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☞ JK Rowling’s Edinburgh and the Writing of Harry Potter 4hrs

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
☞ JK Rowling’s Edinburgh and the Writing of Harry Potter 4hrs
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Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon4 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


Learn about J.K. Rowling and the origins of the 'Harry Potter' books during a walking tour of Edinburgh. See places that inspired Rowling such as the Balmoral Hotel and University of Edinburgh's Old College; locales that shaped the Dementors and Ministry of Magic; and cafes where Rowling liked to write. Your guide is a 'Harry Potter' fan who shares fascinating details about the wizarding world in Edinburgh.
  • Get the inside scoop on J.K. Rowling's life while writing the 'Harry Potter' books
  • Learn about Scottish writers at Makars’ Court
  • See the inspiration for many locations in the Wizarding World
  • Visit top Edinburg locations including Old College and Greyfriars Kirkyard
Saved to wishlist!
A peek inside JK Rowling's head. It's fairly big but leave only footprints
Spoilers, it explores JK's themes so is terrible for whetting appetites
4 HOURS of Edinburgh's world heritage site, the Hogwartian half, the Old Town
NCP car park discount & tour collect
Escort to Rowling's beloved Nicolsons for lunch at the end if you wish
Resurrection stone. To revive the magic
Genocide: We're a local company compliant with Scottish law
Tips: Wizards aren't rich, unsurprisingly, help him out if you can afford to
Potter guides & aspiring guides: please look elsewhere, I love you but I have too many "tributes"
French: if your English is weak I am able to appoint a French guide, please contact me
Flexibility: due to the start point it's difficult to cut the tour short SEEK my 8hr Potterhead tour
Humility. Well OK. Why am I so bad @ Quidditch, it's so unfair. & Charms & Transfiguration & Potions
And nobody likes me. The only person who likes me is Hermione. Jesus.
Breakfast. We can pause for sandwiches to be eaten during the tour, but BREAKFAST IS KING

Departure Point

Wellington, Edinburgh EH1 3YY, UK

Outside General register house, besides the Apple store & the statue of the Duke of Wellington on his rearing horse. Opposite the Balmoral hotel with it’s big clock tower.

Departure Point

Holyrood Rd, Edinburgh EH8 9UL, UK

If you enter NCP CAR PARK before 09.00 am their early bird rate is £7 for the day, or I have a code so you can enter anytime & pay £10 for 24 hrs. You could have breakfast in JK’s ‘Levels’ across the road. If this is your plan please message me after booking, I can collect you @ 09.47 am

Return Details

253 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1YJ, UK

Ends @ City Chambers opposite St Giles Cathedral & the Octagonal Mercat cross, besides Mary Kings Close. 5 mins walk uphill to the Castle, 4 mins down steps to Waverley station, ask & I'll direct you to them. Meeting folk? I recommend the Mercat Cross or the benches around City Chambers Courtyard

Return Details

6a Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9DH, UK

It’s a ½ day tour at the end you'll be hungry. I recommend recharging in Rowling’s beloved Nicolson's cafe/restaurant. I'll happily escort you there, I live nearby.

Return Details

Victoria St, Edinburgh EH1, UK

For those seeking a talisman, I can return you to the heart of wizarding commerce in Edinburgh, essentially our ‘Diagon’.

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Many children have enjoyed the tour, however it's based on Rowling’s rags to riches story & so is dark. The more difficulties a person has overcome, the more you can learn from them. This tour has darker stories from Rowling's instructive biography, which I hope will inspire those ready to achieve more
  • The tour is also based on the books, the books have some adult themes which I give credit too, because 'they're just children's books' annoys me. People who have just seen the movies may not be aware of these darker themes
  • Near public transportation
  • 5 km+ of up and down walking through Edinburgh's hilly old town
  • NCP car park discount requires downloading & registering their 'ParkPass' app from a UK app store before entry
  • 4 HOURS is a long time so BREAKFAST. Think everybody’s favourite Gameskeeper: if your feet haven’t swollen to baby Dolphins - keep shovelling!
  • Not recommended for people requiring mobility aids, e.g. a stick, 6km of hilly walking is demanding. Contact me for a private 2⅓ hour broom or book my 5¼ hour "The Genius of Harry Potter" if you're a pedagog
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
  • OPERATED BY The Potter Tour
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on sanitization during ☞ JK Rowling’s Edinburgh and the Writing of Harry Potter 4hrs?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
See all safety measures taken by ☞ JK Rowling’s Edinburgh and the Writing of Harry Potter 4hrs.
What is the social distancing policy during ☞ JK Rowling’s Edinburgh and the Writing of Harry Potter 4hrs?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by ☞ JK Rowling’s Edinburgh and the Writing of Harry Potter 4hrs.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during ☞ JK Rowling’s Edinburgh and the Writing of Harry Potter 4hrs?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by ☞ JK Rowling’s Edinburgh and the Writing of Harry Potter 4hrs.

