• Stephen Jones

Scotland - the best place to shoot a film?

Great work. Well done. You’ve finally got that killer idea for a film. You've spent weeks crafting a perspicacious plot, an ultra-modern story of boy meets girl, only for the girl to be a toaster.


Now all you have to do is shoot the thing. Huh? What do you mean you haven’t got a film location for this future Oscar contender?

Not to worry, we’ve got you covered with our special St. Andrew's Day feature. Get ready to take a wander through some of the most idyllic Scottish filming locations known to man, women, and toaster.


Happy St. Andrew's Day!


Glen Nevis as seen in Braveheart

We will keep this one short and sweet for various reasons, the most prominent one being that Mel Gibson is a piece of trash. He isn't brave, and I'm fairly confident he is lacking a heart as well.


Instead, let’s talk about Glen Nevis, this glorious valley lies at the foot of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain.


Glen Nevis is where the majority of Braveheart was filmed and gave the film its iconic emblematic eerie ambience.


The stunning locations from Glen Nevis are said to be some of the most picturesque in the country. If you ever find yourself in the area, then you'll have ruins of stone cottages and natural hillsides to gaze at to your heart's content. Or rather, to your 'brave' heart's content...


Rosslyn Chapel as seen in The Da Vinci Code

We will keep this one short too, also because of Mel Gibson...


Oh... Actually, don’t panic, he wasn't in The Da Vinci Code.


“When I decided to write The Da Vinci Code, I knew that its finale would have to take place at the most mysterious and magical chapel on earth - Rosslyn"

When Dan Brown, author of one of the most successful books of all time, says something like this, then you know Rosslyn Chapel is something special. The Gothic construction made it a great filming location for The Da Vinci Code, and it continues to be a sought after filming spot to this day.


I mean just look at that mediaeval masterpiece...


The Cuillin in Skye as seen in Prometheus

When I was younger, I thought the Isle of Skye was owned by Rupert Murdoch. Just a thought, but why hasn’t the controversial tycoon bought it yet? That’s got Dr Evil vibes written all over it.


Ridley Scott didn’t buy the Isle in 2012. However, he did stumble across The Cuillin, a location in the Skye with other-worldly beauty. In fact, he loved it so much, he used it for the opening scenes to the Alien prequel Prometheus.


The Cuillin is just another example of Scotland’s never-ending beauty and why it makes such an epic filming location.


Glenfinnan Railway as seen in Harry Potter

The trains get a bad rep in this country and let's face it, rightly so. Yet, I won't have a bad word said against the gargantuan Glenfinnan Railway, which is easily one of Scotland’s most famous filming locations.


Does it look instantly recognisable? Hmm, that’s because you’ve envisioned yourself on this very railway, probably chopping on a chocolate-covered frog, all while practising your spells and potions. That’s right, The Glenfinnan Railway viaduct played home to the Hogwarts Express, the train from the films and books about the teenage wizard Harry Potter by JK Rowling.


If you want a ride, then all you have to do is catch the Jacobite steam train that departs from Fort William each day.


If you want soigné Scottish views, then this is the commute for you.


World War Z (Glasgow)

I don’t want you thinking that Scotland is just peaks and valleys. Believe it or not, it has some stunning city locations as well. Two-thirds of the country may be submerged in mountains and wild uplands, but that doesn't stop productions from using infamous Scottish cities.


In World War Z, the setting for the film is Philadelphia, but in reality, it's the Scottish city of Glasgow being made to look like the American metropolis. Glasgow is a fantastic spot, and it seemed Brad Pitt and crew recognised this too filming the movie's opening sequence in Glasgow’s infamous Cochrane Street.


Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his family find themselves in the midst of the mayhem in The ‘Philly’ square, but really it’s George Square, and Glasgow City Chambers was even used to replicate Philadelphia City Hall.


Other filming locations for this film include Malta, Hungary, London, Cornwall, Hertfordshire, and Kent.


Those Brad Pitt budgets, eh?



Scotland sure does have some astonishing locations. A great mixture of new and old, which why we simply can’t let them have independence. We just don’t want to lose our major claim to fame (only joking...nervous laughter).


Happy St. Andrew’s Day and remember if you’re ever in this alluring country, then be sure to take in the sights. Or else, Nicola Sturgeon will scold you and probably ban you from the country.