The Potter Trail

It’s fair to say I’m acquainted with the Harry Potter series. I mean, I do own the books and DVDs and a version of the first book in Latin - Harrius Potter et Philsophi Lapis. Also, I named my cat Severus. So you could say I’m right in the target market for this free walking tour.

I’d already discovered most of the locations on my own wanders, but the tour is good for those with little time to explore Edinburgh.

I joined about 50 other people, including families but also a lot of 20-somethings, at the rendezvous point where our guide Eric apparated. To start off with, Eric handed out wands, but didn’t have enough for all of us, so the little kids got them first. A small boy with ginger hair gave me his wand instead and explained that he’d brought his own with him. He was very sweet, and must have been a Weasley.

We started in Greyfriar’s cemetery, which was a place of inspiration for JK Rowling. We saw some familiar names on tombstones… including the grave of He Who Shall Not Be Named! We saw the school that in part inspired Hogwarts, and heard about its four-house system. From the cemetery there’s also a great view of the Edinburgh castle and the arena that’s set up next to it with flags waving. It’s easy to imagine someone zooming on a broom above it, chasing after a snitch.

Because of the Wizarding Fringe Festival and the Quidditch World Cup happening over in Glasgow, there were lots of muggles to dodge as we walked down the streets. Luckily, we had our wands to hold up high when we got caught in crowds, and Eric even taught us a spell to make the traffic lights change when we needed to cross the road! We saw the café where JK did some of her writing, and the street that may have inspired Diagon Alley – there’s a parchment store and a joke store and I saw lots of blokes at a pub nearby who looked like Hagrid.

There was also some magic tricks, which the little kids enjoyed more than the big kids, because some of the links to the Potterverse were a bit tenuous. We learned some interesting stories about JK, and a bit about the history of Edinburgh. I’d already discovered most of the locations on my own wanders, but the tour is good for those with little time to explore Edinburgh. Best for families, other Potter fans will enjoy the Potter Trail, although they will need to be prepared to suspend disbelief.

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The Blurb

Grab a wand and join your robed guide on the only tour in Edinburgh designed especially for Potter fans! You’ll discover the magical locations that inspired characters and scenes in the series, visit the places where JK Rowling wrote the books and even learn about the real-life witches and wizards of medieval Edinburgh. Midday tours have live magic from the fantastic Magus Negus. 2013 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence winner.