With its assortment of picturesque cities and awe-inspiring highlands, Scotland seems to be a hotspot for location scouts. There’s no surprise, then, that various locations in Scotland appear in some of the most iconic movie scenes of all time.
Whether you’re travelling to Scotland for a holiday or to study for a business management degree, you can explore the country. Here are four iconic scenes from movies filmed throughout Scotland so you can live out your favourite movie moments.
First on our list is Trainspotting. Based on the novel by Irvine Welsh, this film is the cult classic that catapulted Ewan McGregor into stardom.
The opening scene of Trainspotting is arguably the most iconic. Renton and Spud sprint through Edinburgh away from John Menzies Bookstore following a theft. The scene features the iconic Princes Street, overlooked by spectacular castles and cathedrals. Dodging cars and the pursuing police, they stomp along the cobblestone floor to the beat of ‘Lust for Life’ by Iggy Pop.
As they run down the famous streets of Edinburgh, the memorable ‘choose life’ monologue reminds viewers to live life in the fast lane. From buying washing machines to spending time with friends and family, choose to refrain from Renton’s harmful behaviour and remember to live your life.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a magical family film that sparks the imagination of children and adults alike. The Harry Potter movies are filmed in a number of locations throughout the United Kingdom, all the way from Professor McGonagall’s classroom in Durham to the Hogwarts Express in Scotland.
While the Scottish countryside features in multiple Harry Potter films, the series’ second film boasts some exceptional views of the landscape. The iconic Chamber of Secrets scene filmed in Scotland is Harry and Ron’s journey to Hogwarts. After Dobby sabotages the entrance to platform 9 ¾, the boys are unable to board the Hogwarts Express. They come to the very illogical conclusion that an illegal flying car is the only way to get to school.
The flight goes smoothly until they have a rough and tumble encounter with the steam train. Harry almost falls out of the blue Ford Anglia as the boys flounder in the sky. All of this is set against the legendary backdrop of the Glenfinnan Viaduct. With Ron’s hilarious squeals set against the serenity of the Scottish highlands, it’s no surprise this scene is so memorable.
Although the Hogwarts Express is stationed at the Warner Brother Studios, you can travel from Fort William to Mallaig on the Jacobite and see the Glenfinnan Viaduct for yourself! Make the most of your university experience and see the mesmerising Scottish highlands this winter.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Next on our list of iconic movie scenes filmed in Scotland is The Da Vinci Code. This is an action-packed film perfect for thrill-seekers and mystery lovers. The movie was filmed in multiple locations, from Belvoir Castle near Leicestershire to Westminster Abbey in London. The climax of the film takes place around 10 miles from Edinburgh at Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin. Robert and Sophie (the protagonists) walk towards the grandeur Chapel through the dense forest and tumbling hills. Inside, they uncover the final clue to conclude the mystery thriller: the Star of David.
While the aerial shot of Rosslyn Chapel features a miniature replica, that doesn’t stop you from visiting the filming location. At the time of filming, the building was under construction and could not be shot in all its glory. Fortunately, you can see the interior as it is depicted and see the cinema screen come to life.
Immerse yourself in Scottish history and visit Roslyn Chapel this winter. Expert tour guides will walk you through the wonders of the chapel, from meticulously carved stone to artworks dating back to 1446.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War continues the epic battle between the Avengers and Thanos. As the 19th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this film will go down in history for exceeding all of our expectations. It was filmed in a number of locations around the world, including the beloved Scotland.
The production – which lasted seven weeks and consisted of over 400 working crew members – is the biggest shoot to have ever taken place in Edinburgh’s city centre. At the beginning of the film, Thanos sends Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive to assassinate Wanda and Vision. The fight of these characters, later joined by other members of the Avengers, sends shockwaves through the streets of Edinburgh. Wanda is even thrown across Cockburn Street, crashing through the window of Laila’s Mediterranean restaurant.
Avengers: Infinity War took full advantage of the scenic potential of Edinburgh. Everything from quaint shops on Cockburn Street to St Giles Cathedral and Waverley Station was filmed for the production. Visit Edinburgh to see whether the cobblestoned streets are as picturesque as they seem on the big screen.
Scotland is teeming with cinematic adventures. Take a break and explore the wonders the country has to offer. While you’re there, remember to enjoy the serene views and recreate your favourite movie scenes.