Harry Potter trail in Edinburgh

Harry Potter fans unite! Edinburgh is the birthplace of the wonderful masterpiece we know and love. So if you ever find yourself in Edinburgh (which you totally should – it’s beautiful!), then these are the places to go. Like as soon as you get off the plane.

The Elephant House Café

Due to J.K. Rowling’s financial situation at the early stages of writing the book she found that it was cheaper to buy a cup of coffee and write in the café all day, rather than paying for her heating bill at home. In fact when you enter the café and walk straight to the back you might be lucky enough to secure a table along the back wall, overlooking Greyfriars Kirkyard. This then became the inspiration for Godric’s Hollow.

The café has proudly honoured Rowling, as have many visitors who infamously graffiti-ed the bathrooms with messages of love and support for the series

Please be respectful when visiting the café. Understandably they get a lot of visitors who want to sit where Rowling sat, so either leave a donation for the charity they are supporting or why not enjoy a cup of tea and some elephant shortbread.

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Greyfriars Kirkyard

When Rowling needed inspiration and a break from writing she would wander around the cemetery behind the café reading the names on the tombstones. These names inspired many characters in her book, the most famous being Tom Riddle.

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The Kirkyard also backs onto the prestigious, George Heriot’s School. Creepy, yes, but also the inspiration for Hogwarts with its four horses and four towers- or houses in Hogwarts case.

Walking around Edinburgh you can see inspiration everywhere. From Potterrow to Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh is a city full of dark and dirty stories and equally interesting story tellers. With pubs dedicated to the quirky characters of their past. Edinburgh is a city full of rich history and archaic buildings, many of which survived a difficult past and many wars, its no wonder it inspired strong characters and a magical world.

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Enjoy x

Europe in winter

Visiting Europe in winter is great for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is incredibly cheap. Hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions are all off-peak prices. So if you are contemplating a European  holiday on a budget; winter is the best time for you. Secondly, snow. Enough said. Who doesn’t love a White Christmas?!  For people watchers and atmosphere addicts, a trip to Europe during winter will have you hooked, you will never want to visit during any other season again.

Here are some of the best places in Europe to visit during winter.

Berlin, Germany.

No one does Christmas better than Germany, with historic markets full of gluhwein (mulled wine), German sausages, gingerbread, pretzels, and candied nuts on almost every corner. The most famous being Gendarmenmarkt. A 1 Euro entry fee will offer sit-in restaurants, bars and entertainment. Eating (and for that matter drinking) at the markets is incredibly cheap. You can eat lunch and dinner on the go, leaving lot’s of money for gluhwein (the perfect way to keep warm), hot chocolate, or beer. It’s the best way to take in the cheerful atmosphere and magical winter wonderland that is around you.



Prague, Czech Republic.

Home to possibly the best Christmas tree you will ever see Prague also has Christmas markets that will give Germany a run for its money. Trdelník is a traditional pastry cooked over hot coals, covered in cinnamon sugar and sometimes Nutella. This will become a staple of your diet in Prague, I promise. Prague is generally a cheap tourist destination in Europe and Christmas time, although certainly very busy, is no exception. Food portions are huge, beer is cheap and the baroque rooftops are beautifully contrasted against grey skies.



Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Winter in Amsterdam is quiet, there are almost no crowds and this is due partly in fact to the freezing temperatures it reaches. Cold air drifts off the canals and there is no escaping it. The locals are used it, still riding their bikes absolutely everywhere. Rug up and huddle in some tea shops to keep warm. Wandering the streets admiring the beauty of the city and the Dutch architecture is also a great way to keep warm.




Edinburgh, Scotland.

Edinburgh has this old historic charm about it that undoubtedly makes it an underrated European destination. There are a so many things to do which make exploring this sleepy, snowy town so much more charismatic. Edinburgh has a dark history full of filth and violence, it is truly fascinating and visiting during winter brings that history to life.



Rome, Italy.

The best time to visit Rome is during winter. Fountains freeze over and there are little to no crowds, which means you can get more out of your day by eliminating wait time in lines. Accommodation costs are at a minimum and you get a greater sense of Roman life as the stresses of summer (crowds, tourists and the heat) all but disappear. Not to mention the dappled light and sun spurs make for some spectacular shots.






Europe is beautiful. No one can deny that and winter offers a great excuse to head indoors and absorb the culture of a city. Be it museum, galleries or a local craft shop. Sometimes it is so cold outside you find a cosy spot in a warm café or bar and simply watch the snow fall and the world go by.