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Six Degrees of Scotland

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Couple with backs towards to camera posing as Bond and M in the James Bond film. Skyfall. Car in the foreground with the couple in front looking up towards the snow peaked mountains. The sky is moody and grey.

Couple posing as Bond and M in the James Bond film, Skyfall (2012). Glen Etive in the Highlands ©Stuart Coyle

To mark the 90th Academy Awards we are celebrating Scotland’s own big screen appearances by creating Six Degrees of Scotland – a special map linking this year’s Oscar contenders with movie locations across the country.

The map is inspired by the six degrees of separation theory that everyone in the world can be connected to each other in six steps or less. Its not surprising then that each actor would have connections with Scotland, voted best cinematic destination in the world by American newspaper USA TODAY.

Have a look at our map for yourself and see how many you recognize. Then find out more about each Scottish movie location.

Six Degrees of Scotland map


The town of Annan on the river Annan

Annan, Dumfries & Galloway

Did you know that Mission Impossible (1996) was filmed in Dumfries & Galloway? Starring Tom Cruise the big-budget climax was shot surprisingly on the Annan to Dumfries rail line.  So instead of the Kent countryside rushing by Cruise and Jon Voight as they cling to high-speed channel tunnel train it’s the landscape of south west Scotland.

The location appealed to the producers as it was one of the few stretches of track in the UK without overhead electric cables and few bridges.


Castle Stalker

Castle Stalker, Loch Laich near Appin

On a small island in the middle of Loch Laich, near Appin in Argyll is the impressive Castle Stalker. The castle featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) and is fondly known as ‘the Castle of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh!’ to Monty Python fans.

Castle Stalker is privately owned but they do run a limited number of tours each year that can be arranged by prior appointment.


The dramatic mountains of Glen Coe

The sweeping cinematic vista of Glen Coe in the Highlands

There has been a long association with the Bond movies and Scotland. In Skyfall (2012) the scene with Bond and M was shot in Glen Coe as well as in nearby Glen Etive. The breath-taking scenery stole the show from Daniel Craig as James Bond and his Aston Martin DB5.



A waterfall on Sligachan Burn, Isle of Skye

From distant planets to medieval Japan, the Isle of Skye has made many appearances on the big screen. Its dramatic and other worldly landscapes have attracted many directors to this part of Scotland and has featured in major movies including Stardust (2007), Macbeth (2015), Flash Gordon (1980) and The BFG (2016).


Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle, Kyle of Lochalsh

Situated in Kyle of Lochalsh, Eilean Donan near the village of Dornie is one of Scotland’s most recognized castles.

The castle appears several times in Highlander (1986) as the ancestral home of Connor MacLeod played by Christopher Lambert. Eilean Donan Castle also appeared in the Bond movie The World Is Not Enough (1999) and the romantic comedy Made of Honour (2008).


Portsoy Harbour

Portsoy Harbour, Aberdeenshire

The fishing village of Portsoy in Aberdeenshire is known for hosting the annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in early July. It was also chosen to play the starring role as the village on the fictitious island of Todday in comedy Whisky Galore! (2016).

Not far along the Aberdeenshire coast from Portsoy is the tiny fishing hamlet of Pennan and the location of another popular movie Local Hero (1983).


The formal gardens of Drummond Castle

Drummond Castle Gardens near Crieff, Perthshire

The spectacular Drummond Castle Gardens in Perthshire look immaculate in the 1995 movie Rob Roy. Liam Neeson starred as the legendary Scottish ‘rogue’ Rob Roy MacGregor in this historic drama with gardens doubling as the 18th century gardens owned by the Marquis of Montrose play by John Hurt.

Most recently the stunning gardens have stood in for the ornate formal gardens of the Palace of Versailles in the time travelling historical TV drama Outlander.


The view from Calton Hill to Edinburgh Castle

The view of Princes Street looking down from Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Edinburgh has made many appearances on the silver screen. One of the best remembered is Danny Boyle’s 1996 Trainspotting. The now famous scene of Renton (Ewan McGregor) and Spud (Ewen Bremner) making their escape from security staff and running along Princes Street is now in celluloid history.

Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park is one of the city’s iconic landmarks that made an appearance when the characters returned in T2 Trainspotting (2017). With stunning views of Edinburgh from the top, it is not surprising it has also featured in One Day (2011), The Illusionist (2006) and Chariots of Fire (1981).


The interior of Rosslyn Chapel showing the barrel vaulted roof viewed from the Baptistery, Roslin

The interior of Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, Midlothian

Just a few miles south of Edinburgh in Midlothian is Rosslyn Chapel. This fascinating chapel is a key location in the film adaptation of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. This international best seller was brought to the screen in 2006 and the chapel has become a must-see place for fans of the book and film.


The small town of Duns in the Scottish Borders

Duns in the Scottish Borders, the home of Duns Castle

Duns Castle in the Scottish Borders doubled up as not one but two royal residences in the 1997 John Madden movie Mrs Brown. Starring Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Billy Connolly as her servant John Brown. The 14th Century Castle stared as both Balmoral and Windsor Castles.

The castle today offers a range of luxurious accommodation both in the castle and in nearby cottages so if you want to experience life as a royal this could be the place to stay.

Discover more about film and TV locations in Scotland and plan your own star studded trip around Scotland.