Lonely Planet Writer

Edinburgh now has a pub named after J.K. Rowling – but you’ll have to get there fast

An Edinburgh pub named after one of the city’s most famous sons – Sherlock Holmes-author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – is now calling itself the J.K. Rowling in honour of the writer of the Harry Potter series.

A pub dedicated to J.K. Rowling has popped up in Edinburgh. Image by Ian Georgeson.

The Conan Doyle is a well-known watering hole in Edinburgh and a celebration of one of its most recognised former citizens. But, J.K. Rowling also has many connections to the Scottish city, living there and writing the tale of the famous wizard in local cafes, inspired by scenes around the city. Now, the pub will reflect her role in Edinburgh’s literary history – at least temporarily.

A pub dedicated to J.K. Rowling has popped up in Edinburgh. Image by Ian Georgeson.

The magic transformation is actually part of a literary event called Message from the Skies, which is part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, celebrating the city that inspired many writers. The new redesign of the pub – which features a new sign showing Rowling eating at a table – will only last until 25 January, so any Potter-fans will have to go quick to pay homage to the series’ creator.

A pub dedicated to J.K. Rowling has popped up in Edinburgh. Image by Ian Georgeson.

The Message from the Skies event also features a nightly experience that brings people on a literary journey around Edinburgh. Scottish writer Val McDermid has written a short story that is told each night through chapters projected onto buildings and landmarks. The projects run daily from 5pm until 10pm until 25 January, which is Burns Night. Learn more about the event here.