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12 iconic film locations in Scotland

From settings for well-loved TV shows to famous film locations, Scotland’s jaw-dropping landscapes dazzle on screen, but nothing beats the feeling of visiting a real-life filming location in person.

Immerse yourself in the worlds of James Bond, Harry Potter and many other well-known characters by visiting the Scottish film locations that their stories have played out in.

Only in Scotland can you visit:

1. Castle Leoch from Outlander

Doune Castle in Outlander, with Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) © Sony Pictures Television

Doune Castle in Outlander © Sony Pictures Television

Also known as Doune Castle near Stirling.

Located a few miles north of Stirling, Doune Castle is so popular it’s featured twice on this list. Explore the castle to see the great hall, where luxurious banquets would have been held, and the kitchens, where the opulent food would have been prepared. Read more about the Scottish history that inspired Outlander.

2. The bridge that carries the Hogwarts Express to Hogwarts in Harry Potter

The Jacobite steam train passing over the Glenfinnan Viaduct at the head of Loch Shiel, Lochaber, Highlands of Scotland

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Lochaber

Also known as the Glenfinnan Viaduct near Fort William.

One of the most famous film locations in Scotland, the Glenfinnan Viaduct is located west of Fort William and was completed in 1901. Enjoy a train ride over the viaduct – the Jacobite Express steam train runs in the summer months too – or stretch your legs on a short walk from Glenfinnan car park to the viaduct to savour unbeatable views.

3. The epic driving route from Skyfall

The driving route through Glen Etive near Glencoe

Glen Etive near Glencoe

Also known as the road through Glen Etive – pictured – and Glen Coe.

The driving route through Glen Coe is arguably the most famous in the country. The mountains surrounding both glens will take your breath away and there are lots of impressive places to stop for a photo.

4. The stunning chapel from The Da Vinci Code

Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, near Edinburgh

Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, near Edinburgh

Also known as Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh.

With more than 100 carvings and scenes depicted in stone, the exquisite masonry of Rosslyn Chapel has to be seen to be believed. Look out for angels playing bagpipes, people dancing with death and the famous apprentice pillar – the story goes that the apprentice mason who carved this exquisite pillar was killed shortly afterwards by his jealous boss.

5. The mountainous landscapes from Braveheart

Highland cattle graze in the water of Glen Nevis © JAC - Dollar Photo Club

Glen Nevis © JAC – Dollar Photo Club

Also known as Glen Nevis near Fort William.

Glen Nevis is a stunningly beautiful valley in the shadow of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. There are plenty of walks you can enjoy in the glen, many of which start from the Braveheart car park, which was created as a parking spot for the film vehicles. It’s also part of the final section of the West Highland Way (a 95 mile walking route from Glasgow to Fort William).

6. The ancient stone circle that inspired the standing stones in Brave

The Calanais Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis

Calanais Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis

Also known as the Calanais Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis.

Dating from the Neolithic period, the ancient Calanais Standing Stones have stood for over 5,000 years and are older than the standing stones at Stonehenge. Explore the site to feel the majestic power of the stones.

7. The rugged landscapes of Macbeth

The Storr and the Old Man of Storr

The Storr and the Old Man of Storr

Also known as the Quiraing and the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye.

The otherworldly landscapes of the Quiraing on the Isle of Skye are some of the most filmed and photographed parts of the country. Enjoy a hike up to the Old Man of Storr and soak up the panoramic views out towards the Scottish mainland and the Isle of Raasay.

8. The Castle of Guy de Lombard in Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Doune Castle © Heartland Arts - Dollar Photo Club

Doune Castle © Heartland Arts – Dollar Photo Club

Also known as Doune Castle near Stirling – again! You can even take the audio tour of the castle that is narrated by Monty Python’s Terry Jones.

9. The Epic Fight Scene in Avengers: Infinity War

St Giles' Cathedral on the Royal Mile © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Also known as The Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

The filming of Avengers: Infinity War brought a touch of Hollywood to the streets of Edinburgh. The city’s infamous Royal Mile was just one of the many places that managed to make the cut in the end. The Old Town transforms into a thrilling fight scene and makes a few appearances throughout the film. You might not come across any epic battles here, but you’re guaranteed lots of things to see and do. Its cobblestone road is lined with shops, restaurants and historic attractions including St Giles Cathedral. For just a small fee, take The St Giles’ Cathedral Roof Top Tour where you will be treated to impressive views of Edinburgh’s skyline.

10. Balmoral Castle from The Crown

Ardverikie Estate, Highlands, a location used in the feature film Mrs Brown (1997)

The Ardverikie Estate © VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

Also known as Ardverikie Estate in Inverness.

The popular Netflix series The Crown has certainly been keeping us on tender hooks. The historical drama documents the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding to present day and provides plenty of thrills and spills along the way. Ardverikie Estate plays the starring role of the Queen’s favourite summer retreat, Balmoral Castle. Treat yourself and book a self-catering cottage in the north of Scotland. Home to a whole host of exclusive experiences including a castle tour, adventure activities and a chance to feed the resident deer. It’s truly a holiday fit for a king or queen!

Check out more of The Crown and Royal Experiences in Scotland.

11. Segway Riding in Edinburgh from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

The Ross Fountain and Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street Gardens © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Also known as Ross Fountain, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh.

There’s nothing better than blowing the cobwebs away with a nice Segway ride. That’s exactly what characters Lars and Sigrit do in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, as they take a spin and circle around Ross Fountain in Princes Street Gardens. The gardens are a popular place amongst tourists and locals alike for basking in the summer sun and, of course, taking in the magnificent views of Edinburgh Castle, which you can also visit while holidaying in the capital.

Did you know? Edinburgh hosted the real Eurovision Song Contest back in 1972, with the big event taking place at The Usher Hall. In the film, the OVO Hydro in Glasgow plays host in staging the grand finale.

12. Sampling Scotland’s Natural Larder in Men in Kilts

Cottages at Pittenweem Harbour © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Outlander stars Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish hit the road on a Scottish adventure like no other in the first series of Men in Kilts. Episode one takes them on a culinary journey to the fishing village of Pittenweem in Fife with a cooking demonstration from Scottish chef Tony Singh. Other foodie highlights in the episode include the boys visiting Michelin Star restaurant, The Kitchin, in Edinburgh, while also sampling a wee dram of whisky at Laphroaig on the Isle of Islay.

Find more film and TV locations in Scotland.

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