It’s shouldn’t come as any surprise that Scotland is regularly chosen for a filming location for TV, indie and big Hollywood films. With its outstanding scenery, it looks amazing on-screen. But to have found as many filming spots as we have in Scotland almost knocked us off our seats. We’ve narrowed down our favourites to the top 10 Scottish film locations so you can visit the backdrops of your favourite films!
Monty Python and the Holy Grail – 1975
Firstly, this film is very silly. However, it is also brilliantly funny and looks fantastic. A lot of it was filmed in Scotland, including at Doune Castle. And it is also where the best insult ever created was shouted from: ” Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!”
Chariots of Fire – 1981
The opening scene for Chariots of Fire was actually filmed on the West Sands beach on the coast of St. Andrews. This beach was chosen specifically for its stunning aesthetics and Highland feel. COme and run barefoot yourself!
Braveheart – 1995
Aspects of this epic film, which will never get old, were filmed in the stunning landscapes throughout and near Glen Nevis and Loch Leven. The backdrop was chosen specially for this Oscar-winning film by Mel Gibson. If you want to find out about the real William Wallace, then take a trip to the Wallace Monument in Stirling.
Trainspotting – 1996
Got a lust for life? This disturbing yet brilliant movie was partially filmed in Edinburgh’s famous location Princes Street as well as Calton Road. But Edinburgh wasn’t the only lucky place to be picked for this film though, Glasgow and Rannoch Moor were also chosen.
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets – 2002
This was the first of the movies in the series to exhibit the stunning scenery around and the body of Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Scottish Highlands. You can take a train across yourself and pretend you are heading to Hogwarts (although your actual destination will be just as stunning).
The Da Vinci Code – 2006
Dan Brown’s bestseller saw Tom Hanks run all around the world looking for the Holy Grail. He took it a bit more seriously than Monty Python at least. But what he didn’t bet on was coming to the bottom of the mystery at Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian, near Edinburgh. This 15th century chapel is a stunning piece of work, and is open to the public. So get your cryptex ready, we’re going in!
Prometheus – 2012
Filmed in Skye, parts of this film show off the island’s stunning landscaped, fresh skies, natural shining waters and Cullin Mountains. The landscape and scenery help to add to the mysterious tone of the movie.
Skyfall – 2012
The James Bond film producers have a history of choosing iconic locations for the production of these popular movies. So it was no surprise to us when Scotland’s Glencoe was chosen for scenery in the film. Having been chosen for the Bond blockbuster is without a doubt the seal of approval for Scotland as one of the best places to film for scenery.
World War Z – 2013
Brad Pitt brought out the screaming fan girl (and boy) inside all of us when he came to shoot in Glasgow’s city centre: George Square (turned into Philadelphia Square.) Not only was the film shot in Glasgow, but open auditions for extras were held at the local Caledonian University campus just minutes walk from the filming location.
Outlander – 2014
This hugely popular time-travel romance/fantasy television series has been built from the best-selling novels by Diana Gabaldon. The entire series was filmed throughout Scotland. And what does it have in common with Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Well, it also features Doune Castle, just 9 miles from Stirling.
Avengers: Infininty War & Avengers: Endgame – 2018 & 2019
Finally, two of the biggest films of all time decided they could only tell their huge story by using some of Scotland as a setting. In Marvel’s Infinity War, you will recognise large parts of Edinburgh’s Old Town, including the Royal Mile, Cockburn Street and even Waverley train station.
In Endgame, the scenery switches east towards the beautiful coastal village of St. Abbs. From henceforth, this shall be called New Asgard! This is where Thor and his people lay down roots. It is a gorgeous place to visit, as is all along this stretch of coastline, not far from Edinburgh.
Visiting Top Scottish Film Locations
A great place to stay whilst exploring Edinburgh is Parliament House Hotel. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from all these Marvel(ous) city centre locations, and with great public transport links too.
If you are heading north for some Outlander experiences, then the Kingsmills Hotel and Ness Walk both offer fantastic accommodation and advice on where to see locations. If you are heading to Fife to see the amazing beach at St. Andrews, then we recommend trying Elderburn Lodges, a five-star, family friendly option that makes you feel at home.
So don’t miss out, come and see your favourite movie locations in real life! Have we missed out your favourite filming location? Let us know!