In Edinburgh the cobbled streets whisper tales of magic and mystery without trying. But for all those who have ever dreamt of stepping into the wizarding world of Harry Potter, there’s no better place to start your adventure than on the Harry Potter Trail.

As avid Harry Potter fans ourselves, my family and I embarked on this magical journey with high expectations. Little did we know, we were about to be swept away on a spellbinding tour that would rekindle our love for the series and unveil the hidden secrets of Edinburgh.

Led by our knowledgeable guide, Alex, clad in wizarding robes, we set off on a quest to discover the real-life locations that inspired JK Rowling’s iconic story. From the winding streets of the Old Town to the hauntingly beautiful Greyfriars’ graveyard, every step was steeped in history and magic.

One of the highlights of the tour was our visit to Greyfriars’ graveyard, where we delved into the origins of character names and learned fascinating tidbits about Rowling’s writing process. As we wandered among the weathered tombstones, it felt as though we were walking in the footsteps of Harry, Hermione, and Ron themselves.

The gravestones that have the name Thomas Riddell. Perhaps the inspiration for the Harry Potter books.
The Riddell gravestone – someone had left flowers here.

But the Potter Trail isn’t just for die-hard fans. With its lively storytelling and immersive atmosphere, it’s a delight for muggles and wizards alike. Even Thomas, who’s a self-proclaimed conflicted Slytherin-Hufflepuff hybrid – and can really struggle with focus – found himself captivated by the tales of magic and adventure.

What sets the Potter Trail apart is not just its magical subject matter, but also the passion and dedication of its guides – clad in wizard robes! Our guide for the day, went above and beyond to ensure that both kids and adults were entertained. His wealth of knowledge about Edinburgh’s architecture and history added an extra layer of depth to the experience.

A statue of Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh.

Founded in 2012 by Stuart Young, the Potter Trail has since grown into one of Edinburgh’s most beloved attractions. What started as a passion project for a group of university students has blossomed into a thriving community of wizards and witches from around the world.

And the best part? The Potter Trail remains true to its roots as an independent, locally-run tour. With free public tours available throughout the year (leaving at 12pm each day) it’s accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial situation. As JK Rowling herself once faced financial challenges while writing in Edinburgh, the Potter Trail aims to inspire budding writers and dreamers alike.

A photo of George Heriots School. The inspiration for Hogwarts. The sky is blue.
George Heriots School – said to be the inspiration for Hogwarts.

Whether you’re a Gryffindor, a Slytherin, or anything in between, the Potter Trail promises an unforgettable journey through the magical heart of Edinburgh. So grab your wand, gather your friends, and join us as we uncover the secrets of the wizarding world, one cobblestone at a time.

Don’t miss out on the adventure of a lifetime – book your spot on the Potter Trail today and let the magic begin!

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