Nicolson's Cafe / Spoon

Claimed to be the birthplace of Harry Potter, Nicolson's Cafe has now been replaced by Spoons.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Edinburgh
The Royal Mile
The picturesque historic thoroughfare of the Old Town of Edinburgh.
St Giles’ Cathedral
St Giles’ Cathedral has been at the spiritual heart of Edinburgh for over 900 years.
Parliament Square
The historic hub of the Old Town of Edinburgh.
Royal Mile Closes
The Closes of the Royal Mile are historic narrow alleyways named after their owners.
Elephant House
Go inside and sit at Rowling's favourite table!
Greyfriars Kirkyard
For over five centuries, Greyfriars Kirkyard has been home to hauntings and wizards. Look out for McGonagall or something more spine-chilling, like one Tom Riddle.

Related Tours

Wizarding World: Diagon Alley and Hogwarts, Private Tour
On this fantastical walking tour, you will visit some of the haunts where Rowling would sip coffee, and put pen to paper. Learn about this extraordinary author, see the places she herself drew inspiration from, and purchase novelties from Potter-themed shops.

  • Commence at Nicolson's Cafe, now Spoon, where Rowling would write 
  • Visit her favourite place to draw inspiration: Elephant House 
  • Walk through Greyfriars House , spotting as many familiar names as possible 
  • Compare the architecture of George Heriot's School to that of Hogwarts 
  • Explore Victoria St and Candlemaker Row, which inspired Diagon Alley 
  • Buy novelty gifts along the way 
In December 1993, J.K. Rowling moved to Edinburgh with her daughter and a notepad full of ideas. During her time in Scotland, she wrote seven books following the journey of a wizard, Harry Potter, and his life in this magical world. Fast-forward a decade or two, and over 500 million copies have been sold, 8 films made, and an enormous fanbase developed.

Begin your tour at Spoon, which was once Nicolson's Cafe, and the apparent birthplace of J. K. Rowling's books. More well-known is your next stop, The Elephant House, where Rowling would sit for hours writing and sipping coffee. Here, you can see Greyfriars House and George Heriot's School , both of which she used for inspiration for her magical world. Greyfriars House inspired the numerous graveyards scene in Harry Potter, and you can spot familiar character names on the gravestones. George Heriot's School was used as a basis for which Rowling developed Hogwarts. Conclude your tour at Diagon Alley (Victoria St and Candlemaker Row), where travellers flock to purchase novelties and perhaps to buy an owl or repair a wand.


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