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The Potter Trail: Edinburgh's New Harry Potter Tour

Posted by: Catherine
June 11, 2012, 09:16 PM

A new 90-minute Harry Potter walking tour has been created in the city of Edinburgh. As some fans may know, J.K. Rowling completed much of the Harry Potter series in Edinburgh and still lives there to this day. Because of the city's large connection to the Harry Potter series, The Potter Trail was created to take fans on a "dedicated" walking tour of sites where J.K. Rowling wrote and sites that inspired settings of the books. The tour was also organized to help support Edinburgh's status as a "World City of Literature", a title given to the city in 2004. The Potter Trail is set to launch this year during the city's annual Fringe Festival. The Potter Trail creator, Stuart Young, explains:

 “I’ve always thought there was a gap in the market for Harry Potter fans. Although Harry Potter is often mentioned on other tours, there’s never been a tour dedicated to the books.

“Despite Rowling writing many of her books in Edinburgh, Potter devotees are not well catered for, with only a couple of cafes espousing their connections.

“I hope to change that with a comprehensive tour covering all the important sites, with an entertaining and interactive style.”

Important sites pertaining to the novel are set to include:

[...the] two cafes where the author sat to pen her debut book, The Elephant House and the former Nicholson’s Cafe.

Tourists will be taken into Greyfriar’s Kirkyard to view the grave of father and son Thomas Riddell – said to be the inspiration for Lord Voldemort’s ancestors and known in the books as the scene of the rebirth of the world’s most evil wizard.

Also buried in the cemetery is poet William Topaz McGonagall, who lent his surname to strict Scottish teacher Minerva McGonagall.

Around the corner, visitors will be taken to the inspiration for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, George Heriot’s School, while magical shopping street Diagon Alley is, in reality, nearby Victoria Street.

The tour will not be endorsed by J.K. Rowling or Warner Bros. More about the tour can be read here and here

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2215 Points

Another thing I NEED to see that I hope isn’t gone before I can go there!! Is thr Tom Riddle guy thr one they do all the ghost tours about where people are supposed to get sick by his grave? I never connected the two.

Posted by Elodie Eeylop on June 11, 2012, 09:33 PM report to moderator
667 Points

WOW! I am going to Edinburgh in September! Will definitely try to catch this while I’m there. Wohoo!

Posted by chikitcorpuzvesterbaek on June 12, 2012, 03:08 AM report to moderator

Some of the sites on the tour sound rather questionable, for example I expect Jo’s ideas for Hogwarts and Diagon Alley were established before she moved to Edinburgh.

Posted by roonwit on June 12, 2012, 04:23 AM report to moderator
211 Points

Aw, I’ve been to Edinburgh twice (such a great and beautiful city), but now I’m going to Dublin :/ I haven’t been to Dublin before so it’s going to be great. Maybe I can see this if it’s still going next summer.

Posted by Milla Aiko Indie on June 12, 2012, 04:24 AM report to moderator
1884 Points

Well damn it! I always knew I should have been charging for this! I’ve been doing the same thing for free for years now! :)

Posted by Neil in Scotland * ROAR! * on June 12, 2012, 05:38 AM report to moderator
467 Points

that’s an interesting sight! :D well, it’s a good tourist spot for Edinburgh!

Posted by lovelle on June 12, 2012, 08:07 AM report to moderator
1274 Points

Don’t feel bad Amanda Emilie, the places are pretty easy to find in Edinburgh. The Elephant and Castle is just on a street off the Kings Street and from its windows you can see the graveyard. Walk around the graveyard yourself and you’ll see the school mentioned through some wrought iron gates.
I was in Edinburgh once before and found all these places easily by myself. :)
And while I adored Edinburgh, I think Dublin can hold its only with regards culture and beautiful sites to view too. :)

Posted by Sirius_Craic on June 12, 2012, 10:01 AM report to moderator
3269 Points

Ahh the suckiness of not being able to live in the UK or be old enough to go there by mysle.f

Posted by Acciobrooms on June 12, 2012, 01:08 PM report to moderator
20981 Points

Another thing added to my list for when I finally get to the UK! =D

Posted by LunaLuver on June 12, 2012, 05:00 PM report to moderator
3006 Points

alright one more reason to want to go to the UK!

Posted by muggle..andproudofit =:) on June 13, 2012, 11:22 PM report to moderator
212 Points

I was in Edinburgh last week and said to a friend I was surprised there wasn’t one of these already! Though it’s a shame to see, as roonwit said, that some dubious connections will be being made. There are plenty of other Jo/HP-related things to see in Edinburgh like Jo’s handprints in the City Chambers and the place where she buried a time capsule to mark the building of the MS research centre without having to invent things to show people!

Posted by JoRowlingRocks on June 16, 2012, 05:44 PM report to moderator
212 Points

Oh and Victoria Street looks nothing like Diagon Alley =P Gandy Street in Exeter is also (dubiously) supposed to be the inspiration, and is far more likely than Victoria Street. But Victoria Street is conveniently around the corner from The Elephant House (who also milk the connection for all it’s worth- “THE BIRTHPLACE OF HARRY POTTER!”- despite it opening 5 years after Jo had the idea).

Posted by JoRowlingRocks on June 16, 2012, 05:47 PM report to moderator
159 Points

Yet another thing to add to my list of things to do if I ever get to London! Le sigh…

Posted by Ravenclaw78 on June 18, 2012, 11:15 AM report to moderator
28416 Points

@Ravenclaw78, If you ever get to London it’s a fairly long journey from there to Edinburgh, 398 miles by road!

It says it’s not endorsed by JK or Warner Brothers, I wonder how accurate the information on the tour is, it doesn’t sound too good…..they might just be cashing in on the whole phenomenon.

Posted by moglet [ITC!] on June 18, 2012, 02:44 PM report to moderator
159 Points

@Moglet – I’m showing my geographic ignorance! Still, if I get to London, what’s another few (or several) hundred miles? LOL!!

Posted by Ravenclaw78 on June 21, 2012, 01:55 PM report to moderator
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