Edinburgh
Literary Activities

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Our most recommended Edinburgh Literary Activities

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

1. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

Enjoy a Harry Potter-themed walking tour across Edinburgh. See the city where JK Rowling found inspiration for Hogwarts, her famous characters, and discover the place where she wrote the books. Have your Harry Potter trivia tested with an audio-visual quiz, and earn points for your house. Find out which Hogwarts House you’re in, and whether you’re a pure-blood, a muggle, or a squib. Visit the Grave of Tom Riddle in Greyfriars Kirkyard, and pass JK Rowling’s golden handprints outside City Chambers. See all this and more on a magical guided tour.

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Walking Tour

2. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Walking Tour

Experience a little magic on a walking tour of Edinburgh that is perfect for all fans of Harry Potter. Learn all the stories and secrets behind the best selling books by J.K. Rowling in the city where she wrote them. Visit the original sites that provided the inspiration for Hogwarts and the characters who dwelled within its magical walls. Stroll along the High Street to see where Diagon Alley came to life and where Lord Voldemort is buried. See the original Hogwarts School, and look at a virtual school assembly of its characters! Learn how Edinburgh’s own dark history of witches and wizards played a role in inspiring J.K. Rowling along the way. 

Edinburgh: Private Sherlock Holmes Adventure Tour Challenge

3. Edinburgh: Private Sherlock Holmes Adventure Tour Challenge

Explore the sights of Edinburgh on foot during this private Sherlock Holmes adventure tour. Receive a backpack kit with physical clues, props, and everything you need to work through the game, including a 19th-century map of Edinburgh that is yours to keep. Start your adventure by meeting your guide. Your guide will then brief you on the game mechanics and be in touch with you throughout your game if you need help. You will need a phone only to be in touch with your guide. Once the game begins, you'll follow a series of numbered clues. Every clue is meant to be used in a particular location and when you solve it you'll find out where to go next. The game unravels the story of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous creation. Walk through a good portion of Edinburgh and pass by some of the main landmarks: St Andrews Square, Princess Street, and some other wonderful places off the tourist trail. Most of the game's locations have a connection to Sherlock Holmes' creator, Arthur Conan Doyle. You will finish by dropping the kit off and collecting your souvenir badge. It ends at the West End of the city.  The duration of the game varies depending on the group. The average group usually takes 2.5 hours if they don't take a break. Some groups have taken quite a bit longer.

Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour with "Real-Actors"

4. Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour with "Real-Actors"

You will venture through Edinburgh's Old and New Town's led by the intrepid duo: Clart and the intellectual McBrain, who will take you on a brilliant and witty dramatic romp through the city's wynds (narrow paths), courtyards, and pubs. Enjoy their hilarious duel of wits as they narrate the stories of Edinburgh's pubs and famous Scottish writers, from Sir Walter Scott to Robert Louis Stevenson right up to the present day addressing the writers of Harry Potter and Rebus. As you stop in each pub for a drink, become immersed in a lively dialogue, spanning approximately 300 years of Scottish literary history. The award winning Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour was the first literary tour to be launched in Edinburgh in 1996. It is regarded by many as a pioneer in its field and is performed by professional actors, not academics or tour guides. It represents great value for money and has a very high entertainment factor.

Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour

5. Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Discover Edinburgh’s historical, cultural, and architectural heritage on a small and intimate walking tour guided by one of the most knowledgeable locals possible. Stuart or Richard Usher, of Scotland's famous and historic House of Usher, or Dr. Alison Duncan, Scotland expert and professional historian, will guide you through this beautiful city. You’ll see many of the city’s highlights, including Usher Hall and Edinburgh Castle. You’ll walk along the Royal Mile, tour the interior of St. Giles Cathedral, and visit several of Edinburgh's famous landmarks. Your guide, has an extensive knowledge of Edinburgh's history and architecture and the many famous people that the city has produced over the centuries. They will share their knowledge of Edinburgh with you in an informative, personable, and enjoyable manner. Have no fear, as it won't all be serious stuff! Your guide will also show you the Mound, and take you on a tour of the National Galleries of Scotland. At the gallery you’ll see paintings by masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, and many others. Also, typically you will see Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens, the Scott Monument, George Street, and Charlotte Square.

