Greyfriars Kirkyard

Old Town

Greyfriars Kirkyard is one of Edinburgh's most evocative cemeteries, a peaceful green oasis dotted with elaborate monuments. Many famous Edinburgh names are buried here, including poet Allan Ramsay (1686–1758); architect William Adam (1689–1748); and William Smellie (1740–95), editor of the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. If you want to experience the graveyard at its scariest – inside a burial vault, in the dark, at night – go on a City of the Dead guided tour.

A more recent addition to the graveyard's reputation is the idea that it is the resting place of JK Rowling's famous villain Voldemort. Rowling is said to have been inspired to create the dark lord by the grave of 19th-century gentleman Thomas Riddell, who died in 1806 aged 72.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Old Town attractions

1. Greyfriars Kirk

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One of Edinburgh's most famous churches, Greyfriars Kirk was built on the site of a Franciscan friary and opened for worship on Christmas Day 1620…

2. Greyfriars Bobby Statue

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Probably the most popular photo opportunity in Edinburgh, the life-size statue of Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye terrier who captured the hearts of the British…

3. George Heriot’s School


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4. Grassmarket

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5. Highland Tolbooth Kirk

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6. Scotch Whisky Experience

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7. Camera Obscura & World of Illusions

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8. Flodden Wall

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