Rowling has debunked this persistent myth. She claims to have never visited the graveyard before writing the Potter books, hasn't visited it since and only learned of the rumour that they were somehow connected via her children going on a 'Harry Potter walking tour of Edinburgh' with a friend.
JK Rowling has denied that locations in Edinburgh inspired places and
characters in her Harry Potter books. Fans of the novels flock to the
city's Victoria Street as it is thought to have been the inspiration
for the wizarding world's Diagon Alley.
However, the author has insisted she had never visited the street at
the time she created the cobblestoned street where Harry and his
Hogwarts friends stock up on their supplies. Victoria Street is
featured on many Harry Potter walking tours of Edinburgh as well as
Greyfriars Kirkyard where Rowling was said to have used names on
gravestones for characters in the books.
However, the writer said that story is also bogus and she only
discovered it after one of her children went on one of the walking
tours with a friend. Although real-life locations such as London's
King's Cross feature in the books, Rowling said the only "wizarding
world" place which has a real-life inspiration is Harry's home at 4
JK Rowling says Edinburgh locations didn't inspire places or characters in Harry Potter books
Q. Any truth to the story that a lot of the character names come from a particular graveyard? I’m certain the guide on our walking tour of Edinburgh made that claim.
JKR. Afraid not, but I know the graveyard you’re talking about because unbeknownst to me, one of my children was at a loose end one afternoon and went on one of those Potter walking tours with their best mate for a laugh. They came home with a ton of information that was news to me 😂