9 Witchy Places to Visit in Edinburgh, Scotland

For the past week, I have been traveling in Scotland. I had been once before and I really love it here, despite the cold and the wet! As I am mostly staying in Edinburgh, I thought I would share a few witchy places to visit, in case you are ever in the area as well.

9 Witchy Places to Visit in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Witches Well

This is one of the highlights of the city for witches, for sure. The Witches Well is a small memorial fountain by Edinburgh Castle in honor of the 300+ women who were executed here for witchcraft, mostly under the reign of King James VI. It’s interesting that the plaque here talks about the executed women as if they really possessed or practiced some kind of magic/magick, rather than all simply being victims of the era.

9 Witchy Places to Visit in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Witchery by the Castle

Directly across from The Witches Well is this lovely, mysterious restaurant. Though very expensive, the food and wine list are incredible. I felt very glamorous indeed, dining here! The ceiling is painted with tarot symbols and the restaurant is lit pretty much only by candlelight. I’ve heard that the Hellfire Club used to meet here in the 18th century but haven’t been able to find anything to back that up.

9 Witchy Places to Visit in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Wyrd Shop

The oldest pagan shop in the city, this little store is filled with pagan jewelry, tarot decks, crystals and adorable fairy figurines. A little bit of a walk down the Royal Mile, this one is definitely worth a visit.

Otherworld Books

Though rather small, this pagan bookshop in the Haymarket area is well-stocked and has delightful staff!

9 Witchy Places to Visit in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Water of Leith

The small river that runs through Edinburgh is probably the wildest part of the city, especially for an area so close to major streets and shopping districts. The walkway along the river is lovely and peaceful, lined with mossy stone walls and overgrown gardens.

9 Witchy Places to Visit in Edinburgh, Scotland

St. Bernard’s Well

Specifically, St. Bernard’s Well is located along The Water of Leith, and is a beautiful pagan temple in the center of Georgian Edinburgh. Though named for a Catholic saint that supposedly lived in a cave nearby, the structure over this natural mineral spring is a straightforward Classical temple to the Greek goddess, Hygieia, and was inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Rome.

9 Witchy Places to Visit in Edinburgh, Scotland

Palace of Holyroodhouse

This is the palace still used by Queen Elizabeth II when she visits Scotland. The ghost of Agnes Sampson, a woman accused of witchcraft by the real Geillis Duncan (interesting, if you’re an Outlander fan), and executed for it, is said to haunt the palace.

9 Witchy Places to Visit in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Archivists’ Garden

This small garden off Princes Street is a mini botanical garden, documenting plants important to the history of Scotland. Plaques in the garden even discuss plants associated with witches and those used to make besoms!

9 Witchy Places to Visit in Edinburgh, Scotland

Cemeteries

Witches do love cemeteries, don’t we? I recommend Dean Cemetery for some beautiful, ornate graves, including some with incredible animal figurines such as lions, rams and egrets, and Greyfriar’s Kirkyard for the odd and intriguing inclusion of herb gardens amongst the headstones.

 

7 thoughts on “9 Witchy Places to Visit in Edinburgh, Scotland

  1. Love the unusual pictures of architect, the lion and the basin with greenery. I didn’t realize Scotland had a witch history, I read England did but did not know this about Scotland so I learned something new today. I have been to Salem, Mass a few times and those poor women accused of witchcraft mainly because a rich person can take their property away by accusing them. They thought the mold on the bread was a possible cause for the hallucinations of the young girls who did the finger pointing. But you trip looks lovely, its on my bucket list or big lottery win list! They Wyrd shop sounds like something up my alley. Well enjoy your trip as I am enjoying your posts. Safe travels!

    1. Oh yes, Scotland has a very rich history of witchcraft, as do most countries if you go back far enough in their history. King James VI of Scotland was responsible for the executions of hundreds of women accused as witches and quite literally wrote the book on witch hunts. Salem is a fascinating one as well; I visited there a few years ago!

  2. I’m planning on visiting Scotland next year. When is the best time to visit? I’m not interested in tour buses full of people, walking and bicycling are my modes of travel.
    Any ideas?

    1. I was in Glasgow in late June a few years ago and the weather was beautiful. January was lovely for the snow, if you like that sort of thing, but it was quite cold and a number of shops and restaurants were closed for a few weeks after the holidays. I would say spring or summer is best.

    2. Visited in early October of 2017, the weather was fine for walking and bicycling, I recommend you check the weather and dress in layers. Fall was beautiful as well as the environment and people.

  3. I visited the Ring of Brodgar in the Orkney Islands on the Summer Solstice, now there is a totally magickal site. Larger than Stonehenge and lots older, it is a winter solstice site, with the Sun penetrating Maes Howe, a burial mound, at the Solstice. A temple complex nearby was discovered a few years ago and is being excavated.
    Scotland has a long history of witchcraft, one of my ancestors was murdered by a mob in Pittenweem for being a witch. She was pressed under a door and squashed by a carriage being driven over it.

    1. Wow, there are so many incredible sites in Scotland!! Thank you for sharing. I am hoping to go back in a couple years and visit the Highlands and a few of the islands.

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