Reading Around the World: Edinburgh

Reading Around the World is a feature that combines my love of travelling with my love of reading. Each month I plan to spotlight either a city I have visited, or a city I plan to visit in the near future, and recommend some of my favourite books set there. After all even if you can’t visit these cities yourself the next best thing has to be reading about them and living the experience through the eyes of the characters.

Edinburgh (1)

Edinburgh was a city I visited on a whim, and when I say that I really mean it. My friend and I only ended up in Scotland because we were looking for cheap weekend getaways over Easter and Edinburgh was the cheapest. Edinburgh is a beautiful city; the winding cobblestone streets that connected to the Royal Mile reminded me of Prague, the history of Edinburgh Castle reminded me of the history of London’s Tower Hill, and the views from the top of Arthur’s Seat couldn’t be beaten. We also went on a day trip into the Highlands which was an incredible experience, even though the weather wasn’t great the sights we saw were breathtaking.

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I can’t talk about Scotland and not mention the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Hogwarts is supposedly located in the Scottish Highlands and while, unfortunately, I didn’t catch a glimpse of it during my day trip (I wouldn’t have come home if I had) one of the tours you can do of the Highlands offers you a chance to ride on the Hogwarts Express. That’s something I am definitely noting down for future reference.

Harry Potter

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor is another book (I’ve only read the first so I can’t say if the rest of the series is the same) set in the Scottish Highlands. It’s a time travel story, but if that’s not your thing it’s worth picking up simply for how the Highlands are described by Hope as she explores them before travelling back to the twelfth century.

Into the Dim Series

The third book in one of my all-time favourite series The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon also travels to Edinburgh. Granted it’s a dystopian version of the city, set in the near future after the past branched off in a different direction to what we’ve read in history books, but the wider history of the city is the same and Edinburgh Castle is still standing in The Song Rising.

The Song Rising


Have you ever been to Edinburgh before; what was your favourite part of the city to see and explore? Also what are some of the amazing books you’ve read set in Edinburgh, or Scotland, that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments.

73 thoughts on “Reading Around the World: Edinburgh

  1. Edinburgh is such a great city! Your pictures did justice to how beautiful the place is. Do check out my Edinburgh blog and show some love ❤😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I realise I am commenting on this post quite sometime after it was posted but I love this idea of travel and books❤️
    I live in Edinburgh and I wouldn’t change it for the world, there are so so many books based here with classics like The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark to more recent books like Filth and before mentioned Trainspotting both by Irvine Welsh. There are also a lot of writers who are well known here like Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson! Its just a magical place for the avid reader 😍 There is a yearly Book festival also with a huge following in August which is one of my biggest joys and definitely worth a visit if you are ever up here again at that time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s all right, I don’t think there’sever a time that it’s too late to comment on a post. 🙂
      Oh that must be amazing. When I went I fell in love with the city and from what I saw it really is an incredible place, for anyone as well as avid readers. 😀
      Thanks for the tip, next time I manage to make it up to Edinburgh I’ll see if I can coincide my trip with that festival. Obviously I love books so it would be a perfect opportunity. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a brilliant post!! I am off to Edinburgh next month and will certainly be thinking about Harry Potter as I walk down its cobbled streets. You’ve got me very excited to visit!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. (Hi, yes, I know I’m a month late. 😂)

    Oh, I love these pictures, Beth! Edinburgh is a place I’d love to visit one day, it’s so beautiful. 😍 And ah I had no idea Hogwarts was in Scotland? I thought it was in England omg. 😂 But I definitely want to visit now because of the Hogwarts Express, that would be so magical to ride. Great post, Beth! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi May, and thanks so much! 😀 In that case I hope you make it to Edinburgh one day. Yeah Hogwarts is definitely Scotland, and either way that’s where the Hogwarts Express is for sure and that’s my next Scottish travel destination! 🙂
      Thanks again. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oooh, that is good to know. I will definitely give it a try. Is it the first in the series?

        Also, random question, but is it clean? My mom also loves the same genre, but definitely needs good, clean reading. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Omg, between this post and all of Victoria Schwab’s social posts about moving to Edinburgh, I want to go so, so badly!!

