• Established 2012 •
The ORIGINAL and BEST
Harry Potter walking tour of Edinburgh
and it's FREE!
Prepare to enter a secret world...
Grab a wand and join your robed guide on the original tour of Edinburgh designed especially for Potter fans!
You’ll discover the magical locations that inspired characters and scenes in the series, visit the places
where JK Rowling wrote the books, and even learn a spell or two along the way...
See where Lord Voldemort is buried
Discover in which café Rowling wrote the FIRST Potter book
Take a trip down the real life Diagon Alley
Find out which house you would be in at Edinburgh's very own school of magic
Learn who the world’s worst poet was, and which Hogwarts
teacher is named after him
... and much, much more!
Even if you’re not a Harry fan, there’s still plenty to entertain you on this lively and atmospheric tour, full of colourful characters from Edinburgh’s mysterious past. Suitable for families. Muggles welcome!
Founded in 2012 we are the original and most highly rated walking tour in Edinburgh for Potterheads - accept no imitations!
If you would like a little more insight into what we cover on the tours, below is a video that we made recently for the Edinburgh Evening News featuring two of our guides Richard and Will. This video does contain a few of what we would consider tour spoilers so if you'd prefer to retain more of the magic of the tour before you join, maybe best to scroll on!
All scripted tour content is © 2012 The Potter Trail, and is not licensed for public performance or reproduction.
Free Public Tours
Our free public tours will be starting again live in Edinburgh from July 18th!
Things will be working slightly differently for the safety of you and our guides - please read everything below carefully before booking.
The information below has been updated to be in accordance with the new lockdown rules in Scotland that came into effect on October 7th. We have been unaffected by the closure of hospitality venues announced on October 7th.
Things we’re doing to keep you safe during our tours:
All of our guides will be wearing face coverings - either a mask or visor - for the duration of the tour.
2 metre social distancing will be enforced for the duration of the tour. We will only visit locations where this is possible.
A maximum of 15 people will be admitted per tour. Individual groups on the tour must not be larger than 6 people from 2 households in accordance with Scotland's new lockdown rules. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from this 6 person total.
Our tours will be 100% cashless from now on. Our guides will carry card readers and will be accepting contactless payments at the end of the tour.
All of our guides will carry hand sanitiser and will be washing their hands before and after every tour they do.
Things you’ll need to do to stay safe on our tours:
We will need you to wear a face covering - either a mask or visor. You may be refused admission on our tours if you do not wear a face covering. We can make exceptions if you have a valid reason for not wearing one. Children under under 5 are exempt under Scottish Government guidance.
We will no longer be giving out wands during the tour, instead we encourage you to bring something with you that you can use as a wand. This can be something as simple as a pen or umbrella, anything roughly wand-shaped will do!
Make sure you keep 2 metres away from your guide and any other household either in your group or nearby during the tour.
A note on the free tour model...
Yes, you read that right. We’re currently offering this spellbinding tour for FREE. At the end of the tour our guides will welcome any donations via contactless card payments only.
You’re never under any pressure or obligation to give anything; feel free to give whatever you thought the tour was worth. Our professional guides work hard and with real passion to entertain you, and we
value your support.
Why are we doing this? Well, we know what it’s like to be travelling on a budget, so we’d rather give a tour for free and let folks who can afford it choose to support our tour.
Most walking tours in Edinburgh cost between £10 and £20 per head - if you can afford it we would love a donation in that range! Our guides are currently working with much smaller groups to comply with Scotland's lockdown restrictions so making money is very difficult right now.
A percentage of your donation will also go to the Scottish Trans Alliance. You can find out more about what they do and why we're donating here.
Where and When?
Our tours start at the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, at the junction of George IV Bridge and Candlemaker Row, and end on Victoria Terrace, the raised section of Victoria Street.
The tour will last between 75 and 90 minutes depending on how busy the city is.
Is there a way of catching up with the group if I'm running late?
We do normally leave pretty sharply on the hour! If we are splitting a large group you may find half a group still waiting just across the road from the statue outside Greyfriars Art Shop. Failing that we will be somewhere within Greyfriars Kirkyard. You will get a text confirmation from one of the guides on the morning of the tour so you will be able to ring them if you do get lost!
When does the tour start?
August 2020 - March 2021
2pm tours everyday
April 2021 - August 2021
12pm and 4pm tours everyday
We send out multiple guides per tour to make sure our group sizes stay small. Our guides will be waiting at the start point from 10 minutes before the tour start time and may start groups early if a full group arrives just to avoid crowding.
Book a place on our free tour:
Please note that at this time you cannot book onto our tours with a group of more than 6 people from maximum 2 households as per Scotland's lockdown rules. Children under 12 are exempt from this count.
Find out what the tour covers and why we're the best in Edinburgh:
Is the date you want to book for unavailable? Want a more personalised one-on-one tour with one of our guides? We may have a Private Tour slot available for you!
During busy periods our Free Public Tours do tend to sell out pretty fast but we do tend to receive one or two cancellations per day. If the day you are looking to book for is unavailable we can put you on to a list to be contacted on the morning of the tour if we do receive any cancellations.
If you would like to be included on this list then please email our Head Wizard Richard at along with the day you were looking to book for, how many people are in your group and a contact number.
You might find an answer on our FAQs page!
Click the portrait to see Magus Negus in action
Extended Magic Tours
On special dates, the tour is extended to 2 hours with the addition of magic from Edinburgh’s premier family-friendly conjurer, MAGUS NEGUS!
He is a real-life magician who aims to delight, dazzle, and maintain the secrecy of the existence of the magical realm (if you are a muggle, please don’t read that last bit – thank you). Presenting a mixture of classical illusions with a unique Potter twist, he has over 10 years’ experience performing for families, international audiences, and even Hollywood film directors!
So whether you’re a witch, wizard, or muggle, you’re going to be in for some serious surprises and maybe even some fantastic beasts...
30% of the money collected at the end of tours featuring Magus Negus will go directly to fund the Anne Rowling Clinic - an organisation set up by JK Rowling to provide clinical care and research to improve the lives of people with degenerative conditions affecting the brain. You can find out more about what they do here.
Unfortunately Magus Negus won't be featuring on our tours for a little while. He is also currently not available for private bookings. We hope he will be back in action for some tours around the 2020 festive period.
If you've been on a tour,
why not leave us a review?
We'd love to hear how you enjoyed your tour, and our main source of publicity is our reviews on TripAdvisor. If you enjoyed the tour, please leave us a nice review to help us reach more Potter fans.
We are also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We absolutely love hearing about your experiences on the Potter Trail, and seeing the amazing photos you take. If you have memories of the tour that you'd like to share with us, find us on social media using the links below!
Whichever way you choose, thanks in advance for getting in touch with us.