Situated on Chambers Street, The National Museum of Scotland has it all, from Geology to Vikings, Romans and the Industrial Revolution. It’s really great for kids with lots of interactive galleries to keep all ages’ busy, free tours and Family Footprint Trails!
“You could spend a whole weekend there and still not see it all – it’s fab!” – Gillian S.
Author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, lived in Edinburgh at the time of writing the first book. With its medieval alleyways called “closes” and tall narrow buildings with turrets and of course the Castle overlooking the city, you do feel like you are stepping into another world when you visit Edinburgh.
Here are four fun Harry Potter related places to see in Edinburgh:
Victoria Street and Candlemaker Row
Victoria Street is an old curved street that you can walk down from George IV Bridge to the Grassmarket, while Candlemaker Row then curves around back up the other side to meet the Bridge again. Thought to be the inspiration for Rowling for the magical shopping street Diagon Alley, you’ll enjoy wandering past little shops and cafes.
On Victoria Street you’ll find Diagon House – located where previously there used to be a shop selling brushes and brooms – perhaps the inspiration for Harry Potter flying broomsticks? It’s a shop stuffed full of HP memorabilia and gifts. Then stroll up Candlemaker Row to spot the ‘Diagon Alley’ plaque and mural on your way past.
Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh
Greyfriar’s Kirkyard is famous for the story of Greyfriars Bobby, the faithful dog who visited his master’s grave for many years. While no filming took place here, nevertheless Rowling took inspiration for Tom Riddle in the graveyard – you can visit the graves of Thomas Riddell Esq and his son, also Thomas Riddell here.
Apparently, die-hard fans come every Halloween to pay homage and to duel over the grave of the ‘real life’ Voldemort.
Tip: Find the entrance to the graveyard by the Greyfriar Bobby dog statue opposite at the junction of George IV Bridge and Candlemaker Row.
Spoon and The Elephant House, Edinburgh
J.K. Rowling wrote the first book in the Harry P series at what was formerly Nicholson’s Cafe, now Spoon on Nicholson Street. She then wrote The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban in The Elephant House cafe on George IV Bridge.
You won’t find the cafes in any of the movies but Harry Potter fans are sure to enjoy sitting where Rowling herself may have sat!
City Chambers, Edinburgh
On the Royal Mile you’ll find the City Chambers, worth a visit to look out for the Hollywood-style plaque paying tribute to winners of the prestigious Edinburgh Award.
In 2008 it was presented to J.K. Rowling, which means you can see her hand prints cast in bronze in the Chambers’ courtyard!