Scotland has not only produced its fair share of top Hollywood names, but the country itself with its jaw-dropping scenery provides a perfect backdrop for the camera with its rugged landscape and ethereal geological features. Film buff or not, follow the country’s film and tv trails and in the footsteps of your favourite characters.
JAMES BOND: Stunning locations are a key ingredient in James Bond films and Skyfall (2012) is the fourth film to feature Scotland’s landscapes.
Much of the action was filmed in Glen Coe as well as in nearby Glen Etive. In a driving sequence filmed in the Highlands on the A82 near the striking peaks of Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag, the secret agent’s iconic Aston Martin DB5 manages to get upstaged by the stunning and atmospheric scenery.
Eilean Donan Castle has an unforgettable cameo in The World is Not Enough when it serves as the Scottish headquarters of MI6.
The adventure begins in the streets of Inverness. A short distance from here, the mysterious standing stones of Craigh na Dun which swept Claire back in time are said to have been inspired by the Clava Cairns.
Culloden is where Claire and Jamie said their goodbyes. Visit this atmospheric site where many clans, including the Frasers and MacKenzies, fought in the 1745 Jacobite Rising alongside Bonnie Prince Charlie. You can learn more about the Battle at the award-winning Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre with the exciting interactive exhibition, film and battlefield tour.
Enjoy a day trip to Loch Ness and keep an eye out for the legendary Loch Ness Monster, referred to as the water horse in the novel, as you cruise on the calm waters. The nearby village of Beauly is associated with Clan Fraser of Lovat from whom Jamie descends. You can also visit the tranquil ruins of Beauly Priory where Claire meets Maisri the seer.
BRAVE: Disney Pixar’s animators certainly delved into the amazing lanscapes of the Highlands when they were creating their Oscar-winning animated adventure Brave.
Some of Scotland’s landmarks proved so mesmerising for Pixar’s Brave team, they altered ideas they originally had for the film to incorporate what they’d seen on their memorable trip. Merida’s DunBroch family castle was based on Dunnottar Castle, a stunning structure set on jutting cliff-side rocks just south of Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire.
Merida spends much of her time in Brave travelling through landscapes on her horse Angus. Much of these climes were inspired by the filmmakers’ trip to Glen Affric.
LOCAL HERO: The village of Pennan on the north coast of Aberdeenshire between Fraserburgh and Macduff, leapt into the limelight when the British film Local Hero was filmed here in 1982. It is a tiny fishing hamlet just off the coast road, down a steep and hazardous hill. Consisting of little more than a single row of whitewashed stone cottages tucked between a cliff and the sea, the iconic red telephone box which featured prominently in the film is a must-see for film fans.
HARRY POTTER: The filming of the second and third Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban took place in and around Glenfinnan, with the Hogwarts Express crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct before stopping at Glenfinnan. Many thousands of visitors from around the world come to experience the scenery and atmosphere. The Jacobite steam train runs from here to Fort William and Mallaig in summer months with regular trains available the rest of the year.