Edinburgh’s literary history is a rich and varied one.

The Writers’ Museum in 17th century Lady Stair’s House celebrates the work of renowned Scots Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. Paving stones approaching the museum commemorate 17 Scottish writers. While Sir Walter Scott’s 27 books give insight into some of Edinburgh and the Scottish Border’s earlier days, it’s today’s voices that the world is hearing.

Adopted Edinburger JK Rowling was without doubt influenced by Edinburgh’s dark, gothic alleys and crooked medieval constructions in her Harry Potter books. Irvine Welsh feeds on the seedier, tougher edges of the city in titles such as ‘Filth’ and ‘Trainspotting’. Welsh states that he sets his writing in the Edinburgh the tourists don’t see – not in the “shortbread Disneyland” of Princes Street and its environs. Ian Rankin is known for his Rebus stories, his ‘Hanging Garden’ is particularly evocative of Edinburgh’s murkier moments. Medical Law Professor, Alexander McCall Smith titles, such as ‘The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency’ and ’44 Scotland Street’ feature in bookshelves the world over. The ‘ Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown visits Edinburgh’s Rosslyn Chapel ( www.rosslynchapel.org.uk ). A popular favorite in Scotland is Christopher Brookmyre, responsible for such cult favorites as ‘Quiet Ugly One Morning’ and ‘A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away.’

Teens may enjoy Nicola Morgan’s acclaimed 2003 thriller/ love story, ‘Fleshmarket’, winner of several prestigious writing awards. ‘ The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’ by Muriel Spark will also conjure some oh-so Edinburgh settings for future visitors.

Check out a free magazine called "i-on Edinburgh". You can pick it up in the hotel or shops. Has loads of stuff in it about the city, where to eat, events that are on. Feels like a real insiders guide to the city.

There are a plethora of excellent guidebooks available for travellers to Edinburgh, including:

  • Lonely Planet Edinburgh:  City Guide, 2004
  • Lonely Planet Edinburgh: Encounter, 2008
  • Rough Guide to Edinburgh, 2002
  • Schmap Edinburgh Guide (digital; free download)
  • This is Edinburgh, 2006
  • Curious Edinburgh, 2005
  • The Edinburgh Visitor's Guide, 2004
  • Edinburgh, Goldfinch Verlag, 2009