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Elizabeth is a Vancouver-based writer, editor, and author. Her first book “Beyond Black and White” is available now. She is an old soul who's young at heart, a human jukebox, and a corgi lady in training. Follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @ElizabethThe.

Discovering Harry Potter Magic in J.K. Rowling’s Edinburgh

The wizarding world of Harry Potter is significantly informed by Edinburgh. The Scottish capital was where British author J.K. Rowling wrote the novels in her iconic series. When speaking of her special connection to the city, Rowling has said, “Edinburgh is very much home for me and is the place where Harry evolved over seven books and many, many hours of writing in its cafes.”

From the cafe where the story of the boy wizard was conjured up to the hotel where the mischief was managed, J.K. Rowling’s influence can be found on every corner of Edinburgh. She drew much inspiration from the sights and streets of the Royal Mile and beyond. Today, Harry Potter fans can make the pilgrimage to Edinburgh and visit the very spots that inspired the adventures of the boy who lived.

Edinburgh Castle is the city’s most recognizable landmark and its main tourist attraction. With its prominent presence on top of the hill of Castle Rock, it’s easy to see how the fortress may have provided inspiration for Hogwarts.

The rags to riches tale of Rowling’s rise from a struggling single mother to the one of the most successful novelists in the world is best exemplified through her history with Balmoral Hotel. In her executive suite at the five-star luxury hotel, she finished the final book and commemorated the occasion by scribbling, “JK Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (552) on 11th Jan 2007” on a marble bust of Hermes within the room.

The Elephant House was the cafe where J.K. Rowling penned the earlier Potter novels. Through the window by the back room which Rowling frequented, you can see Edinburgh Castle in the distance, and Greyfriars right across the road…

The gravestones of Greyfriars Kirkyard provided the ideation for the names of some very important Harry Potter characters. The most notable is the grave of Thomas Riddell, which no doubt bears similarities to Tom Marvolo Riddle, the original identity of Lord Voldemort. The resting place of William McGonagall is linked to Gryffindor headmistress, Professor Minerva McGonagall.

Victoria Street in the Grassmarket area is a narrow, curved street, unmistakably the inspiration for Diagon Alley, the cobblestoned street where Harry and his classmates shopped for their wizarding school supplies. A must-stop shop along Victoria Street is Museum Context, which sells all things related to Harry Potter, from wands to stuffed Hedwigs.

Here are a selection of photographs of J.K. Rowling’s inspirations for Harry Potter in Edinburgh, Scotland.

All photographs courtesy of Elizabeth Rosalyn The unless otherwise stated.

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  1. Discovering Harry Potter Magic in J.K. Rowling’s Edinburgh – Elizabeth Rosalyn - June 20, 2018

    […] Continue reading on The Hudsucker… […]

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