Edinburgh: Outlander Walking Tour

6. Edinburgh: Outlander Walking Tour

The year is 1745 and the Jacobite rising has reached the city gates of Edinburgh. Bonnie Prince Charlie is met by a cheering crowd of 20,000 strong. Amid the chaos of rebellion are Claire and Jamie, the Outlander characters entwined in a story that spans centuries. On this 2-hour walking tour your guide will trace the real events that inspired Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed novels. The story captures the spirit of the Jacobite rebellion in Edinburgh: The Redcoats, the Highlanders and the smell of gunpowder in the air. Your expert guide will take you deep into the Old Town, to the places where history was made: Tolbooth Jail, Canongate Kirkyard and the World’s End Tavern. If Edinburgh is the setting for the second Outlander novel, you’ll be going behind the scenes!

Edinburgh: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

7. Edinburgh: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

Uncover the magical history of Scotland as you explore the secrets of Edinburgh's Old Town with a costumed guide on this walking tour. Hear the secrets behind locations like Lady Stairs Close, Grassmarket, and Candle Maker Row. Find your witch-costumed guide easily and begin your walking tour. Hear historical tales that focus on witchcraft. Explore the Old Town and make your way to castle hill to admire the ancient Edinburgh castle. Walk down Lady Stairs Close to view the the Writers Museum which pays tribute to the authors Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Robert Louis. View the imposing Gothic architecture at St. Giles Cathedral. Stroll thorugh Parliament Square and past the colorful shops on Victoria Street. Tread lightly as you will walk on the grounds where mysterious and sometimes sinister events occurred like the Greyfriars Kirkyard graveyard. Go down Candle Maker Row and finish your tour in one of the oldest parts of the city, Grassmarket.

Day Trip by Rail to Edinburgh from London

8. Day Trip by Rail to Edinburgh from London

Welcome and Departure Be present at King’s Cross Station at 6:30 AM to exchange your voucher for your train tickets for your outbound and inbound rail journeys. Your train will depart at 7:00 AM and arrive in to Edinburgh at 11:22 AM. Please print all tickets for both your return rail journey and attractions. Edinburgh – Open-Top Bus Tour Delve into the Scottish capital’s rich history with a hop-on, hop-off bus tour that takes in all the major sights: the Royal Mile, Greyfriars Bobby, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and atmospheric Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle  Enjoy free admission to Edinburgh Castle, where you can marvel at the sparkling Scottish Crown Jewels and photograph breathtaking panoramic views of the city’s famous skyline. Return Journey  After a thrilling day spent discovering Edinburgh, your train departs at 5:31 PM, arriving back in London at 10:18 PM. Please arrive 30 minutes before departure time. First Class - optional - includes refreshments served at your seat.

Edinburgh: Scotland's Dark Secrets Walking Tour

9. Edinburgh: Scotland's Dark Secrets Walking Tour

Marvel at the mysteries lurking behind Edinburgh on a walking tour focusing on the city's darker side. Visit Edinburgh Castle, Grey Friars Kirkyard, and the Old Tollbooth Prison. Let your guide thrill you with macabre, twisted tales from days gone by. Learn about witches and ghosts from the city's past and find out which ones are still lurking around today. Soak up every creaky nook and cranny while you search for signs of ghosts and ghouls on this unforgettable walking tour of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: Harry Potter City Exploration Game

10. Edinburgh: Harry Potter City Exploration Game

The city game starts at City Chambers. It will take you between 1 to 1.5 hours to complete and you can also explore at your own pace: pause the game and resume anytime from the location where you paused it. You will finish at the Old Medical School. As you solve challenges, the story unfolds and exact directions on your phone will guide you to the next location. Ready for an adventure? After your booking you will receive an email with instructions on how to download and play the game on your phone. You can play on your own, in a large group or in several smaller groups that compete against each other and meet at the final stop of the game. We recommend that each user purchases a ticket for an optimal experience, although several people can share a phone.

Frequently asked questions about Edinburgh Literary Activities

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Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

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What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 1,229 reviews

Absolutely loved this tour! Mason did a great job in explaining J.K Rowling's connections with Edinburgh and how many aspects of the city inspired her Harry Potter ideas. An ideal way to see the city's landmarks too.

Very enjoyable, nice way to spend a few hours and better understand the hidden secrets of the city linked with J.K. Rowling inspiration sources.

A very informative tour for Harry Potter fans. It's about the creation of the books, about filming locations, about the author.

Mason was so great. He made it fun and informative. He shared fun stories and interesting facts. So glad we took his tour.

We had the best time! Mason was very good tour guide lots of knowledge