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There must be something in the water in Edinburgh. For centuries the city has inspired hundreds of movies, books and TV series and many famous creatives call the city home. Just off The Royal Mile, be sure to visit The Writers Museum in Lady Stairs Close, home to a great collection of memorabilia related to the city’s famous writers. Before you visit, crack open a bottle of red, curl up in a tartan blanket and get into the zone…


The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stephenson (1886)

An absolute classic in which Edinburgh features as the setting for Dr Jekyll’s struggle between his good and dark personalities. 

The Inspector Rebus Books by Ian Rankin (1987-)

Ian Rankin has made a career out of the maverick policeman DI Rebus who investigates murder, crime and corruption in Edinburgh and in 2017 expect some celebratory publishings.

Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling (1997-2007)

Credited with opening the city to a new cult following, it doesn’t take a genius to recognize Edinburgh’s influence in the classic world of Hogwarts and the boy wizard.

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith (2005)

A modern tale of the quirky characters that live in a house in the Bohemian New Town suburb of the City.

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell (2006)

Esme Lennox is locked away in a mental institution by her family and forgotten.  Sixty years later family secrets and betrayal are exposed when she is released into the care of her grand niece.

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson (2006)

A page-turner about a curmudgeonly private investigator that witnesses a violent crime during the Edinburgh Festival.


The Prime of Ms Jane Brodie (1969) 

Inspired by writer Muriel Sparks’ own time at local Gillespie’s School, the tale of a select group of female students in the 1930s under the tutelage of an Edinburgh teacher.

Shallow Grave (1984)

Danny Boyle’s big screen debut about a suitcase stashed with cash and a dead flatmate made home hunters across the city think twice.

Trainspotting (1994)

No film has done more to put the city on the map in modern times than this gritty tale about Edinburgh’s drug scene.  Who can forget the opening scene of Ewan McGregor and Ewan Bremner sprinting along Princes Street?

Burke & Hare (2010)

This modern adaption of Britain’s eponymous body snatchers uses Edinburgh’s grim architecture to successfully recreate the spooky 19th century graveyards including a scene set in – but not the actual – Greyfriars Kirkyard.

One Day (2011)

A soppy romantic comedy starring Anne Hathaway in which the paths of two Edinburgh University graduates criss cross over the decades.

Sunshine on Leith (2013)

A feel good musical movie featuring songs from Scottish crooners The Proclaimers and the city’s portside suburb of Leith.