/ The Edinburgh Guide
Edinburgh — By Andy Hayes on January 15, 2010 at 12:58 pm
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Places in Edinburgh J.K. Rowling Never Wrote but You Should

Are you a budding writer looking to seize some inspiration from Edinburgh? After all, it is the place that many writers claim home, such as Alexander McCall Smith or J. K. Rowling.  Now, there are plenty of places you can go where J. K. supposedly wrote Harry Pottery, but since we weren’t there who know for sure.  But if you are looking for some literary inspiration (and want to stay indoors), I have a few select suggestions for you.  These are all definitely places where J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter author) never wrote, but you should.

black medicine coffee company

This is a photo from Black Medicine Coffee Company.  It’s not a great place to sit and write because the chairs are uncomfortable.  Plus, J.K. Rowling did write here, so yeah – it didn’t make the list.

The Cumberland Bar

You might be wondering why we start with a pub!?  But the Cumberland Bar is a classic Edinburgh drinking establishment, and many famous writers in history had major drinking problems.  Consider Truman Capote, who had several martinis for lunch just to get things going. Ernest Hemingway had several bottles of wine a day.  So what’s stopping you?  Might just be that creative inspiration you wanted.  Though you might want to take it down just a wee notch.

Artisan Roast

Artisan Roast has a sign that says J. K. Rowling did not write here, so we can relax knowing this is a safe bet for the list. I challenge anyone to get a cup of their amazing brew and NOT feel encouraged to write volumes and volumes of stuff.  There are cafetieres made into lamps, a charming garden window view, zone-out music, and the staff here are just great.  In fact, if you need some help with ideas for that next novel, I bet they’d help.

The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant

As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant is the perfect place to linger over a cup of tea or get some work done.  Even one of our readers commented how it is perfect – though our suspicions are the cupcakes and sweet treats help productivity.  This is the place to go for a very nice alternative view of the city out their panoramic windows.  And the thing is, it is part of the art gallery, which is the perfect place to help enthuse your muse to come out and start talking.

Costa Coffee – Princes Street

I can see you rolling your eyes – a chain cafe?  I know, but hear me out.  Some people like to go and work in bustling, busy places.  Some people find inspiration by people watching, or just gazing out at the skyline.  Costa Coffee has a killer view of the castle, you get a bird’s eye view of all the pedestrian traffic on Princes Street (it is upstairs one floor), they do serve decent coffee, and you can’t argue that the seats aren’t comfortable.  What’s not to like?  Ok – their sandwiches aren’t great.  But otherwise, go.  Write.  Enjoy.

Starbucks – Forrest Road

Yeah, yeah, ok another chain.  Give me a break.  But I wanted to include this Starbucks because it is a venue where you can sit in the back and totally escape the rest of the real world – there’s no windows in the back and its usually very relaxed and a unusually casual vibe.  Sometimes that is what you need to get your writing done: no distractions, no where to daydream, just the keyboard or a pen.  It is conveniently across the street from the meadows, so its easy to go for a walk and clear your head before, during, or after a long writing spell.

And A Note about Wifi

As frustrating as it is to say, you can’t rely on free Wifi here in Edinburgh.  No offence to any establishment in particular, but many a time I have went into a cafe or restaurant who claimed to have Wifi but it didn’t work. Since my phone worked fine outside on a nearby University wifi connection, I know it wasn’t me.  Happens all the time.  So I have to tell you: plan on working without any Internet.  In many cases, this is a good thing.  In other cases, it’s a real problem.

Photo by Tom_T

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