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Scotland On Screen

Discover Scotland on the big screen.

From big-budget Hollywood blockbusters to small scale Independent movies, Scotland has always been a favourite location for filmmakers.  Here is just a small selection of the productions that have been filmed wholly or partly in Scotland:

Promotional image for 2001: A Space Odyssey showing exterior of spaceship

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

It has often been commented that the landscape of Scotland is almost other-worldly, and this is seen to exemplary effect in Kubrick’s masterpiece, where, using colour filters the Isle of Harris was transformed into the planet Jupiter.  

Promotional image for Avengers: Infinity War showing the cast

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo

The 19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe came to Scotland, with the filming taking place in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town, as the hide-out for the two heroes Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany). Cockburn Street was used as the location of the fast-food shop where saw the TV news of the New York attacks  

A thrilling fight scene took place in the medieval Royal Mile where the traditional street cobbles and towering 17th Century buildings added a very special backdrop. St Giles Cathedral was used extensively during some of the most exciting scenes.

Edinburgh’s bustling Waverley Station was converted into an epic fight area when the heroes were ambushed.

Promotional image for Being Human showing Robin Williams walking on a beach

Being Human (1994)

Director: Bill Forsyth

In this ambitious and time-spanning movie, Robin Williams plays 5 separate characters from different periods throughout human history.  Parts of the movie were filmed in Glen Coe, Rannoch Moor, Glen Nevis and Sutherland.

Promotional image for Brave showing close up of Merida the heroine, a young girl with wild red hair

Brave (2012)

Directors: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman 

The 13th full length animated movie from much-loved Pixar Studios is Pixar’s first fairytale, and the first of their films to have a female protagonist. The story of the feisty and strong-willed Princess Merida is set in the Scottish Highlands around the 12th Century and features voices by Kelly MacDonald, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane and Billy Connolly.  The film-makers created a unique Tartan design for the Dunbroch clan and it was registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans in 2012.

Promotional image for Braveheart showing Mel Gibson in battle dress with sword, with battle ongoing in background

Braveheart (1995)

Director: Mel Gibson

Gibson directed, produced and starred in the multi Oscar-winning historical epic, which is loosely (many would say very loosely) based on the life of 13th Century Scottish patriot William Wallace.  The movie was partly shot in and around Glen Nevis and Glen Coe, in the Scottish Highlands, but much of the scenery was also filmed in Ireland.

Promotional image for Casino Royale showing David Niven in centre flanked by Ursula Andress and other female cast members

Casino Royale (1967)

Directors: Ken Hughes, John Huston, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish, Val Guest and Richard Talmadge 

This spy spoof is an all star comic romp, with David Niven as one of 8 Bonds.  Burt Bacharach’s score for the film was nominated for the Grammy award for Best Original Score, and his song The Look of Love was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.  The filming for M’s Scottish Castle was actually done in County Meath, Ireland, while the car chase scene was filmed in Killin near Stirling, in Scotland.

Promotional image for Chariots of Fire showing Ian Charleson as Eric Liddell being held aloft by men with large Union Jack flag in background

Chariots of Fire (1981)

Director: Hugh Hudson

The emotional and inspiring story of two runners who, in their own ways, have to fight for the chance to represent Great Britain in the 1924 Paris Olympic Games.  The famous beach scenes were filmed on location in St Andrews, Scotland. The movie’s iconic theme tune was composed by Vangelis, and was used to promote the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Promotional image for Downton Abbey showing Maggie Smith and cast lineup

Downton Abbey (TV) 

In the last episode of Downton Abbey’s third season, magnificent Inveraray Castle features as Duneagle Castle, the ancestral home of Lady Rose’s parents Lord and Lady Flintshire.  The ancient Royal Burgh of Inveraray is a charming town on the shores of Loch Fyne, set amongst stunning West Highland scenery. 

Promotional image for Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw showing Jason Statham and Vin Diesel with other cast members

Fast and Furious 6 (2013)

Director: Justin Lin

Fast and Furious 9 (2019)

Director: Justin Lin

Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw (2019)

Director: David Leitch

After they shot some scenes of the 6th outing of the Fast and Furious series in Glasgow city centre, the filmmakers returned to Scotland and set up their cameras in Edinburgh for film number 9, and in Glasgow for the offshoot ‘Hobbs and Shaw’.  None of the stars of the series were involved in the first Glasgow shoot, but Vin Diesel filmed scenes in the streets of Edinburgh for part 9, and Idris Elba brought the streets of Glasgow to a standstill for the filming of Hobbs and Shaw.

