The Magical birthplace of Harry Potter celebrates 20 years of wizarding joy

Thursday 22 June 2017

The 26th of June marks 20 years since author J.K Rowling blessed the world of literature with one of the most popular and beloved literary series of all time. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published in the UK by Bloomsbury in 1997; the then unknown author took inspiration from her surrounding Edinburgh, with its incredible sense of place and other-worldly atmosphere. From the sweeping mythic allure of the Scottish Highlands, to the majesty of Edinburgh’s stunning architecture and charm, it is easy to see why Scotland is the birthplace of Harry Potter.  

Visitors and locals alike can now embrace all things connected to the world’s most famous wizard using a brand new itinerary of locations created by VisitScotland, the country’s National Tourist Board.  From Harry Potter walking tours in Scotland’s capital, to owl experiences in the beautiful countryside and enchanting steam train adventures in the break-taking Scottish Highlands, this collection of iconic locations has something to offer everyone. Please find a selection of Harry Potter related highlights and related bookable tour packages below.  For the full itinerary, visit here.

Scotland has a deep and significant literary history, with a wealth of world-renowned authors such as Rabbie Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott and Ian Banks, all hailing from one small nation. This talent and passion is reflected in the sheer number of literary linked attractions and festivals present in Scotland, ranging from Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town, to internationally celebrated book festivals in the Scottish Borders, Stirling and Edinburgh.  


The Jacobite Steam Train, The Scottish Highlands

Witness the sweeping cinematic scenery by booking a seat on the Jacobite Steam Train, which travels from Fort William to Mallaig along the West Highland Line in the rugged and romantic Scottish Highlands.  The train, which is universally regarded as the real life Hogwarts Express, offers a locomotive experience like no other in the world.


Harry Potter Walking Tours, Edinburgh

Enter the secret world of Harry Potter on the only tour offered in Edinburgh designed specifically with the Potter fan in mind. Discover the magical locations that inspired characters and iconic scenes throughout the novels and films—such as where Lord Voldemort is buried and the café where Rowling penned the first instalment of the Harry Potter novels.


Bo’ness Motor Museum, Home to the official car of Ron Weasley, Falkirk

Opened in 2004, this museum displays a variety of interesting vehicles from classic Aston Martins to James Bond's Lotus Espirits The Spy Who Loved Me. The museum now boasts an exhibition dedicated to Ron Weasley’s Ford Anglia from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.


Dalhousie Owl Experience, Dalhousie

Embrace an owl experience straight out of the pages of Harry Potter at the historic Dalhousie House. Ideal for anyone who loves these unique and mysterious birds of prey, the Owl Encounter allows you to handle and fly three of the beautiful owls to your gloved hand. As they glide silently to your gauntlet, learn about the biology, habitats and quarry of some of the most highly specialized birds of prey in the world. Alternatively, visitors can also get up close and personal with these majestic creatures at the wonderful Scottish Owl Centre.


The JK Rowling Suite at The Balmoral, Edinburgh

The luxurious Balmoral Hotel, one of Edinburgh’s finest landmarks is where JK Rowling found some peace and quiet as she penned the final chapter of the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The suite features her writing desk and a marble bust of Hermes, the Greek god of travel, signed by Rowling herself. In addition, the brass owl door knocker is featured in her honor. Visitors can pop into the hotel for a cocktail or some afternoon tea, some of the best in the country.


Harry Potter Bookable Travel Packages Available Right Now:


Celtic Tours World Vacation – 7 day Going Potter in Scotland  

Tenon Tours – 10 days self-drive Harry Potter tour (England and Scotland)  

Crystal Travel & Tours – 8 days Cinematic Scotland tour

Crystal Travel & Tours – 6 day literary Scotland tour

CIE Tours – 10 day Scottish Clans & Castles (includes ride on the Jacobite train)


Notes for editors:

Images of all Harry Potter related destinations available upon request

For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

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The Magical birthplace of Harry Potter celebrates 20 years of wizarding joy