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149 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-8 of 149 reviews
Very beautiful and...
, Nov 2021
Very beautiful and detailed tour. I joined the tour with my friend. We felt we were visiting all the city. We enjoyed our guide, discovering more about Harry Potter and Rowling's life. The guide had funny hats and accessories and we took wonderful pictures. We were afraid the tour was too long but we finished it before we realized. I recommend it. :-)
icon Response from Host , Dec 2021
Yes, it's a long long long tour, a trial for those with walking impediments - infirm: please book either my longer private tours here {8-hour 'Complete Potterhead', or contact me for my 5¼ hour tour for teachers or my short route 2⅓ hour 'Potter Tour'}. The tour is also a trial for preteen attention spans, but if they've read the books a treat too, like giving a child a flagon of Madam Rosmerta's Oak Matured Mead, an adult treat, they might not immediately process as such. BREAKFAST HELPS. Also, I have the shorter Potter Tour, 2⅓ hours. They're impedimented; wee legs right? Essentially smooth-skinned house-elves. It's why the socks go missing all the time. They hoard them. I do like to meld austere stone Edinburgh with the magic of Rowling's imagination. I think she might roll her eyes though. At one point I had a long discussion with my Fred, a pyromaniac friend - naturally, he runs '' - on how I could create a firework 'Dark Mark'. The greatest problem was it would be very, very few shots before my tour would be shut down, so I sadly left it. And so I have the costumes, I'm glad you liked them. Thanks for such a kind, surprising review Valeria. Firebolts cruise slower than I speak so it's keenly appreciated. x Sam PS. READ THE CHRISTMAS PIG
Definitely for Harry Potter Buffs! Even enjoyable for someone (me) who has no clue about HP!
, Sep 2021
Sam was very knowledgeble in the tour, and covers lots of ground especially since it was a 4 hr tour! Due to this, you need to be extremely fit to keep up! All in my group were Harry Potter fans except me, but it was nonetheless still enjoyable as the tour spanned a lot of the Old Town as well! Would def recommend for HP fans!
icon Response from Host , Sep 2021
Cheers Khai, that's a fantastic review, I doubly appreciate your effort because you are/were one of the non-awakened. Yes, I walk too fast, it's an issue occasionally true. But I've bashed my knee glancing off the crags of Hunter's bog whilst brooming yesterday 🤦 maybe a little handicap will make it easier for visitors 👨‍🦽 Nevertheless, this can't be relied upon! I do not seek injury to aid my tours! The mobility challenged are invited to book a private tour (I have shorter and longer ones), they'll find it less challenging more enjoyable. Thanks for the kind review and your grace, indulging your companions on Edinburgh's longest Harry Potter tour when you're essentially a Squib. A very fine Squib indeed, I salute you 🎖️ May your adventures be worthy of radiant Lockhart and your home as comfy as Hagrid's hut. x Sam
Tour guide/Edinburgh
, Jul 2021
Sam, the tour guide seems to never run out of energy during the tour. We booked this tour without expecting much. We didn't come prepared and we dont know much about JK Rowling, just some general information about Harry Potter though. 😅 We can say that Sam really knows what he’s talking about. He is informative and flexible to foreigners like us. We were able to go to some unique places that you cant just find on some blogs. We tried that Cranachan that he suggested after the tour, and we loved it.
icon Response from Host , Jul 2021
Ah fantastic, yes Cranachan is a treat. I'm pleased you enjoyed our tour and you chanced me. Having low expectations probably does help, I wish I could sell it as 'the worst, most heinously dreadful Harry Potter tour' but sadly Viator won't let me. Dunno why. My fear with younger pre-teens like yours is it's a real long time to be listening for, so I was pleased it did OK for you guys. Thanks for reviewing twice, you are my Gilderoy Lockhart (idol). x Sam
