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Scotland on Screen: Famous filming locations

Filming locations Scotland
Filming locations Scotland

WITH the news of a new film and TV studio being green-lit on the outskirts of the Edinburgh, and the Avengers taking over the streets of Scotland’s capital, we’re taking a look at the starring role Scotland has played in hit films and TV across the years. 

The Avengers

(Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
(Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

Spotted causing havoc around Edinburgh’s Old Town and said to be taking over a warehouse in Leith, The Avengers: Infinity War is the latest blockbuster to choose Scotland as its backdrop. It’s rumoured that rather than making up Edinburgh to look like another city, Scotland will become part of the plot.

The Replacement - Morven Christie and Vicky McClure (Left Bank, Mark Mainz)
Morven Christie and Vicky McClure (Left Bank, Mark Mainz)

The Replacement

BBC One’s hugely successful suspenseful drama showed off how lovely Glasgow can look – from mews houses in the west end to a sleek architects office in merchant city, it made a refreshing change to Glasgow represented so well on our small screens.

(Netflix)
(Netflix)

Lovesick

This programme previously had a slighter ruder name, which was said to put people off. Now called Lovesick, the show is well worth a binge-watch on Netflix and much of the action takes place in Glasgow and stretches up to the Highlands. The comedy displays the hipster shabby chic-ness of Glasgow’s West End particularly well.

(Nick Briggs/Sony)
(Nick Briggs/Sony)

Outlander

Much of the filming for the hit show takes place at studios in Cumbernauld. The time travelling romance has proved so popular you can now book Outlander-themed tours of Scotland and take in all the places Jamie and Claire tread.

Harry-Potter-Train_National-Train-Museum_train7.jpg

Harry Potter

Several Scottish locations have been used in the behemoth Harry Potter films, the most iconic of which has to be the Hogwarts Express taking Harry, Hermione and co across the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Tourists wanting to recreate the magic can take the Jacobite steam train for a magical ride.

(Sunday Post)
(Sunday Post)

Florence Foster Jenkins

The recent film, which saw Meryl Streep secure her 20th Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the eponymous socialite, used the Kelvingrove Museum and various locations in Glasgow to recreate 1940s New York.

Trainspotting.jpg (1)

Trainspotting

Mandy Scottish shots from the original Trainspotting have become truly iconic. Both the first film and T2 were filmed in Scotland and don’t shy away from the darker underbelly of Scotland’s cities.

Scarlett Johansson in Under The Skin trailer at Auchmithie_obj729474.jpg

Under the Skin

An incredibly unusual film with unconventional filming methods, Under the Skin really got under the skin of Glasgow by having star Scarlett Johansson drive around the city (particularly the Ibrox/Govan areas) and interact with unsuspecting locals – who to begin with, did not know that this was part of the film.

skyfall.jpg

Skyfall

Bond, James Bond seems to have had a love affair with Scotland – earlier installments in the spy franchise such as From Russia with Love and The World is Not Enough both feature sequences in Scotland – but it’s in Skyfall where Glencoe’s bleak beauty takes centre-stage and plays a focal point in the story as we learn more about the mysterious spy’s past.

Roslin, United Kingdom - June 18, 2014. Exterior view of Rosslyn Chapel, with grass lawn, on cloudy summer day.
Exterior view of Rosslyn Chapel (iStock)

The Da Vinci Code

The breath-taking Rosslyn Chapel is used for the climactic finale of the adaption of Dan Brown’s best-seller.

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Stardust

The fantasy adventure, adapted from Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel, makes excellent use of some dramatic backdrops in Wester Ross and Skye.

World War Z

World War Z

Glasgow was abuzz when it was announced that Brad Pitt and co would be visiting to film their zombie movie. The production team managed to turn Scotland biggest city into a dead-ringer for Philadelphia.

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

The most recent moody MacBeth, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, simmered thanks to excellent performance and the stunning Skye landscape.

Entrapment, famous for its scene where Catherine Zeta Jones bends and stretches her way through lazer beam alarms, uses the picture perfect Eilean Donan Castle.

Comedy classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail features an abundance of Scottish locations, including Castle Stalker and the impressive Doune Castle.

The Queen: Castle Fraser, Blairquhan Castle and Culzean Castle all make cameos in the acclaimed Stephen Frears drama.

In an international shoot that spanned Scotland Australia and Singapore, The Railway Man was party filmed in Edinburgh, Fire and along the East Lothian coastline.

The Wicker Man: Dumfries and Galloway set the stage for the strange goings-on in this cult comedy/horror.

Home grown hits Gregory’s Girl and Local Hero stayed true to their roots and were filmed in various locations across Scotland.