    I’ve been enjoying this series so much. I can’t wait to see what city is next!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely definitely go, it’s such a beautiful city and there’s so much to see there as well. I’m going to be going back to Scotland one day, I want to do a proper tour of the highlands and ride the Harry Potter train too. 🙂
      Thanks so much Dani. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love that we live in a world where we can ride the Hogwarts Express 🙂 That will definitely be on my list when I make it to Scotland!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Edinburgh 😍😍😍 I want to go to Scotland sooo badly, but somehow it hasn’t worked out in the past years 😢 However, someday I’ll definitely make that trip 🙂

    I had no idea that Into the Dim was set in Scotand, so now I’m intrigued, especially as there is time travel involved! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In that case I really hope you manage to make the trip soon! It really was a whim holiday for me and my friend, we wanted to go somewhere on short notice and Edinburgh was the cheapest and easiest! 😀
      Yeah, it’s set in the Highlands which made it even better for me! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely photos! Harry Potter without England and England without Harry Potter is not an option, definitely agreed! All these books look and sound amazing, my TBR is so screwed… Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. 🙂 Yeah every opportunity I have to include Harry Potter is one that needs to be taken, and given Scotland has the Hogwarts Express train I couldn’t miss that opportunity.
      Ha, well hopefully you’ll love them when you get around to them either ways, and thanks! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, I’ve heard of A Quiet Kind of Thunder, but haven’t picked it up. I’ll definitely have to check it out now so thanks for letting me know! 😀
      I hope you manage to visit Edinburgh one day as well (and maybe take a ride on the Hogwarts Express train because that’s a must for any Harry Potter fan right?) 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I actually used to live in Edinburgh, so I know it pretty well 😉 And yes to there being lots of Harry Potter references around the city- Rowling drew so much inspiration from the city 😀 I hadn’t heard of Into the Dim before- but that sounds cool. Honestly, I love older Scottish literature and I particularly like a book called Confessions of a Justified Sinner- it’s a gothic book and is ridiculously entertaining.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh that must have been amazing! 🙂 I mean, I can’t imagine living anywhere other than the place I do right now but part of me would love to live in any of the other cities I’ve visited so far! 😀
      I’d love to see more of the places that inspired Rowling, and ride the Hogwarts train but I guess that’s something to remember for my next trip to Scotland, and oh that sounds like an interesting read. I do love books that are ridiculously entertaining! 😀 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful pics! I live an hour away from Edinburgh and sadly I don’t visit as often as I’d like. The last book I read that was set in Scotland was “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.” It’s set in Glasgow, but still close 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, and yeah I get what you mean because there are places close to me I don’t visit nearly as much as I should. I guess it’s different when these are places on your doorstep right?
      Still close, and it’s Scotland still so that counts as well! 😀

      Like

  10. Your pictures are so stunning, Beth, I love these ❤ Scotland has been on my bucket list for a little while now and Edinburgh seems like such a lovely city and wow, I am keeping that Hogwarts Express tour in my mind for future reference, that's for sure haha, it sounds amazing! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Marie. 🙂 ❤ Oh Scotland is a beautiful country, and for a whim trip me and my friend made one weekend it was a brilliant holiday as well. I definitely want to go back one day to explore more of the highlands. The Hogwarts Express tour is at the top of my list as well. 😀 A must for any book fan yeah? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m lucky enough to live in Edinburgh, it’s a beautiful and amazing place! If you like crime/thriller books, Ian Rankin is a writer from Edinburgh who has set his books in the city!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow that is lucky, I loved what I saw of the city in the short time I was there, but I imagine you get to see so much more of it actually living there.
      I’ll definitely keep him in mind then. I’m not a massive reader of crime/thriller books but I do pick up the odd one here and there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this post because Edinburgh is my favorite city IN THE WORLD!! And I haven’t read any books set there (yet) (excluding Harry Potter) so I’m excited to check these out! I also can’t wait for Victoria Schwab’s middle grade book set in Edinburgh that comes out this fall!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, and oh I get what you mean because Edinburgh is definitely up there among the places I’ve been so far. 🙂
      Harry Potter is the one I think everyone will have read (or had likely read) and yes anything V.E. Schwab writes goes to the top of my to-read list but I’m really excited for her middle grade book! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I love Edinburgh, and Scotland, so much! A lot of my family live in Scotland so I get to visit every year, and it is so beautiful. I can only think of the Outlander series that takes place in Scotland, I really wish there were more books set there!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Edinburgh was a great city, and one day I’d love to go back and explore more of Scotland in general. 🙂 It must be great going to see family up there when you have a chance.
      Yes I’ve heard great things about the Outlander series, and actually now you mention it I’m not sure why I didn’t include it in this post. Either way yeah more books need to be set in Scotland. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I hope you have a brilliant time then. Granted I’m not a massive festival person but Edinburgh will be amazing so I hope you have some time to explore the city as well.
      Thanks so much, and ohh I didn’t know that about Trainspotting. Not a book I’ve read but I’ve heard good things about it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I plan to do the Edinburgh tourist bits as well as the festival like the castle and walking up Arthurs Seat. So it should be good. Yes its an interesting read as it’s written in the Scottish dialect so difficult to read at times but still a great novel! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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