Scotland Adventure Part 2: Edinburgh Castle, Grassmarket, Harry Potter, and Greyfriars Bobby

Entrance to Edinburgh Castle

Our next couple of trips into town took us to quite a few spots.

First stop:  Edinburgh Castle

I think I took a million pictures here.  This castle could have it’s own blog post!  Things we could not take pictures of:  The Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny.  I did take photos of some of the areas leading up to the room.  We had to go up a winding staircase to get up to the Honours of Scotland.  Thankfully not ALL the way up, lol.

There is so much to see at the Castle.  You need at least 2 hours here, if not more, to really see everything.  Also, going between 10-2 means a BUCKET LOAD of people, so if you want to feel like you need a little more space, head in a little later.

There is even a dog cemetery.

There is a prison exhibit, war/regimental museums and St Margaret’s Chapel, which was built in 1130.  The views from the Castle are well worth some extra time to take in.

Grassmarket, Harry Potter and Greyfriars Bobby

Some neat little pubs along this stretch
Grassmarket. This area has a Saturday Market filled with vendors.
Parts of Grassmarket (and The Royal Mile) are pedestrian only.

We ventured down to Grassmarket through some little side streets and walked around for a bit.  This area is full of food and stories.

We ate at The Last Drop.  A fitting name for a pub sitting across from where public hangings used to take place 😉  There was good food here (TeenThing had mac and cheese and I had haggis sausages and mash), a great drink selection,  and the staff were very nice.

Now, Harry Potter.

Potter fans know that JK Rowling started writing Harry Potter in Edinburgh.  Once you are here and travel along the streets, you see the magic around you.  The history, the architecture, and the atmosphere is definitely inspiring.  There are a couple of streets that claim to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley.  With so many small winding side streets, it would be easy to get inspiration from any of them!

You can see the inspiration for Harry Potter everywhere.
Supply List
Victoria Street lays the claim to Diagon Alley 😉

A little HaHa to break up the day 🙂

The Elephant House Cafe is an extremely busy spot, as you can well imagine (JK Rowling wrote two books at this location), and is very close to Greyfriars Kirkyard.  The Kirkyard is where the grave for Tom Riddle is located, and behind the Kirkyard is George Heriot’s School, the inspiration for Hogwarts.

This Cafe is always packed. You can sign your name on the bathroom wall here, along with a bazillion other Harry fans.
Tom Riddle’s Grave
There is NO grass left here, lol.  Also, the Kirkyard staff will lead you down to this area if need be.

Greyfriars Bobby

This was one of my favourite stories of Edinburgh.  Bobby was a partner for his human John Gray, who was a night watchman for the Edinburgh Police but died of tuberculosis.  Bobby was a constant visitor to his master’s grave.   He has his own stone in the Greyfriars Kirkyard where visitors leave him sticks.

And yes, we did rub his nose for luck 😉

Using our own two feet to explore the city was amazing, and I am glad we did because you really get to see all of the small nooks and crannies of the city.

Side Note:  We had great experiences on all of our walking tours.  You’ll get to see some of the sights on one of the tours in a later post 🙂

Next week:  Outlander!

(p.s. If you are not a fan of the show, feel free to just come back for the pictures, the set locations we got to visit were amazing!)