The Boy Wizard, Victoria Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
Visit Voldemort's grave, have breakfast in the birthplace of Harry Potter and see the street that inspired Diagon Alley; all in Scotland's beautiful capital.
1. The Elephant House Cafe:
J.K Rowling was a struggling, single parent with a love for coffee and a desire for inspiration. The first few Harry Potter books were written in this beautiful little cafe, until fame took over and writing in public was no longer feasible. The cafe overlooks Edinburgh Castle and serves the best Apple Danish! Side tip: don't forget to dash to the loo with a Sharpie when you visit the Elephant House. Fans have adorned the bathroom walls with graffiti, messages, Harry Potter inspired anecdotes and quotes from the books/films. Make sure YOU also leave YOUR mark!
2. Victoria Street:
Known as the most beautiful street in Scotland, Victoria Street is bustling with vibrant colours against Edinburgh's dramatically cloudy backdrop. Even though J.K Rowling took inspiration for Diagon Alley from a number of different places around London, Yorkshire and Scotland - Victoria Street particularly stands out because it is 'diagonal'. It is also lined with tons of Harry Potter souvenir shops!
Edinburgh City Chambers:
Edinburgh City Chambers is a council landmark on the Royal Mile, and features its very own Hollywood-style Walk of Fame. It pays tribute to winners of the prestigious Edinburgh Award; presented to "outstanding" residents of the capital. Rowling received the award by popular vote (and for good reason) from the city in 2008 - a year after the Deathly Hallows was released.
Situated right next to the Elephant House Cafe, the ancient churchyard inspired Rowling to name many of the Harry Potter characters after real people. Tom Riddle, for example, was an ordinary Scottish resident buried in said cemetery. His name inspired the author to come up with Lord Voldemort's character; the greatest villain of all time. Today, it's a sacred site for Harry Potter fans.
Department of Magic:
Located on Blair Street, this little cafe/pub offers escape room activities, potions masterclasses, fantastic butterbeer and classic Harry Potter quizzes. Put your sorting hat on and get cracking! It's the ultimate way to experience a Harry Potter tour.
The Balmoral Hotel:
And last but not the least, the place where it all ended. The Balmoral or Balmoral Hotel, is a luxury five-star property and landmark located in the heart of the city, at the east end of Princes Street. Rowling checked herself into the hotel for six months, in order to finish the Deathly Hallows. Once done, she left her mark on a Greek statue inside the room and signed it off with, "J.K Rowling finished writing the Harry Potter series here, on the 11th of January, 2007." The room has since been re-named as the 'J.K Rowling Suite', and the statue (still present in the room) is protected behind glass and security alarms.
Make sure you visit each of these gems! And to Jo Rowling, thanks for 22 years of magic.