So I finally got to go to the lovely Edinburgh – after owning my little Berlitz travel guide book for absolutely years and years (FYI, this is my go to brand for a pocket guide, I couldn’t go anywhere without one!) !! I found a magical deal to visit the city and booked it, all whilst working those 3 horrible boring days between christmas and new years – yes I was very productive on those days 😉
I have always had a need to go to this Historic and beautiful city! I also happens to be the city where J.K.Rowling wrote her Harry Potter books and more recently the 3rd series of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander was filmed, so absolutely loads of things for a book nerd to go do and see! Also the home of the real life inspiration for Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde a William Brodie who lived a double life as an tinkerer by day and master thief by night- written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson! Honestly I think every corner has a tale to tell in this city – and so many things to interest all people, book lovers and non book lovers alike!
I did set a very busy schedule, my itinerary being x2 A4 pages full – there is just so many amazing things to see!
We started off our visit by walking around the many cobbled streets and just enjoying the dark bricked architecture (I could give or take the many hills and steep steps however!). Everything is so beautiful, even there banks – the ceiling in Royal Bank of Scotland is up there with one of the most beautiful domed ceilings I have ever seen!
There seems to be a theme for beautiful ceilings in Edinburgh, as we also went for drinks on the Saturday at The Dome.
Anyways, totally getting distracted by remembering all the beautiful ceilings!
I was lucky enough to have lunch IN A LIBRARY – yes you did hear me correctly, The Collonnades restaurant has been allowed to convert the Signet Library into a book lovers dream dinning venue! A MUST for any book lover – move over Belle’s library!
The City is just draped in Harry Potter inspiration, buildings and names that will transport you back into the wizarding world! My top things I would recommend to any R.K.Rowling and Harry Potter fans are;
The Balmoral Hotel – which is the building on the right with the clock tower of the main image of this post, where R.K.Rowling wrote the last 2 books in room 552 and even signed and dated the wall for the day she finished The Deathley Hallows. Sadly I wasn’t brave enough to ask reception to go see the room – but was lovely inside and outside for a walk.
The Elephant House Cafe – to quote the sign outside ‘The Birthplace of Harry Potter’. This is the cafe where R.K. Rowling started to plot out her story of a boy who learns he is a wizard and the boy that lived – que fangirl sqwweeeeellling!
The windows of the cafe look out onto Edinburgh Castle, which does have some Hogwarts echoes! With its dark stone and raised position.
Take a trip to the toilets – which have been covered in fun, witty fan graffiti!
From the cafe you can take a short walk down to the corner street which has the inspiration for Diagon Alley.
Opposite Diagon Alley – there is even a joke shop AHA HA HA Jokes & Novelties, which even has a sign in the window to say to fans that this is not based on Fred & George Weasley’s joke shop – but I like to dream anyways!
Pop into Greyfriars Kirkyard – where you will be able to find many of the names that inspired the characters in the books including Tom Riddle, the Potters, Scrymceour and McGonagall!
A little wander up from the graveyard takes you to the colourful shop rows of Victoria Street – if you have ever been to the Warner Bro’s Harry Potter studio, this street just reminds me of the colourful shops of Diagon Alley.
You can also visit The City Chambers, just off the famous Royal Mile which features Hollwood style Handprints of winners of the Edinburgh Award, which is given to ‘outstanding’ Edinburgh residents. To which R.K.Rowling was awarded in 2008.
Take a wander down the Royal Mile and you will find so many things that just take you back to when you first travelled to the wizarding world. Such as the Canongate Tolbooth
And even the derelict Queen Mary’s Bathhouse which reminds me so much of Hagrid’s House!
If you get the chance to wander round this amazing city – do it! Then come back and tell me all about it! But word of advise – if like me you think of going in February, warm up warm- it was flipping freezing and snowed nearly every day of the 3 days we were there!