ronald Weasley Christmas Jumper. These shops had all the HP merch you would dream of – from wands to robs, brooms to Bertie Botts every Flavour Beans.
6.1 Context Museum
The Context museum was my favorite. You can find it on Victoria Street. It actually reminded me so much of what the Weasley joke shop would have been like – small and slightly cramped, but floor upon floor busting with magical delights.
If you go up the rickety wooden stairs right to the top, there is a Harry Potter photo station set up with props. Sure ya might as well while you’re there. As you can see, I had too much fun there!
6.2 The Boy Wizard
This is the shop I came across the Ron winter jumper. It brought me right back to reading all those Christmas chapters and being so jealous I didn’t get to wake up on Christmas morning in Hogwarts. You can get full sets of quidditch robes and they have every single HP funco pop character you could ever want. It’s worth a look!
So there you have it. Six Harry Potter locations in Edinburgh you need to check out. I had fun going around finding them but you can actually do a guided tour which would be pretty cool too. You can check out the tour on their site.
If I missed any spots, please leave them in the comments below!