Edinburgh has me wrapped around her wee little finger…and I hope you read that aloud in your best Scottish accent. We’ve walked around this enchanting city until our feet hurt. These steep, hilly streets have me hypnotized and I’d walk just about anywhere in Edinburgh even if my quads were screaming for me to stop; it’s that irresistible. It’s no wonder J.K. Rowling was charmed into writing the majority of the pages of Harry Potter in this here magical city. There’s nothing quite like it.
Our day began with a short hike up the Royal Mile to the entrance of Edinburgh Castle. Positioning itself at the head of Old Town Edinburgh, this castle is Scotland’s most-visited paid tour attraction. The stone buildings within the castle walls are some of the most beautiful throughout the city. I think I took about 70 photos within the castle itself.
As we made our way back down from the castle along the Royal Mile, we wandered through many shops, some fancy and some with souvenirs, but most offering similar goods popular for the area: tartan scarves, caps, and kilts; Harris Tweed bags, jackets, and gloves; Harry the Highlander books; and of course…Harry Potter merchandise.
This afternoon we lunched at Biblos, a restaurant around the corner from our hotel where Syd found a Brie panini she had to have. The Roasted Red Pepper Salad I ordered was so delightful that I plan to recreate it once I get home.
Following lunch, it was an afternoon filled with Harry Potter inspiration as we explored Greyfriars Kirkyard, one of the world’s most haunted graveyards in the world which is said to have influenced character names for J.K. Rowling such as Thomas Riddell, William McGonagall, and Elizabeth Moodie.
We walked along Diagonal Alley (Victoria Street), a narrow, curved cobblestone street built into the side of a hill adjacent to the Royal Mile which is rumored to have been Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley. This street is one of the most stunning parts of the city.
Getting a table at The Elephant House (“birthplace of Harry Potter”), where J.K. Rowling wrote much of the pages of Harry Potter, can be difficult. We did, however, get lucky and land a table next to an open window with a lovely view of Edinburgh Castle. As we indulged in hot chocolate, cappuccinos, ice cream, and apple danishes, I imagined J.K. Rowling scribbling away at the table next to us as the magical story of Harry Potter unfolded.
It was a full day that required a late afternoon nap before dinner. Things start to wind down in the evenings here and it was challenging to find a restaurant still serving dinner after 9pm. We finally found a traditional Scottish pub (The Fiddler’s Arms) with their kitchen still open, who happily let us split an order of fish & chips and fried Brie with cranberry chutney. That girl and her Brie!
Enjoy a few more photos from today…