Harry Potter in Edinburgh

The Boy Wizard

In June 1997 an unknown author named JK Rowling released her first novel and introduced the world to Muggles, Quidditch, The Marauder's Map and Pumpkin Juice. Since then, stories of life, love, friendship, loyalty and destiny – and a bit of magic – have kept us hooked.


Whether you fancy getting spooked by "He who must not be named" in Greyfriar's Kirkyard, or while away the afternoon sipping lattes in the cafés that J.K. Rowling frequented when she was penning the novels, Edinburgh is filled with Harry Potter adventures that will last a lifetime.

A Few Recognisable Names?

Ever wondered where JK Rowling found inspiration for some of her character’s names?

A wander round Greyfriars Kirkyard will leave you in no doubt.

Greyfriars Kirk Night Shot

Here you’ll find a mixture of names that sound strangely familiar – the most famous undoubtedly being Thomas Riddle, which as all Harry Potter fans know, is the name of "He who must not be named", aka Lord Voldemort. Poor Thomas Riddle - when he passed away in 1806, it’s highly unlikely he had any idea that his name would inspire one of literature’s most famous villains!

Other names that you’ll spot scattered around the graveyard include William McGonagall, who rather cruelly, was known as Scotland’s worst poet. A weaver by trade, he struggled to make any real money from his poetry and was buried in the Kirkyard in an unmarked grave, though an inscribed slab was later added in 1999. Keep and eye open for Elizabeth Moodie and Daniel Scrymgeour as well.

Potter fans flock to Greyfriars Kirkyard all year round to pay homage to the people that gave their names to some of the world’s most spellbinding tales. With its eerie atmosphere, it’s also rumoured to have been the inspiration behind the graveyard in Godric’s Hollow, the resting place of Harry’s parents. What do you think……….?

Visit all the locations in our Harry Potter guide and get a real sense of Hogwarts and the Wizarding World, right here in Scotland's capital...