Edinburgh's underground Harry Potter walking tour

Edinburgh's Free
Underground Potter Tour

  1. Banned by the Ministry of Magic
  2. Hunted by Deatheaters
  3. Despised by purebloods
  4. but still free, still hoping, still taking chances.

Join Rowling's voyage across the Great Lake from mice infested bed sit, to having her hands carved in stone.

Ron: How much for these?
Twins: Five Galleons
Ron: How much for me?
Twins: Five Galleons
Ron: I'm your brother!
Twins: Ten Galleons
Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince

My first time

I was slow to come to the books, I thought 'Bah, stupid fad'. When the movies started coming out, I was a postman, working in Rowling's area Morningside, climbing 300 flights of stairs a day up our tall tenements, and I thought 'mail from an Owl through the window - Cool!'.

And then the manuscript to the Half Blood Prince was stolen and there was the national manhunt, I thought, 'boy this fad is mental'. Then another movie was released and I thought 'will this hullabaloo never end?'

So I read the books and was enraptured, transported from my daily solitary stair climbing Scabbers' wheel (Ron's rat) into a rich, hilarious world of golden friendships.

It was a 2 month whirlwind, every other leisure activity I was dedicated to, became a hardship. TV? Mental Muggle contraption: *cancelled*. But it was a love affair not without pain.

My ex was the libraries, we fell out of love because the decades long Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban wait list. It was a brutal divorce, I left for Waterstones.

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Coming out as a tour guide

Harry Potter face palms

In 2013, after 6 months of study, I worked for a multi national tour company guiding Edinburgh's historical Old Town, it didn't work. After a month - 4 tours I'd developed a little confidence but it was like being employed by Mundungus Fletcher and I couldn't make a living.

I would like to be remembered as someone who did the best she could with the talent she had.
JK Rowling

How do you combat life eh? I went alone, building upon my mass of notes from a half a dozen evening classes to write an Old Town history tour then a romance tour. (Three hours of romance is like three hours with Fleur Delacour, it leaves folk exhausted.)

I wasn't a success, so I became a Zorb football referee, which was wicked and the nurses in A&E are really friendly, but we hit peak Zorb, bookings fell off and I've not run a match in a couple of years. A few Dodgeball matches though. I like Dodgeball, less fatalities.

The underground Harry Potter walking tour

Why a Harry Potter tour?

It was like being struck by lightning, the idea electrified me; just the best thing ever, steam shot from my ears, nose & mouth. I could celebrate a pillar of our culture and lives. One last blazing fling before I go quietly into the night. It had to be excellent, it had to be glorious, or at least the best I can do.

Like many great books, people see the world through the prism of the characters, ideas and ethics of Harry Potter, it gives us rich internal lives; there is nothing more important. (Except perhaps breakfast).

I wanted to honour that, I wanted to create the tour I'd want to go on. A tour which as my younger self, writing screenplays, or just being a bit lazy, could have helped nudge me on. As a result my tour ended up celebrating JK Rowling as much as Harry Potter and, to fit both, being a bit longer & darker than anyone elses' tour.

Bubble bubble toil and trouble, bring me a Harry Potter tour at the double...

Throwing ingrediants into a cauldron, out pops a Harry Potter tour

Why take Sam's free Potter Tour?

I love what I have to show you, and what Rowling's life & values have to teach, but it means I'm

  1. better than 50% longer than any other Edinburgh free Potter trail, 110 minutes+. In the rain it never ends
  2. this gives time to show how the city echoes many fantastical aspects of the saga
  3. & make JK Rowling, queen of literature, shine as Britain's foremost role model

I really care you get the most from your visit and your love for Harry Potter and I'd love you to come on my tour.

Check out the Facebook reviews

I'm really not too terrible.

A Harry Potter tour in Greyfriars Kirkyard poses beneath JK Rowling's name in neon light The Harry Potter tour at Edinburgh uni's Old College A walking tour outside Spoon the 1st Harry Potter cafe The Harry Potter tour on Edinburgh's Castlehill A child dies laughing in front of Tom Riddle's grave Greyfriars Kirkyard The Edinburgh Harry Potter walking tour stops outside the Tron on the Royal Mile A child is sorted into her house on an Edinburgh Harry Potter tour Hen party on a Harry Potter tour get Sorted on the Royal Mile I place to Sorting hat on a hens head on the Edinburgh Harry Potter tour A hen party visit Greyfriars Kirkyard on a Harry Potter tour

Why I love free walking tours

I've taken many tours across Europe, many of them free, or more honestly 'for tips'. I liked this for a few reasons, I enjoyed them. I always thought if they were boring I could apparate away; I was tempted to do so when noisy traffic in Berlin drowned out the guide. And I love them because they show you most of the interesting sights, without having to decide 'What is the best thing to do now?... Am I going the right way?... Did I choose the best thing to see?'. Stress!

I have affection for for-tips tours and I wanted to run one. However...

The battle of Hogwarts

A Grindylow water demon from Harry Potter & the Goblet of fire

It is hard being new & competing. Hard, hard, hard. Boy are some folk unhappy with me, I got a bloody Kelpie head in the post! Every week is like the bloomin' Triwizard tournament, battling Grindylows, trying not to drown.

So I also run premium Potter tours, which take in more sights, cover more Rowling biography and inspirations; they are sometimes quite popular and those tours enable me to continue offering for-tips tours.

I'd love you to come on one of my tours, the deal is, if you like the tour please write a review. Reviews are my life-blood, they help me win customers for *all* my tours. Without regular reviews my blood stops and I sink into a watery grave.

Think about it for a beat, Voldemort & his Deatheaters weren't good people, would they review?
Well they didn't, not really, and look what happened...

I put him under the Imperius curse and got him to buy us all hot chocolate in The Elephant House. He's a generous guy.
Lord Mouldymort chose Potter Tour for team training

Apparently I'm generous, don't you just love him?

Where and when

I'm usually in wizard robes, the greatest wizard of our age left some behind, waiting outside the National Museum of Scotland near the statue by the steps, just follow the frowns from the Muggles.

Booking is preferred, so I can email to ask for a review; damn Pigwidgeon knocked himself out on the window again and his wing is in a sling.

While this tour is inspired by Harry Potter, and designed for Harry Potter fans to have the best visit, it is not endorsed by or affiliated with Warner Brothers. While I'm a fan, and would love to go on a tour of Edinburgh with Rowling or even Pottermore, I'm not associated with them, or JK Rowling's publishers' either. Besides I want her to keep writing fantastic Fantastic Beast's movies.

Gulpin' gargoyles Harry, go on the ruddy tour! Go on!