If you’re a Harry Potter mega fan, you will know that Edinburgh is where the magic of the wizarding world began well over two decades ago. It’s unbelievable to think that the first book of the series ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ was released in June 1997, nearly 21 years ago!
Should you be lucky enough to be studying in Edinburgh – you might even be staying with us in the superbly located, Elliot House – then here is our Harry Potter Hot Spots Guide to the city.
Amongst the cobbled streets and fabulous architecture, it’s easy to see where J.K. Rowling took all her inspiration from. You don’t have to go far in Edinburgh to get your magic fix.
The Elephant House
Just off the Royal Mile, you will find The Elephant House Café. It’s here that J.K. Rowling is said to have scribbled down many chapters of the Harry Potter books. The café is always busy with tourists and Potter fans, so you might be waiting a while for a table!
The Golden Hand Prints
Along the Royal Mile, you will find J.K. Rowling’s golden hand prints (just like a Hollywood Star) outside the City Chambers. She did this after being awarded the Edinburgh Award in 2008 for her contributions to the city.
The Balmoral Hotel
Fancy a night in the very room that J.K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? You can stay in room 522 for £1,000 a night! This 5-star 19th Century hotel is one of Edinburgh’s much-loved places to stay and is a beauty to look at if you’re into your architecture.
Greyfriars Kirkyard is deemed to be one of the most haunted places in the world yet it provided J.K. Rowling with some very important character names… In the Kirkyard itself you can find a headstone to the grave of Thomas Riddle Esquire - ringing any bells? You can also find the graves of Elizabeth Moddie and William McGonagall.
Is that Hogwarts perched on top of the hill? Oh wait, it’s Edinburgh Castle! This iconic symbol is open 7 days a week, with guided tours available.
Victoria Street is lined with busy shoppers, colourful shop fronts and hanging baskets. We’re sure you will see a comparison with the famous Diagon Alley. Within Victoria Street, you will come across the Museum of Context. The museum shop is full top to bottom with Harry Potter merchandise and collectables. You can even purchase a wand… unfortunately Ollivander himself won’t be there to help.
King’s Cross Station
King’s Cross Station in London is where Harry’s Hogwarts adventure started, so if you are based at one our London properties you could start your journey here. You can catch a train from King’s Cross Station, have your picture taken at ‘Platform 9 ¾’, then it’s a about a 5 hour trip from London to Edinburgh. Sit back and relax and enjoy the views!