I absolutely love Harry Potter. It's my favorite modern fiction series and I've spent hours reading and rereading the books and of course watching the movies. I've always been impressed with Rowling's writing style and her crafting of the series.
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”
Fortunately for Potterheads, most of the Harry Potter sites in Edinburgh are relatively close to one another around the Royal Mile starting with the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Quadrangle. In the quadrangle are the handprints of famous people from Edinburgh, including handprints from Rowling herself.
Taking a left onto George VI Street will lead you to the next Harry Potter place, The Elephant House.
While we didn't have the opportunity to stop in here, I will be coming back to sit down for a cup of tea. Reviews are evenly split between the Elephant House and a now closed cafe as the locations where Rowling sat to write her books. Since the Elephant House is still in business and the other cafe is not, it's probably deserving of the Harry Potter attention it receives.
Further down the street is the famous Greyfriar's Kirkyard, known not only for the most famous poltergeist in the world, but also as the location where Rowling got the names for several characters, including Tom Riddle.
The area in front of Riddell's grave is well worn with the feet of Harry Potter fans. Additionally, (although I couldn't find it) there is a stone for a McGonagall, possibly giving Rowling the inspiration for Professor McGonagall.
Beyond the kirkyard is the George Heriot's School, which may have inspired Rowling's description of Hogwarts. There is some friendly debate that University of Glasgow resembles the famous magical school more closely, but while in Edinburgh... ;)
Sadly, we missed several other places, the inspiration for Diagon Alley being one of them, but it was a fun little trip to see bits of Edinburgh along with the inspiration for one of my favorite book series.
(There is a tour company that will also take you around to see known Harry Potter sights. While I can't vouch for the company, it's an intriguing thought! I may need to check them out!)