SCOTLAND has seen a flurry of movies and TV shows being filmed here in recent years. That, in turn, has led to a rise in tourism dubbed “set-jetting” – the nickname given to devoted fans who flock to visit the locations where their favourites were made.

From rugged hillsides and gardens to cemeteries and museums, here are some of the best spots to enjoy – and take that requisite selfie – if you are looking to soak up some screen history.

Quiraing, Skye

Conjure in your mind’s eye a fantasy landscape where mythical beasts might roam and the rugged terrain of the Quiraing is picture perfect.

Part of the Trotternish peninsula, it was formed by a massive landslip that created towering cliffs, elevated plateaus and pinnacles of rock. The area is rich with legends, reputed to be both a meeting place for fairies and home to dragons that ward off invaders.

It is perhaps little surprise, then, that the Quiraing has appeared in a raft of films such as The Land That Time Forgot (1974), Stardust (2007), Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), 47 Ronin (2013), Macbeth (2015) and The BFG (2016).

The list goes on … King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) and Outlaw King (2018). Phew. And many more cameos to come, we are sure.


Glasgow Necropolis

Often described as offering a “tomb with a view” due to its lofty perch on a prominent hillside next to Glasgow Cathedral, some 50,000 people have been laid to rest in this vast Victorian cemetery, which dates from 1833.

Among their number are the explorer and author William Rae Wilson; chemist and industrialist Charles Tennant; and “Queen of the Gypsies”, Corlinda Lee, who is said to have read the fortune of Queen Victoria.

Glasgow Necropolis was used during filming of The Batman starring Robert Pattinson – who plays the lead role of Bruce Wayne – alongside Zoe Kravitz and Colin Farrell.

The movie’s director Matt Reeves praised the location, which also saw the cathedral and nearby “Bridge of Sighs” feature in scenes involving a high-speed motorcycle chase, saying it made for “a very special Gotham”.


Bathgate, West Lothian

Back in the day, Bathgate’s biggest showbiz claim to fame was a namecheck in the 1987 song Letter From America by The Proclaimers (alongside Linwood, Methil and Irvine et al).

Fast forward a few decades and Pulp Fiction star Samuel L Jackson is among the most recent high-profile names to be spotted filming in and around the West Lothian town. The actor has been shooting the crime thriller, Damaged, alongside John Hannah and Kate Dickie.

Bathgate is home to a TV and film studio at the Pyramids Business Park, used in the making of T2 Trainspotting, Prime Video series Good Omens and the Netflix epic Outlaw King. Time for a Hollywood-style sign high in the Bathgate Hills? The campaign starts here.


St Andrews, Fife

The opening scenes of Chariots of Fire remain a celluloid masterpiece. Hearing the soaring title track by Vangelis as the cast run along the water’s edge is the stuff of goosebumps.

This part of the 1981 film, starring Ben Cross and Ian Charleson as 1924 Olympians Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell respectively, was filmed at West Sands Beach in St Andrews.

Last year St Andrews took centre stage in the ITV crime drama Karen Pirie. Based on The Distant Echo, the first in a series of cold case novels by Val McDermid, among the locations used were the town’s cathedral, harbour and university, The Pends and The Scores.  

The debut instalment saw Lauren Lyle play the titular DCI Karen Pirie, tasked with reopening an investigation into the murder of a teenage barmaid who has become the subject of a provocative true crime podcast.

St Andrews will also feature in the upcoming run of Netflix drama, The Crown, as the sixth series covers the period when the Prince and Princess of Wales – William and Kate – studied at university.

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V&A Dundee

Succession star Brian Cox hails from Dundee and when the show decided to pay homage to his roots – and those of Cox’s on-screen alter ego Machiavellian media mogul Logan Roy – it allowed the city to enjoy a role in the satirical comedy-drama.

A memorable episode in the second series was filmed at the V&A Dundee, the setting for a surprise dinner to mark the billionaire’s 50th anniversary as CEO of the fictional Waystar RoyCo.

During the speeches, Jeremy Strong’s character, Kendall, performed a cringeworthy rap entitled “L to the OG”, while wearing a custom Logan Roy-themed baseball jersey. Scenes for Succession were also shot at Gleneagles Hotel and Dundee University.


Mugdock Country Park, near Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire

Netflix’s big-budget Robert the Bruce biopic Outlaw King – starring Star Trek actor Chris Pine as the eponymous hero – was shot around Scotland, utilising various locations on Skye, as well as Glen Coe, Rothiemurchus, Loch Lomond, Linlithgow, Dunfermline, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

One of the movie’s most ambitious scenes saw the cast and some 400 extras converge on Mugdock Country Park to recreate the 1307 Battle of Loudoun Hill. 

Nor was it the East Dunbartonshire beauty spot’s first celluloid moment. Other productions to have filmed there include Doctor Finlay, Only An Excuse and Gary: Tank Commander.


Drummond Castle Gardens, Perthshire

Designed in the Italian Parterre style and approached via a mile-long driveway of beech trees, these beautifully ornate gardens were featured in the second series of Outlander.

The hit show has famously helped shine a spotlight on a large number of Scotland’s historic landmarks and beautiful scenery. However, on this occasion, Drummond Castle Gardens were pretending to be French for scenes set in the Court of Louis XV at the Palace of Versailles.

The impressive grounds have garnered several screen credits over the years, such as Rob Roy (1995), The Bruce (1996) and Man to Man (2005).


Ardgowan Estate, Inverclyde

Home to an 18th-century house surrounded by 400-acres of parkland, the Ardgowan Estate near Inverkip has been dubbed “Scotland’s Downton Abbey”.

In 2017, it was transformed into Sunny Point, the fictional country estate in the BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Ordeal By Innocence. The show’s star-studded cast included Bill Nighy, Anna Chancellor, Morven Christie, Eleanor Tomlinson, Matthew Goode and Alice Eve.

Ardgowan has also been used in Rebus, Taggart and Still Game – the classic episode when Jack, Victor and the gang attend a posh soiree – as well as Shetland and Jonathan Creek. Tours are available but must be booked in advance.


Glen Coe, Lochaber

The majesty of Glen Coe never fails to wow and has earned it a place in many a TV and movie production (and a fair few glitzy car commercials too).

To date, the Highland beauty spot has graced the James Bond film Skyfall (as the location of Bond's ancestral home), as well as everything from historical dramas (Outlander and Outlaw King) to horrors (Under The Skin) and not forgetting the classic 1935 Alfred Hitchcock-directed mystery/thriller The 39 Steps.

A motorcycle-riding Highland cow can be seen speeding through Glen Coe in a recent advert for Virgin Media.


Pennan, Aberdeenshire

There are few movie props more iconic than the red telephone box in Local Hero. The 1983 film – directed by Bill Forsyth – celebrates its 40th anniversary this year (yep, really – I had to double-check the maths too).

Pennan in Aberdeenshire stood in as the fictional Ferness in the cult classic flick, with most of the picturesque coastal village scenes filmed here (while Morar and Arisaig on the west coast were used for beach shots).

Peter Riegert played hot-shot oil executive “Mac” MacIntyre, with Burt Lancaster as his boss. The red telephone box was where Mac would make his daily dispatches back to the US with updates about plans to acquire land to build a refinery.