However, it is also Scotland’s vibrant, often colourful history that has inspired many movies and shows over the years, making it the perfect country for movie buffs to visit!
We will discuss many of the real-life locations for some of the most popular shows and films in the world. If civilians are allowed to visit these locations, we guarantee to take you there as part of one of our Tailor-made Scotland Tours.
Scotland on Film
From Outlander and Braveheart, to Trainspotting and Harry Potter, Scotland’s history, its ancient cities, and its stunning scenery all make it a fantastic filming location. The film industry continues to grow in Scotland, so there are also plenty of films and TV shows that are filmed here even though they don’t actually take place in Scotland.
If you’re a movie buff or just like to see places that you’ll recognize from popular movies and shows, we’d be happy to show you some of our favourites. If you have any follow-up questions for us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Movies Set in Scotland
Braveheart first hit the screens in 1995 and had an immediate impact on Scotland’s tourism industry. Folks from overseas suddenly wanted to know more about Scottish history and culture, beyond those who were interested for genealogy reasons. The Mel Gibson epic was decidedly less than historically accurate, but it certainly inspired a great many movie fans to dive deeper into Scotland’s past and present.
If you’re a Braveheart fan, you’ll definitely want to visit Stirling to bask in the views at the National Wallace Monument and visit Stirling Castle. If you want to create a tailormade Scotland tour, we could also journey through time to stop at the many sites of battles and importance from the lifetime of Sir William Wallace.
Outlaw King tells the story of Robert the Bruce, picking up after the torture and killing of William Wallace by the English Crown. If you’ve seen and enjoyed Outlaw King, you’ll want to visit a few key places mentioned or featured in this story. We even created an entire Outlaw King tour all around this important national hero!
This cult classic recently enjoyed a revival with the sequel T2 coming out to great acclaim. The original shows the gritty side of Leith, based on the book by Edinburgh local Irvine Welsh. While Trainspotting might not highlight the glory and magic of Scotland, it certainly shows a different side to Scotland’s people and places.
If you’re a fan of the films (or books), you’ll definitely want to visit Edinburgh and head to Leith, which has changed dramatically since the days of the story’s setting. Today, Leith is quite the bustling, hipster locale in Edinburgh, with plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy along the shore.
Be inspired with this local’s guide to Edinburgh and learn more about the different neighbourhoods and interesting spots in the capital city.
Mary, Queen of Scots
The ladies are not to be outdone in Scottish history! Mary, Queen of Scots, holds incredible significance to our national story and it would be impossible to talk about Scotland’s past and present without mentioning her. The recent film starring Saoirse Ronan highlights the stunning scenery of the nation she led as a fittingly dramatic backdrop to her tale.
If you’re a fan of the film (and the woman!), you’ll surely want to visit Linlithgow Palace. It’s a popular filming location, as it’s also used in the Outlander series, which we’ll talk more about next!
Disney Pixar’s “Brave”
If you’re a fan of Disney Pixar films and you’re keen on Scotland, then you must have watched the animated film Brave. The story highlights Scottish folklore and culture, while also showing off the rugged natural beauty of our wee country. If you’re keen to know where the animators got their inspiration, VisitScotland has the details.
Made of Honor
This rom-com starring Patrick Dempsey, Michelle Monaghan, and Sydney Pollack features a Scottish wedding like no other. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll recognise the jaw-dropping Dunvegan Castle as well as colourful Portree.
TV Shows Filmed in Scotland
Fans of the hit show Outlander (based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon) will be in good company coming to Scotland to see locations where the show has been set. The Outlander Effect is very real and has offered a big boost to the locations where the show has been filmed!
Some locations look exactly as they appeared on screen while others require a little imagination. But all Outlander fans will enjoy visiting Scotland to capture the essence of the story: romance, history, and the spellbinding Highland culture and landscapes.
The BBC series Monarch of the Glen features a Highland family estate that, though fictional, was filmed at the very real Ardverikie House on Loch Laggan. The estate was also used for filming episodes of our next featured show!
The Crown has taken Netflix by storm over the past few years. The drama tells the story of the current royal family, which includes showing their many visits to the estate they own in Scotland at Balmoral. While filming doesn’t take place at the real Balmoral Castle, Ardverikie House stepped in once again as the actual filming location.
Going back a bit further in royal lineage, the series Victoria dramatises the tale of Queen Victoria and her impressively long reign. She and Prince Albert were very fond of Scotland and inspired quite an interest in the Highlands among the upper class in England. The town of Pitlochry grew in popularity during her reign, and the show features nearby Blair Castle quite prominently.
While this period drama took place in fictional locations in England, a Christmas special was filmed at Inverary Castle in Scotland, though it was also given a fictional name. The castle is one of many stunning architectural feats you may want to visit, and we’d be happy to take you there during a tailor-made tour of Scotland!
Other Scotland Film Locations
While Scotland may not be the focus of the film or show, this country’s stunning scenery and diversity of locations in a small space have made it a popular film destination. There are plenty of movies and TV shows that have filmed in Scotland, pretending that the scene was somewhere else altogether!
Harry Potter in Scotland
Home to the author of this iconic series, the Harry Potter movies were often filmed partly in Scotland. Even though Scotland doesn’t feature as a destination in the books or movies, our scenery offered gorgeous backgrounds for key moments throughout the series. From Edinburgh to the Highlands, you’ll find signs and scenes from Harry Potter throughout Scotland.
That’s right, the popular James Bond film starring Daniel Craig had a pivotal scene set in the dramatic scenery of Scotland. If you’ve seen the film, you might remember when Bond says he and M must hide where nobody could find them. Yes, that would be the Highlands of Scotland! The filming was actually done on Rannoch Moor, a stunningly dramatic landscape near Glen Coe.
Here at Inspiring Travel Scotland, we have an excellent selection of Scotland tours that are fully formed and ready to book. They represent our diverse range of knowledge and tourism connections and they are each created with a specific kind of Scotland vacation in mind.
However, our Tailormade Tours are, by far, the most popular product we offer – we combine your interests and spirit of adventure with our creativity and knowledge of Scotland to create a unique tour, just for you!
Inspiring Travel Scotland offer our expertise in local knowledge, travel logistics, hospitality connections, not to mention our wonderful Driver/Guides, unique ideas, exclusive trips and added extras. All that and more, to ensure that everyone who chooses one of our customised Scotland tours has the adventure of a lifetime!
All you need to do is get in touch to tell us just little about your dream Scotland tour and we will build on it for you, to make your dream a reality. We know how important tours like this are to our clients, getting our clients tours exactly right for them are just as important to us. We always aim to exceed your expectations.