Promotional image for From Russia with Love showing Sean Connery as James Bond in suit shooting a gun

From Russia with Love (1963)

Director: Terence Young

This is the second in the James Bond franchise, and stars Sean Connery as 007.  The dramatic helicopter and boat chase scenes at the movie’s climax were filmed in various locations in Argyll and Bute, on the west coast of Scotland, including Crinan and Lochgoilhead.

Promotional image for Game of Thrones showing Sean Bean seated on throne with sword

Game of Thrones (TV) 

Imposing Doune Castle, near Stirling, was used as Winterfell in the first season of the popular series based on the books of George RR Martin.  It’s one of many filming locations in Scotland that you can visit.

Promotional image for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix showing Harry pointing wand and Ron and Hermione in the background

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Director: Chris Columbus

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010)

Director: David Yates

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)

Director: David Yates

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Director: Mike Newell

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Director: David Yates

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) 

Director: David Yates

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)

Director: Chris Columbus

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) 

Director: Alfonso Cuaron

All 8 of the Harry Potter movies have featured scenes shot amongst beautiful Scottish landscapes. Undoubtedly the most famous and iconic location is the world-famous Jacobite Steam Train travelling over the magnificent Glenfinnan Viaduct. Many of our tours visit the locations used in the filming of the Harry Potter movies.

Promotional image for Mary, Queen of Scots showing Margot Robbie as Elizabeth and Saiorse Ronan as Mary, both with vibrant long red hair

Mary, Queen of Scots (2018)

Director: Josie Rourke

Saiorse Ronan stars as Mary and Margot Robbie plays her cousin Elizabeth in this interesting take on the relationship between the two queens. Amongst the Scottish locations used were Blackness Castle, Seacliff Beach in East Lothian and Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park.  

Promotional image for Monty Python's The Meaning of Life showing gravestone with the film's title written on it

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) 

Directors: Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983)

DirectorTerry Jones

The Campsie Fells north of Glasgow stood in for South Africa in The Meaning of Life, and The Holy Grail was filmed almost entirely in Scotland.  The interior and exterior of Doune Castle, near Stirling,  was used extensively throughout the film, and Castle Stalker in Appin, Argyllshire stood in for ‘The Castle of Aaargh’ which in the film was the final resting place of the Holy Grail.

Promotional image for Mrs Brown showing Billy Connolly as John Brown kissing the hand of Judi Dench as Queen Victoria

Mrs Brown (1997)

Director: John Madden

Judi Dench stars as the grieving Queen Victoria, and Billy Connolly is her late husband’s trusted servant, who is charged with coaxing the widowed monarch into resuming public duties after the death of her beloved Albert. The film explores the unlikely and controversial friendship between the servant and the queen. Filming locations include Duns Castle in the Scottish Borders, Taymouth Castle in Perth and Kinross, and Ardverikie Estate in the Highlands. Incidentally, the 2017 film Victoria and Abdul once again told the story of another of Queen Victoria’s friendships, and also included scenes shot in the beautiful Ardverikie Estate, in the Cairngorms National Park.  

Promotional image for Outlander showing Sam Heughan as Jamie embracing Caitriona Balfe as Claire

Outlander (TV)

The hugely popular TV series has used various locations throughout Scotland. Most notable are Doune Castle (Castle Leoch), Blackness Castle (Fort William), Linlithgow Palace (Wentworth Prison) and Midhope Castle (Lallybroch). The fictional standing stones at Craig Na Dun were based on the stones at Clava Cairns near Inverness. You can visit filming locations on one of our Outlander tours.

Promotional image for Skyfall showing Daniel Craig as James Bond lying on his side in a suit shooting a gun, with 007 in large lettering in background

Skyfall (2012)

Director: Sam Mendes

Judi Dench makes her final appearance as ‘M’, and Javier Bardem plays Silva, one of the most memorable of all the Bond villains.  The spectacular scenery of Glen Coe and nearby Glen Etive is showcased when Bond returns to Skyfall, his Scottish family home, near the end of the film.

Promo for Hitchcock's The 39 Steps showing black and white montage of cuffed hands, steps and cast, with film's title in red letters

The 39 Steps (1978)

Director: Don Sharp

The 39 Steps (1959)

Director: Ralph Thomas

The 39 Steps (1935)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

All three film versions of The 39 Steps feature scenes shot in Scotland, but the most memorable must be Hitchcock’s 1935 version where Robert Donat as Richard Hannay is seen escaping from his pursuers on to the mighty Forth Rail Bridge.  The 1959 version starring Kenneth More has scenes filmed in South Queensferry, also showing the Forth Rail Bridge.

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