James Bond may be the quintessential Englishman but he owes it all to Scotland. Here are 13 reasons why Bond belongs to Bonnie Scotland.

1 Bond creator Ian Fleming's paternal grandfather was Robert Fleming, a Scottish investment banker "who came from a modest background in Dundee". 

2 Bond was born in Zurich to Andrew Bond of Glencoe and a Swiss woman, Monique Delacroix. But both died in a climbing accident while on holiday in France.

3 According to a new book on Fleming's Bond letters, Geoffrey Boothroyd, a gun expert in Glasgow, wrote to Fleming in 1956 to point out flaws in Bond's choice of gun in the novels. Fleming and Boothroyd kept up a correspondence and Fleming made Boothroyd Bond's armourer in the novels.


4 Author and gun expert didn't actually meet, however, until 1961, when Fleming (above, on set with Sean Connery) arrived in Glasgow to appear on a Scottish Television programme. He was disconcerted to be interviewed by a young man who had never read any of his books.

5 The Bond films themselves have had many Scottish connections. Sean Connery, of course. Born into a working-class Edinburgh neighbourhood, he joined the Navy and later worked as a bricklayer, lifeguard and French polisher. The official Bond website speaks of his "masculine grace and air of confidence" that producers Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman were looking for in their 007. Sean starred in Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971), as well as the 'unofficial' Bond movie, Never Say Never Again (1983). Connery received a Lifetime Achievement award at the 1996 Golden Globes and was knighted in 2000.


6 The screen 007's many adversaries have included Robbie Coltrane (GoldenEye, above, and The World Is Not Enough) and Robert Carlyle (The World Is Not Enough). Alan Cumming walked away with several scenes in GoldenEye as Boris Grishenko, a Russian computer programmer.

7 Lulu sang the title song in The Man With the Golden Gun; Sheena Easton did the honours in For Your Eyes Only; US rock group Garbage, fronted by Edinburgh-born singer Shirley Manson, performed the title song in The World Is Not Enough.


8 Picturesque Eilean Donan Castle (above) had a cameo in The World Is Not Enough, when it became "MI6 headquarters, Scotland" after the organisation's London base was damaged in an explosion.

9 Glencoe featured briefly in Skyfall as Daniel Craig and Judi Dench escaped north in a rather fetching Aston Martin DB5.

10 In From Russia With Love, Sean and his latest squeeze, Russian agent Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) are pursued by SPECTRE agents in a speed boat in Turkey. The final boat-chase scene was shot on Loch Craignish, near Crinan, Argyll.


11 VisitScotland reminds us that Duart Castle, on the Isle of Mull, was the home of Fitzroy Hew MacLean (above) - the World War Two hero who is widely believed to have been one of the main inspirations for Bond himself.

12 In The Spy Who Loved Me, a scene was shot at Faslane naval base in Argyll.

13 During the filming of Goldfinger, Sean Connery "learned the essential challenge of links golf in Royal Dornoch in the northeast Highlands" to prepare him for the golf match he plays with Gert Frobe, an accomplished golfer.

The new Bond movie Spectre is out on Monday. Read Alison Rowat's review.

The Man With the Golden Typewriter: Ian Fleming's James Bond Letters, ed. Fergus Fleming, Bloomsbury, £25; www.visitscotland.com/about/arts-culture/films/skyfall