Prepare to be enchanted...
Visit the locations from the film, wander the streets that gave the J K Rowling the inspiration, and discover some little-known facts behind the phenomenon that is Harry Potter. As you go around the sites connected to the books gain a greater connection to the story and characters.
Cross the border into England
Begin your adventure at Alnwick Castle which appears as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the film. This is the second-largest inhabited castle in the country and has been home to the Duke of Northumberland’s family for 200 years.
It’s worth a visit in its own right with the stunning architecture and beautiful gardens that give it the nickname ‘the Windsor of the north.’ Head back north to Edinburgh and arrive at the old town which provided a wealth of inspiration for the author.
Edinburgh’s influence runs deep
Discover the café where Rowling wrote many of the first chapters while her young daughter slept in a pram – and no, it’s not the Elephant House. Wend your way down Victoria St and West Bow. These two atmospheric streets are rumoured to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley.
As well as the shape and the colour, there are other similarities such as the situation of the headquarters for the Bank of Scotland being at the top of the street. Just like Gringotts.
Harry Potter magic everywhere
Look across the city for more inspiration at George Heriot’s school. This impressive Renaissance building has four towers and four houses. Its breath-taking gothic architecture was the inspiration for Hogwarts.
Carry on to the Elephant House made famous as the birthplace of Harry Potter but as you’ll discover that may be more fiction than fact.
Creep into Greyfriar’s kirk graveyard to find the real Thomas Riddell’s grave and other inspiration for character names such as William McGonagall.
Then it’s time to return home.
End the day enriched with the magic of Harry Potter and a greater understanding of J K Rowling’s affinity to Scotland.
Relax as your kilted guide brings you safely back to your doorstep. Tuck into the snacks provided, share highlights with your fellow travelers, or just reflect on a day well spent.
Alnwick Castle. Phil Thomas, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
The Elephant Cafe. Stephen Montgomera, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
This adventure is perfect for individuals and small groups, and can be tailored for:
- Charity fundraising
- Hen / Stag parties
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