It comes to no surprise that so many films and television shows find an excuse to film in Scotland. The beautiful scenery, its cultural practices and longstanding history make for a compelling story. Fans of the Harry Potter series and James Bond movies feature a number of Scottish filming locations worth visiting including Glencoe and Fort William. Avid followers of the cable television series Outlander ought to explore several spots in Fife while those retracing William Wallace’s steps in Braveheart should head towards Glen Nevis and hike the peaks of Mamore Mountains.
To help you plan your trip to these Scottish filming locations worth visiting, here are some self-drive itineraries in Scotland.
Scottish Filming Locations Worth Visiting
Explore Fife and the Lowlands
Start from the Scottish capital of Edinburgh where the imposing Edinburgh Castle stands guard over the historic city. Its entrance might look familiar if you’ve seen the movie Filth. Then stroll along the Royal Mile with its plethora of tweed and tartan shops. Make sure you stop by St. Giles Cathedral whose foundation goes back into the 12th century. At the bottom of the street, you’ll find the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Holyrood Park. The former serves as the Queen’s official residence while in Edinburgh. The latter was once a hunting ground that now gives visitors a preview of Highland scenery. Holyrood Park was also featured prominently in the movie Chariots of Fire. Within the park are a handful of ruins, lochs and viewpoints. The most popular of these is Arthur’s Seat, the highest peak among the groups of hills. It provides one of the most beautiful views of Edinburgh and appeared in several films including One Day and the critically acclaimed animated film The Illusionist.
After taking in the beauty and history of Edinburgh, grab yourself a rental car or better yet a home on wheels and head northwest towards the city of Stirling where the Scottish Wars of Independence were fought and won. Tour the 12th century Stirling Castle and see for yourself where many of Scotland’s monarchs were crowned. Visit Stirling Bridge, the site of key battle led by Scottish war hero William Wallace then head towards the National Wallace Monument where you can learn more about his life’s trials and tribulations. It also has gorgeous views of the city’s Old Town.
Not far from Stirling lies Doune Castle, one of the Scottish filming locations worth visiting, especially if you’re an avid Outlander fan. This once royal residence plays prominently in the Starz television series by serving as the MacKenzie clan chief’s main residence, Castle Leoch. Originating from the 13th century, history suggested that it was damaged heavily during the Wars of Independence. The castle that visitors will see these days is largely the same one that was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, in the 14th century.
Another Scottish filming locations worth visiting for Outlander fans is the historic village of Culross, located just half an hour away by car from Stirling. Visitors to this charming town will find themselves transported back into the 16th century as they wander the cobbled streets and admire the whitewashed and red-tiled buildings that line its main thoroughfares. Don’t miss the Town House to the Study that served as the character Geillis Duncan’s house.
Continue your Lowland exploration in Scotland’s cultural city, Glasgow. The largest city in Scotland was also once the biggest seaports in Britain and a renowned city for engineering particularly during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. During World War II, up to three of four Allied ships were built along its ports.
One of Glasgow’s most recognizable spots is George Square. You might have recognized it as the substitute for the zombie-ridden Philadelphia in World War Z starring Brad Pitt or again in Outlander as the scene where Frank Randall’s character proposed to the series’ heroine, Claire Beauchamp. Make sure to stop by the Clyde Auditorium, known locally as “the Armadillo” to listen to some world-class music performances and check out the interactive exhibits at the Glasgow Science Centre. Those with an affinity for fine arts ought to explore the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum where you can see some of the finest collection of Scottish art. Finally, walk across the futuristic Tradenton Bridge, a pedestrian friendly crossing that provides visitors with lovely views of the city of Glasgow.