Writing of Harry Potter walking tour of Edinburgh
, Dec 2020
Sam was amazing, very informative, knowledgeable and friendly. He kept us entertained throughout the tour. The weather wasn’t great, but that didn’t spoil the experience.
icon Response from Host , Dec 2020
Cheers Mary, yes it's a long long tour in the cold but you came very well prepared. Esikmo coats, full finger gloves, water resistant shoes, umbrella. It's meant to be a cold snowy winter for Scotland this year so you & Jess ought to be role models. RE: informative, cheers! I've been ramping up my knowledge for a few years, switching some amount out, looking for what might be useful to folk, or what might be more enjoyable. I'm pleased you chose me, all these reviews, you're a blessing. May your cauldron never crack and your owl never tire x Sam
Harry Potter Walking tour.
, Oct 2020
Very knowledgable and enthusiastic guide who gave lots of info at every point. You get to see areas tucked away from main tourist areas and items relevant to HP. Fun and worth the price.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2020
Cheers June, yes I occasionally have enjoyed reading biographies - Rowling does too, she was fascinated by the Mitford sisters and the Kennedys - so it's neat that I have a job where I can read up and spout on Britain's most remarkable woman. Thanks for thinking different and employing me. I will maybe collapse onto Universal Credit over winter. So if you think work should pay, not sponging - go with the little local businesses like June. Work pays when you patronise locals. Patronising locals also pisses off the bullies in the multi-nationals; they're poor & want to pull others down to their level. BONUS! May your adventures be worthy of radiant Lockhart and your home as comfy as Hagrid's hut. x Sam.
Harry potter tour
, Jul 2019
Our guide Sam had really put some toughts in to the tour. We got to become wisards for a day. He showed us lots of places of interest. And to top it all we got candy and icecream.
icon Response from Host , Sep 2019
Thanks for the kind review! Yes I strive to be the comprehensive luxury tour, where you don't want for anything at the end. This summer Scotland's smallest ice cream parlour even offered Butterscotch (butterbeer) ice cream! It was dreamy. Getting too cold for it now though. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, thanks for taking the time to review. Every review means more than you can imagine, it set me up for a wonderful summer. x Sam.
Absolutely fantastic guide!
, Jun 2019
We had such a great time on this tour. I don't remember our tour guides name, but we went on 30/05/19. He was so professional and knowledgeable. I chose this tour so we could see more of Edinburgh as well as learn about Harry Potter. It definitely did not disappoint! If I could change anything I would have done this on the first day of our visit instead of the last so that we could know more about the city. I would definitely recommend!
icon Response from Host , Sep 2019
This is fantastic feedback, I might change the tour's values on my website to 'see more, do more, learn more'. I think a common hesitation over my tour maybe that 'will 3.5 hours on Harry Potter be booooring?' So I'm pleased it didn't dissappoint. I had a great summer, thanks to kind reviewers like you. Thanks Cosmo x Sam.
Interesting and fun
, May 2019
I booked this tour because it sounded like it would be fun and cover a lot of ground...and it was! Sam made it interesting and interactive. I was disappointed when the ice cream vendor was closed, but the weather had something to do with that. Sam talks pretty fast so just ask him to slow down. We really enjoyed the tour!
icon Response from Host , Sep 2019
Yes, I speak too fast too often. I took your feedback and made the tour longer, about 3.75 hours over summer to reduce my speed. I'm rolling the length back now, going to cut like I'm a crazed barbers. Barbatrix - like Bellatrix but scissored. Yeah bloomin' ice cream vendors eh? Grrr. Thanks so much for the review x Sam.

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