With its breath-taking scenery and rugged landscape it’s no wonder that the hills, moors and beaches of Scotland have featured as the backdrop for many blockbuster films. What better advert for what we have to offer than to see our country up there on the big screen.
Film location tourism, or Set Jetting as it is known, is a relatively new phenomenon but with the success of TV Series such as Outlander the demand from curious fans to see more has led to a number of specialist tours being set up. Numbers are set to increase following the announcement last week that Scotland has been voted the world’s Best Cinematic Destination in a poll run by one of America’s biggest newspapers, USA Today.
Perhaps the best thing about the locations on this list is that you don’t have to be a film buff to enjoy them, so go on and explore a little and see the reasons why film makers continue to be drawn here.
Local Hero is one of the most loved Scottish films ever, almost all of the beach scenes were filmed at Camusdarach between Arisaig and Mallaig on the Road to the Isles. This stunning stretch of sand is easily accessible from the main road and gives some of the most amazing views on the west coast. Why not stay at Borrodale House in Arisaig and explore the rest of the Road to the Isles in style.
Although not a distinctly Scottish film Monty Python and the Holy Grail was largely filmed on location at Doune Castle in Stirlingshire where fans have been known to gather en mass to bang coconuts together! Castle Stalker in Argyll was also used for filming; if this inspires you to try castle living then within marching distance you can stay in the magnificent Achnacloich.
The landscape of Skye has often been described as other worldly; the striking landscapes of the Quiraing were used by Ridley Scott as a backdrop for an alien world in Prometheus while Stanley Kubrick utilised the Harris landscapes for 2001 A Space Odyssey. Fortunately you don’t need a spaceship if you are staying at The Beach House as it’s only a 40 minute drive away from the Quiraing. If you own a 4x4 you can arrive and leave the house via the beach, tides permitting.
Whisky Galore, the 1949 tale of resourceful islanders rescuing a cargo of shipwrecked whisky was based on the islands of Barra and Eriskay, fictionalised on screen as Great and Little Todday. This timeless story was largely filmed on location and as an added bonus for visiting fans the recently built pub on Eriskay houses a bottle from the original wreck which inspired the story. Cuir na Bhoir on South Uist is a cosy Hebridean cottage that has been modernised to a high standard. It’s only a short drive from the recently built Eriskay causeway and will give you a sense of the traditional island way of life portrayed in the film.
The Wicker Man, a cult favourite of horror aficionados has been drawing visitors to the Borders for decades. Much of the exteriors were filmed in Ayrshire and the area around Newton Stewart. St Ninian’s cave and Culzean castle both feature, and the Ellangowan Hotel in Creetown still welcomes visitors with the spooky ambience it displayed in the film. The secluded Edwardian lodge of Lagafater retains the charm and authenticity of its era; an altogether appropriate venue to savour the atmosphere of this remote part of the country.
Photo credit: Pixabay