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A Harry Potter Moment in Edinburgh & a Whole Bunch of Tartan

Visiting The Elephant House in Edinburgh, Scotland where Harry Potter was Written

Before I begin with this post, I have a bit of a confession:  I am a Harry Potter geek.  I have read all the books (multiple times), seen the films a midnight and I am dying to visit the studio in London where much of the film was shot.  So, imagine to my excitement when I realized that The Elephant House, the cafe where JK Rowling wrote the majority of the Harry Potter books, is just around the corner from Edinburgh Castle.  Yes please, sign me up.

The Elephant House

The Elephant House, where all the Harry Potter magic started. (Pun intended.)

At the Elephant House, we had lunch (vegetarian chili for myself and lamb pie for Neal) with coffees.  Looking out the window was a perfect view of Edinburgh Castle.   I could see how JK Rowling was inspired by the location.

Elephant House, Edinburgh

If you are in the area, I would recommend the cafe for lunch or even an afternoon tea.  Our bill was just about $22 both of us, which isn’t bad at all for a hearty fill me up.


Elephant House, Edinburgh

After the cafe, we realized that across the street was the National Museum of Scotland. Since the wind was blustery, this was a perfect inside activity.  (Oh, did I mention that the admission was free? Yes please!)

This museum was MASSIVE, and we spent about 1 1/2 hours exploring the museum.  From ancient artifacts to Scottish history, it was blended in this museum.  There were moments when it was a bit overwhelming, just so much to see, you could easily spend two afternoons there to see it all.

Here were a few of my favorite pics from the visit to the museum:


Check out this snappy outfit of head to toe tartan.  Pretty fancy dress, if I do say so myself.

Check out this snappy outfit of head to toe tartan. Pretty fancy dress, if I do say so myself.

A vintage loom for making traditional Scottish tartan.

A vintage loom for making traditional Scottish tartan.



I loved my visit to Elephant House Cafe.  Sure it was just a bit touristy, but fun to have a “Harry Potter moment”.  And the National Scottish Museum was a perfect place to visit on a cold and windy afternoon in Edinburgh!

Can’t wait to share more with you! Stay tuned…




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  • I have been to Edinburgh but had no idea that was there!!! I need to venture back and go, that sounds like so much fun!!

  • Ah what a must see spot in Scotland – I will definitely stop there whenever I get to go!

    Thanks for linking up!!

    • belinda

      Hi Alex… It was a cozy little cafe, perfect for stopping at in windy Edinburgh. And, of course, being in the cafe where JK Rowling wrote didn’t hurt either. 🙂

  • OMG I saw that title and had to read this post! lol I love Harry Potter and I think The Elephant House just made its way onto my bucket list!!! Great post!

    • belinda

      Hi Jenn!

      Add it to your bucket list for sure. It was a fun little stop on our tour of Edinburgh, and the food was well priced too (always a bonus!)

    • belinda

      Hi Jenn!

      Yes! Make it to the cafe… the best part is that it near so many other things to see and do in Edinburgh. You can easily pop in for a cup of tea after the castle (or before). Not out of the way at all!

  • Cool- I will have to ask my sister if she went there, she lived in Scotland for almost a year! Awesome 🙂

    My travel tuesday post: Some Snapshots Blog

    • belinda

      You’ll have to ask her if she made it there. It was just a simple cafe, but knowing that Harry Potter was penned there made it pretty special.

      Have a great week!

  • I didn’t stop in when I visited Edinburgh, but we did go by there. Very cute shop. And for the sound of it, tasty food as well!

    • belinda

      I stumbled upon the meaning and orgin of the Elephant House by complete mistake. They had a sign outside about Harry Potter, otherwise it would be pretty easy to miss. I do know that I wasn’t the only Harry Potter fan in the house! Such fun…

  • I’m a Harry Potter geek myself and when I visited Edinburgh, I could definitely see how this beautiful city must have influenced the books. I haven’t known about this coffee shop before, but the next time I go to Edinburgh I will definitely have to visit!

    • belinda

      Hi Melanie,

      I could see how JK Rowling was inspired to write Harry Potter. It was really magical to go to the city that inspired it all. Next time, I want to spend more time exploring the city with all of the nooks and crannies.

      Thanks for stopping by my blog… Enjoy the rest of your week….

  • Hi! Just discovered your blog via Travel Tuesday.
    My name is also Belinda, but most people call me Bel 🙂 I was born in england then moved to france for 15 years and now live in morocco.
    I absolutely loved reading this post! I’m a Harry Potter fan and half scottish 🙂 Hope to get myself a McCall kilt one day ^^
    Looks like a great trip!
    Take care

    • belinda

      Hello Bel!

      Thank you for leaving a comment. I love meeting fellow expat bloggers from around the world, you are the first I have “met” in Morocco. I have always wanted to travel there. I will have to visit your blog to see all about your travels and adventures.

      Enjoy the rest of your week.



  • Oh goodness I loved the Elephant House when I went! I was studying in France for a semester and went there with two girlfriends who are also big Harry Potter fans… and we definitely took pictures of us holding the books 🙂

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