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The Harry Potter Guide to Edinburgh

Edinburgh, the home to tartan wool and gothic landmarks. It’s also home to famous literature and writers, and one of those is J.K. Rowling.

Whilst Hogwarts is specified to be in Scotland’s highlands, in rural mountains, when you visit the Scottish capital of Edinburgh it’s very evident how much it has influenced Harry Potter.

For Harry Potter fans, here’s a guide to Harry Potter Edinburgh.

The castle

Whilst not featuring in Harry Potter, or having any links to Harry Potter, it’s hard not to look at the castle on the rock and not see Hogwarts. The castle is on the edge of a rock, and it’s not hard to get into the head of J.K. Rowling and imagine the castle being surrounded by a lake.

The Elephant House

It’s especially easy to imagine Edinburgh Castle as Hogwarts when you enter The Elephant House and sit at the window, with a prime view of the castle. So is it really hard to believe that the castle wasn’t inspiration for Hogwarts when Rowling sat in The Elephant Cafe, writing the Harry Potter books. She famously did an interview from the cafe, talking about her writing, and it was even rumoured that Rowling tried to go back there whilst writing the Strike novels, but found it hard not to get recognised.

Victoria Street

Said to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley, Victoria Street has colourful buildings, a witchery and a joke shop. The curved cobble street is a must visit for Potter fans!

The Harry Potter Walking Tour

There are many walking tours in Edinburgh, and it’s no wonder that there are ones dedicated just to Harry Potter. Taking this tour is a good way to guide you around hidden gems of inspiration for the Potter novels, including another cafe that Rowling wrote at.

Greyfriars Graveyard

Just down from The Elephant House is Greyfriars Graveyard. It’s famous for many things, but one thing it’s famous for is the grave of Thomas Riddell. Eagle eyed Potter fans will notice the spelling is different from Tom Riddle in the Potter novels, but it’s said that Rowling would walk through the graveyard, and took character names from grave stones she read. Other names you can spot includes McGonagall and Snape.

The J.K. Rowling Suite, The Balmoral Hotel

For £1,7000 per night you can stay in the J.K. Rowling street at The Balmoral Hotel. The hotel sits on Princes Street, between old and new, and the suite is room 552, where J.K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Worth a visit, and definitely a hidden gem!

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