Elephant House – The Birthplace of Harry Potter

Published: 09/15/15 11:55 PM in Europe, Merevin Wedding, Travel.

During Kevin and I’s short time spent in Edinburgh, Scotland, there was one place we absolutely had to visit. A little, unassuming coffee shop sitting on George IV Bridge in the heart of the city. The reason for the visit wasn’t just to grab a cup of coffee before spending the rest of the day exploring Edinburgh castle, it was to sit in the very place that J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter novels.

Visiting a coffee shop to take in the birthplace of Harry Potter may be a bit anti-climatic to any non-Potterhead. But to the individuals that had part of their lives defined by the series, this quick stop is a peaceful moment to reflect on the humble beginnings of a modern-day classic.

The line to get in and order food was a bit long and the place was relatively packed. However once you are seated in the back room, it instantly becomes worth the wait. It was amazing to imagine how uncrowded the place would be while J.K. Rowling worked on the story that would change her life and lives of so many others. You really get a sense of why the place was a favorite with its quirky elephant paraphernalia and peaceful view of Castle Rock.

The front of the Elephant House in Edinburgh, Scotland known as the birthplace of Harry Potter.

The Elephant House in Edinburgh has gained international fame as the birthplace of Harry Potter.

J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter novels while sitting inside the Elephant House in Edinburgh.

The interior of the Elephant House where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter novels.

The Messages to Jo from Around the World

The most beautiful part of The Elephant House is the bathroom. And it is not for any special design reason or for any advanced toilet technology. The bathroom walls, ceiling, and even parts of the toilet itself are covered in messages left by the hundreds of Harry Potter fans that have flocked to the cafe. Some of the messages are meaningful quotes and passages from the books, but most are messages from fans thanking J.K. Rowling for her creation and the impact it has had on their lives.

It was amazing to see the messages left by fans from around the world. It is a tangible insight into the community the Harry Potter series has created in a physical form. The evidence of the global connection a series has made throughout the world. It was a beautiful bathroom indeed!

The inside of the ladies bathroom at The Elephant House where fans have left messages for J.K. Rowling.

Meredith Lambert Banogon surrounded by the messages left by Harry Potter fans inside the Elephant House bathroom.

The unassuming front of the Elephant House in Edinburgh, the birthplace of Harry Potter.

Enjoy a Short Video of Our Honeymoon in Scotland

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East Coast Train to London
Edinburgh Castle with Merevin

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