Edinburgh is the greatest place a Harry Potter fan can visit if they’re looking to immerse themselves in an environment that feels authentically wizarding. With Edinburgh’s magical history and the intrigue of the Old Town’s wynds and closes, it’s not hard to see where J.K. Rowling found her inspiration when creating the magical world we all know and love.
An interesting tour for muggles and wizards alike.
Wand in hand, The Potter Trail takes you around some of J.K. Rowling’s favourite writing spots, and includes many of the places that inspired favourite characters such as the terrible poet that influenced Professor McGonagall’s namesake, and those characters that we love to hate – I’m looking at you, Voldemort. Just remember to come prepared with an umbrella for the likely case the weather won’t be on your side. If you do get a sunny day then it truly is a magical time for you.
The tour begins in the Greyfriars Kirkyard and finishes on Victoria Street, leaving you with the perfect follow-up activity — a shopping spree on the real life Diagon Alley. The tour guide will provide you with a wand, which by colour sorts you into your Hogwarts House (although Hufflepuffs are forgotten… as usual). You are taught to use a spell which will turn the traffic lights green as you navigate around the city — a real test of your magical skill. But fear not, there are more ways to show your Potter prowess as the tour guide offers opportunities to win points for your house by answering trivia. The interactive tour also provides the chance for some lucky volunteers to use the sorting hat outside George Heriot’s School — where the idea for the Hogwarts Houses came from.
Tour guide, Richard Duffy, was humorous, engaging and energetic and incredibly patient with the young Potterheads with their many interjections and questions. An amusing contemplation I overheard from a wee Ravenclaw was, “I think I’d rather have parents than be a parseltongue” — I’m sure her parents will be glad to hear that one. They kept him on his toes but he always had the knowledge to back it up.
An interesting tour for muggles and wizards alike. Full of facts, fun and you’re sure to learn something you didn’t know before. Plus, it’s free, so what are you waiting for? Cast your Alohomora spell on the Potter secrets of Edinburgh.