JK ROwling's harry potter
Famous author JK Rowling spent much of her time writing the renowned novels in cafés dotted around Edinburgh. The author has admitted that the city holds a very close place in her heart, having lived there while writing the first book of the boy wizards adventure, and returned to visit to write the final few pages of the last. The Elephant House Café, Spoon Café, Traverse Theatre Café are all workspaces of notable importance to the writer, and are ultimately where the global phenomenon that is the Harry Potter franchise was birthed.
Although The Elephant House is currently closed due to a fire, Spoon Cafe, located on Nicholson Street, is a great spot for coffee, cake and people spotting. Formally known as Nicholson’s, the café is where many sightings of Rowling took place in the 90s, where she was focussed, and in the zone. It's fair to say that if the success of the franchise indicates anything, no writer's block was obstacle enough.
Aside from the cafés, fans can also visit Greyfriar’s Kirkyard which has been in use since the 16th century. Although the author disputes this as a place of inspiration, the graveyard does hold character names such as Riddle and McGonagall so it’s worth a look. You can also see JK Rowling’s immortalised hands in the courtyard of Edinburgh City Chambers on the Royal Mile where she won an Edinburgh Award in 2008.
SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE'S SHERLOCK HOLMES
Though temporarily removed due to tram works across the city, a statue of one of the world's most famous detectives, and greatest literary figures, can be found at the Eastern end of Edinburgh's New Town at Picardy Place. The location of the Sherlock Holmes statue commemorates the birthplace of his creator, Arthur Conan Doyles, proudly standing on land that he once called his home before it was demolished in 1859. His influence can also be found directly opposite, where the Conan Doyle Pub now stands.
Baptised at St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral which is tucked behind his namesake pub, and a student of The University of Edinburgh’s Medical School from 1876 - 1881, Edinburgh can fairly claim Doyle as their own. It was during his studies where he met lecturer Dr Joseph Bell who many believe was inspiration for one of the best loved characters of all time, holding the world record for being the most portrayed character on film, ever.
There are now a number of branded tours available to be taken by followers and fans, so if that's you, don't forget to investigate before you visit...
IRVINE WELSH'S LEITH
Any Irvine Welsh fan must take a trip to Leith on a visit to Edinburgh. Where the early 90s depiction of deprived Leith is vastly different from how it is now – it now has the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants – there are still areas to explore if you’re a fan of the book.
One place that’s more or less the same is the Port o’ Leith bar which was where Irvine Welsh was known to pen the novel. Many believe that the no-frills pub was the inspiration for the fictional Port Sunshine pub in the novel.
As well as Leith, a run along Princes Street in the city centre will feel like you’ve stepped into Renton’s shoes too.
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
Best known as the author for the children’s classic ‘Treasure Island’ and the adult horror story ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde’, Robert Lous Stevenson is another of Edinburgh’s stars.
Growing up in the New Town at 17 Heriot Row, fans can see the house where he grew up and explore the city is thought to have been inspiration for many of his stories. Admirers can also visit the wall plaque on Drumond Street dedicated to him, a student and son of the city.