Iconic film and TV show locations to visit in the Scottish Highlands

Iconic film and tv show locations to visit in the Scottish Highlands

If you’re looking for a unique getaway, a holiday in the Scottish Highlands is the perfect choice. Home to some of the most breath-taking scenery, the Highlands are the perfect destination for exploring, relaxing, and experiencing the great outdoors. But did you know that the Scottish Highlands are also home to some of the most iconic film and TV locations?

From the rolling hills featured in Outlander to the magnificent landscapes of Harry Potter, the team at Go-Hi have compiled a list of film and TV shows that were set in the Scottish Highlands, from past to present.

The Traitors, BBC (2022)

The most recent production to be filmed in the Scottish Highlands is the BBC Series ‘The Traitors’, available on BBC iPlayer. Contestants were invited to Ardross Castle, a stunning estate with 100 acres of parkland and close to the banks of the River Alness. The castle itself is open to guests and the venue can be booked for corporate events and weddings.

Outlander, Amazon Prime (2014 – Present)

The popular TV show Outlander uses the stunning scenery of the Highlands as a backdrop for its romantic and thrilling storylines, from the rolling Munros to the expansive lochs and glens. The show follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. Some of the locations used for filming include the Glenfinnan Viaduct, Loch Ness, and the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore.

Skyfall (2012)

Skyfall is an action-spy film and the twenty-third instalment in the James Bond film series. Bond returns to his native Scotland in this movie which features captivating landscapes of the Highlands. The scenes depicting the childhood home of James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) were shot in Glen Coe, and the intense driving scenes were filmed near the striking peaks of Glen Etive.

Brave (2012)

This popular animated movie follows the adventures of a young Scottish princess, Merida, as she attempts to restore order to her kingdom. The animators behind this much-loved Pixar classic visited Scotland twice between 2006 and 2007 to inspire their depictions of the beautiful Scottish landscapes in the film. Two highland locations that were central in the film’s development were Dunnottar Castle and Glen Affric.

The Descent (2005)

The Descent is a horror movie that follows the fate of a group of friends who become trapped in an underground cave system. In the film, the Scottish Highlands are used to replicate the Appalachian Mountains, with the most memorable scenes being filmed in the Cairngorms National Park.

The Harry Potter Series (2002-2005)

The second, third, and fourth instalments of the Harry Potter series all featured locations in the Scottish Highlands. The scenes depicting Harry, Ron and Hermione travelling to Hogwarts were on the Glenfinnan Viaduct with the Jacobite steam train being transformed into the Hogwarts Express. If you’d prefer to view the surrounding areas on foot, you can still spot some famous locations from the film on the viaduct viewpoint, including the scene from the Chamber of Secrets where Harry and Ron steal the flying car to catch up with the Hogwarts Express.

Monarch of the Glen (2000-2005)

Monarch of the Glen was a long-running comedy-drama series that was filmed entirely in the Scottish Highlands. The series follows the adventures of the McDonald family and their estate in the Highlands. Many of the filming locations used in the series are open to the public, including Glen Affric and Loch Morlich, which are both ideal locations for water sports and picnicking in the outdoors.

Hamish MacBeth (1995-1997)

Hamish Macbeth is set in the fictional town of Lochdubh in the Scottish Highlands. The show follows a local police constable as he solves mysteries and deals with the eccentric inhabitants of the town. The area around the fishing village of Lochinver on the west coast was used as a filming location for the show, and you can still visit the harbour and surrounding hills.

Braveheart (1995)

The 1995 epic historical drama Braveheart is one of the most famous films to be shot in the Scottish Highlands. Much of the filming took place around Glen Nevis, near Fort William, and the picturesque Glen Coe. Glen Nevis was used for the scenes depicting the Battle of Stirling Bridge, while the Battle of Falkirk was filmed in Glen Coe.

Local Hero (1983)

One of the most beloved films shot in the Scottish Highlands is Local Hero. This comedy-drama follows an American oil executive who is sent to a fictitious village in the Highlands to purchase land for an oil refinery. The real-life village of Pennan in Aberdeenshire was used as a filming location for the movie, and you can still visit the red phone box on the beach which became a famous symbol of the film. The coastline and dramatic cliffs of Aberdeenshire are well worth exploring if you’re in the area.

The Wicker Man (1973)

Although this classic horror movie was released over four decades ago, it is still widely regarded as one of the best horror films ever made. It was shot in various locations throughout the Scottish Highlands, with most of the filming taking place on the Isle of Skye. One of the most memorable scenes in the movie features the stunning Quiraing, a mountain pass on the Isle of Skye and part of the Trotternish ridge.

The 39 Steps (1935)

The 39 Steps is an Alfred Hitchcock classic filmed in the Scottish Highlands. It follows the story of Richard Hannay, a Canadian-born British subject, who discovers a spy ring in London and is accused of murder. He must flee to Scotland, where he meets a woman named Pamela, who helps him escape. The film was shot in the Scottish Highlands, including the Cairngorms National Park, where the dramatic chase scenes take place. The film’s climax occurs on a bridge over the River Tay.

Go-Hi is the Perfect Travel Companion for Exploring the Highlands

From Hitchcock classics to BBC gameshows, the Highlands have been the backdrop for some of the most iconic films and TV shows across time. Why not explore some of these unique locations on your next trip to Scotland’s Highlands with the help of Go-Hi?

Making travel arrangements is effortless with the Go-Hi app. Book, pay for, and store tickets for multiple transport methods, all in one place. Plus, Go-Hi will find the most efficient and budget-friendly routes from point A to point B. So, if you’re looking to explore the wonders of the Scottish Highlands, Go-Hi is the perfect travel companion.