Is this tour suitable for my kids? Is it too scary? Will they understand it?
The rule of thumb we like to use is – “if they’re old enough to read the books, they’re old enough to take the tour”. The Potter Trail has some creepy locations, and a few gruesome historical details, but there’s nothing in here half as likely to give kids nightmares as some of the scary scenes in the books! There’s no-one waiting to jump out or try and scare you – this isn’t a ‘ghost’ or ‘horror’ tour, and is aimed at entertaining, not terrifying!
The tour is designed to engage kids and communicate information clearly. We lots of interactive elements including a House Point Competition, Sorting Ceremony and spellcasting to keep kids entertained.
We do welcome children of all ages, however we find most kids under the age of 7 probably won't understand and appreciate the experience quite as much!
Are dogs welcome on the tour?
Yes, unless they’re called Fluffy.
Does this tour run in any weather?
Yes, come rain or shine! We've never cancelled a tour because of bad weather and never will.
My partner/kids/friends are mad about Potter, but I’ve never even read it. Will I find it boring/confusing?
We certainly hope not! Although the tour is focused on the books and films, there’s also plenty of funny, atmospheric and informative content about Edinburgh’s literary history and real-world characters. If all you know about the series is that they’re about the adventures of a schoolboy wizard and are written by JK Rowling, then congratulations – you already know more than enough to enjoy the tour. No prior knowledge is assumed.
I have mobility problems – is this tour for me?
The tour involves about a mile and a half of walking, with frequent stops. Wheelchair users are welcome, but a small number of locations involve slightly uneven terrain. We’ll adapt things so if you can’t visit these locations, you won’t be away from the group for more than a few moments.
I want to bring a birthday party/hen do/club social on the tour. Is that okay?
We’d love to see you! Although unfortunately we can't accept large groups onto our public tour. Any groups larger than 10 people must book a private tour.
If you book a private tour, you’ll get a more memorable personal experience – and we’ll work with you to tailor the tour just for your group
I’m exceedingly generous! Do you have a guideline amount?
Most walking tours in Edinburgh cost somewhere between £10 and £20 per person. If you can afford it, anything in this range woud be much appreciated! Our tours are, however, set up as free to allow anyone to enjoy the tour regardless of their financial situation and we won’t hold it against you if you choose not to make a contribution.
Can I take photographs?
100% yes! In fact, we'd encourage you to upload any photos to our TripAdvisor, Facebook and Instagram pages. We only ask that you don't take any videos and post big chunks of the tour online as this would ruin the experience for future witches and wizards who want to join the tour!
Where does the tour start?
We meet by the famous Greyfriars Bobby statue on George IV Bridge, across from the National Museum of Scotland, near the junction between Chambers Street and the George IV Bridge.
Do you offer the tour in any other languages besides English?
Our free public tours are currently English language only however we do offer private virtual tours in French. We aim to offer private tours in French in real life too again very soon!
Can I come on the tour as part of a larger group?
We normally allow groups of up to 10 people on our public tours. At the current time you will not be able to book on to our public tours in groups larger than 6 people (from 2 households) to adhere to Scottish lockdown rules. If you are bringing a larger group (for example, a school trip), we insist that you book one of our Private Tours. If you are a school/youth group you can book one of our School Tours to get a discounted rate.
My kids haven’t read all the books / seen all the films yet. Does the tour contain any spoilers?
This depends what you consider to be a spoiler! There are a few references to later books and a few plot points mentioned that might not make sense if you haven’t read the whole series. The plot points we mention are:
• Harry meeting Lord Voldemort at the end of the Triwizard Tournament
• The fact that Tom Riddle is revealed to be Voldemort
• Harry and Dudley getting attacked by dementors at the beginning of book 5
There are also references to Mad Eye Moody, Rufus Scrimgeour, Amos Diggory, Sirius Black, Rita Skeeter, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Borgin and Burkes, Dumbledore’s Army and Tom Riddle’s family.
I’ve heard Edinburgh has a lot of hills! What sort of distance does the tour cover and is it all flat?
We cover about 1.25 miles on the route, and believe it or not it is almost entirely flat!
We have a few more FAQs specific to our Virtual Tours which you can find here.
Is your question still left unanswered? Please do not hesitate to contact our Head Wizard Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll get back to you with an answer ASAP!