A View of One’s Own

The Elephant House Harry PotterStrolling along George IV Bridge Street in Old Town Edinburgh – a short distance from The Royal Mile – you’ll come across what appears to be “just another” coffee shop…that is, until you read the sign that says “Birthplace of Harry Potter.”

Step inside “The Elephant House” and you’ll quickly discover why J.K. Rowling found a “home away from home” in this warm, cozy little cafe while writing the first Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.*

With a view of the iconic Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the “Stone of Destiny,” towering above the city’s cobbled streets (see below), it’s little wonder she was inspired to write of a “magical world” of witchcraft and wizardry that would come to captivate the imaginations of children worldwide.

Alongside a first edition and signed copy of the book is a note from J.K. Rowling herself (see below), in a case on display, that reads: “To the beautiful little coffee shop where the magic all began.”

Edinburgh Castle

In the hope of sharing a bit of that magic, ATG puts forth some of our favorite Harry Potter quotes taken from the seven books.

As the Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) once wrote: “I pick my favorite quotations and store them in my mind as ready armor, offensive or defensive, amid the struggle of this turbulent existence.”

  • The Elephant House Edinburgh“Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels.  But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”  –Dumbledore, Order of the Phoenix
  • “It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”Dumbledore, Chamber of Secrets
  • “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” –Dumbledore, Sorcerer’s Stone
  • “We must try not to sink beneath our anguish Harry, but battle on.”  –Dumbledore, Half-Blood Prince
  • “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”  – Sirius Black, Goblet of Fire
  • “People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.”  –Dumbledore, Half-Blood Prince
  • “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  –Dumbledore, Deathly Hallows
  • “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”  –Dumbledore, Prisoner of Azkaban 
  • Harry Potter Books“Ah, music.  A magic beyond all we do here!”  –Dumbledore, Sorcerer’s Stone
  • “You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself plainly when you have need of him.”  –Dumbledore, Prisoner of Azkaban
  • “I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind…. At these times… I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one’s leisure.”  Dumbledore, Goblet of Fire

*Harry Potter and the”Philosopher’s” Stone was changed to “Sorcerer’s” Stone for publication in America.

The Elephant House JK Rowling
Inside The Elephant House
Enjoy a few more photos from around Edinburgh:
View of Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat
Atop Arthur’s Seat


View of Castle Rock in Edinburgh
Castle Rock


Edinburgh Castle at night
Edinburgh Castle at night


Edinburgh's Christmas Market
Edinburgh’s Christmas Market


View of Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street
View of Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street


Holyrood Palace Edinburgh
Behind Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s Residence


View of Princes Street from Edinburgh Castle
View of Princes Street from inside the Edinburgh Castle
Continue delving into all things Edinburgh with this photo and the post, “Happy National Tartan Day!

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