Caledonian Celluloid: Tips For A Scottish Movie Road Trip

Bonnie Scotland has been voted the world’s most beautiful country several times by leading travel publications like Rough Guides and if you’ve ever visited its legendary lochs, glens and mountains, you probably agree.

But it’s also provided the dramatic backdrop for several popular movies over the years, so if you’re a fan of the silver screen heading to Scotland, you might want to see some of them in person. 

With that in mind, here are some tips for a Scottish movie road trip. 

Hire a car

First thing’s first  ̶  you’ll definitely need a car (unless you’re up for a power of walking!).

An intermediate-sized SUV is probably a good pick because it’s small enough to park in cities and robust enough to cope with trips across rugged roads in the Highlands and Islands. Take a look at a car hire comparison site like Enjoy Travel for great deals from top partners, then you can choose in a couple of clicks and collect on arrival. 

Book your accommodation 

If you’ve planned out your itinerary, you can pre-book your accommodation and feel confident that you’re getting enough rest while you’re on the road. Scotland has a wide range of accommodation, from hotels to B&Bs and hostels  ̶  check Tripadvisor for reviews and ratings.

Alternatively, for an immersive experience, perhaps you’d rather stay in an Airbnb that’s an authentic home in a real residential neighbouthood? 

Trainspotting in Edinburgh 

Trainspotting is a classic 90s movie based on Irvine Welsh’s grim yet gripping tale of Edinburgh’s underbelly  ̶  much of the movie (and book) is set in Leith, which is a port suburb of north Edinburgh that was once a separate town. 

You can visit Leith (many parts are now trendy and gentrified) but filming locations in the elegant New Town include Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle, Hanover Street and Regent Bridge. Experience every location with a Trainspotting walking tour with film buff tourist firm Brit Movie Tours.

Hogwarts Express in Glenfinnan

Sticking with the train theme (albeit in a very different movie!) if you marvelled at the Hogwarts Express steaming over the iconic bridge in the second and third instalments of the Harry Potter franchise, you’ll be glad to know that you can visit the bridge and station featured in real life.

The bridge is actually called Glenfinnan Viaduct and if you really want to treat yourself to a brilliant bucket-list experience, why not book a ticket on the Jacobite steam train which travels from Fort William to Mallaig and crosses the viaduct just like in the movies?

These two filming locations are merely teaser trailers when it comes to Caledonia celluloid  ̶  for the main feature you can also visit majestic Glen Coe, which featured in the James Bond Skyfall movie, Stirling Castle (which featured in Outlaw) and much more!

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