Recently I spent a day in Edinburgh and I have to tell you it was the most beautiful city I have ever seen! It’s like dipping your toes in culture, history art and magic altogether. Ardent Harry Potter fan that I am my main goal was to walk the streets and experience the magic which I always dreamt of at the heart of where this fantasy was born. And I did get more than a glimpse of the magical world here! Even for those out there who have no interest whatsoever in the amazing magical world created by J K Rowling, there are just too many things you wouldn’t want to miss at Edinburgh.
First things first when you first reach the city you will be surprised by the sheer number of turrets and towers as if the city is still living in an era gone by. It feels almost as if it has a life and heart of its own. This city has 5 UNESCO world heritage sites. There is The Old Town and The New Town. When you step into the old town its as if you have entered a medieval era. The schools, colleges, banks, parliament are all masterpieces of architecture and students here are lucky to go to college in an almost magical looking castle.
Fortunately, you can cover the whole city by walk or short bus rides as all the things to see are located close together. This is an example of why the term ” close” developed here. The most prominent feature you will see is Arthur’s seat overlooking the city of Edinburgh. The Edinburgh castle is the other site that captures your attention. Before we started our walk uphill to Edinburgh castle we stopped at the Elephant House where Rowling wrote most of her first book “The Sorcerer’s Stone”. Next, we proceeded on the Greyfriar’s Kirkyard where we saw the tombstone of Thomas Riddel which was the inspiration behind one of the most feared wizard who lived- Voldemort a.k.a Tom Riddle. We could also spot some other famous names littered across the series, all born right here.
From here you can also view the main inspiration behind Hogwarts! George Heriot’s School. It’s a real school and we were not allowed to enter the premises. But even a glimpse of this is more than enough!
Once you come out of the chilling graveyard and start walking uphill you reach Victoria Street. This curved street with its cobblestone path and bustling shops on either side was the inspiration for Diagon Alley where the wizards went for shopping of school supplies every year before their departure to Hogwarts! This quirky streets houses old bookstores, novelty joke shops, souvenir shops and lots of Harry Potter Themes magical shops.
Once you reach the top and explore the Edinburgh castle you can walk down to reach Princes Street where you will find the Balmoral Hotel. This is the place where Rowling wrote her final book- The Deathly Hallows. The room where she stayed now renamed- The Rowling Suite, contains the same writing desk where she wrote her final book and a Marble bust signed by her.
Though Scotland and England are strewn with Harry Potter locations this is the only place where you can find most of them and that too in a single day!