Top 5 TV Shows and Movies Filmed in Scotland

Ian Linn

24 August 2022

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When it comes to the world of film and television, Scotland has been home to many famous productions. From classics to more recent hits, filming locations in Scotland have been utilized time and time again by some of the biggest studios in the world. With its unique scenery, rich history and distinct culture, there’s no surprise that so many filmmakers have chosen Scotland as their setting of choice. So, if you’re looking to get a taste of the country, here are our top ten TV shows filmed in Scotland!


Top 5 TV Shows and Movies Filmed in Scotland


1. Outlander


First up on our list, we have Outlander. This historical drama first aired in 2014, based on the novel of the same name by author Diana Gabaldon. Set in the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, the plot follows the story of Claire Randall, who travels back in time from the 1940’s to the Scottish Highlands of 1743. Filming locations included various areas across Scotland, including the Ardnamurchan Peninsula and Blackness Castle in West Lothian. With its beautiful scenery, rich history, and distinct culture, Scotland’s appeal as a filming location is clear, and viewers are certainly able to appreciate the surroundings despite the show’s many time traveling plot twists!

You can enjoy the best of the Outlander filming locations as well as iconic attractions in the Scottish Highlands by joining an Outlander tour.


2. Harry Potter


Next up, we have Harry Potter! Eight-part film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Released in 2001, the film follows Harry, Ron, and Hermione, who are on the run from the evil Lord Voldemort following the. Filming locations throughout Scotland were used to portray the various settings in the story, most notably the, Glenfinnan Viaduct, Jacobite Steam Train, Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe and other places in Scottish Highlands.

The dramatic landscapes of the picturesque Highlands made them the perfect setting for the climactic final battle between Harry and the forces of evil, and have since become a popular tourist destination for Harry Potter fans. There are also many other places in Scotland that gave inspiration for the places in the Harry Potter books and movies. Such as fascinating Victoria Street in Edinburgh which is thought to inspire the Diagon Alley.


3. Trainspotting


Next up, Trainspotting, which was released in 1996, based on the novel of the same name by Irvine Welsh. The film follows the story of a group of friends in the Scottish city of Edinburgh, as they descend into a life of drug addiction. While the film takes place in Edinburgh, the majority of filming actually took place in Glasgow, around areas like Barrowlands, Queen Street station, and the Botanical Gardens. Thanks to the unique setting and distinct aesthetics of each location, the film holds a very distinct Scottish style, which can be appreciated by even those who have never set foot in the country!


4. Mary Queen of Scots


Coming in at number four, we have Mary Queen of Scots. This movie, which was released in 2018, follows the story of Mary Stuart, the 16th century Scottish queen who was famously first woman to rule Scotland in her own right. Mary was married to the King of France and was the Queen there for a short time. She also had a strong claim to the throne of England too.

The film, which was directed by Josie Rourke, chose to set the majority of its filming in Scotland, with a number of spectacular castles used as the main backdrops for the story. The iconic Scottish architecture can be appreciated in many hit films and TV shows, and Mary Queen of Scots is certainly no exception!


5. Braveheart


Next up, we have the iconic Braveheart. This historical drama was released in 1995, and is loosely based on the life of the 13th century Scottish knight, William Wallace. The film follows Wallace’s fight against the English occupation of Scotland, and features a number of spectacular battle scenes, as well as the iconic ‘Freedom’ speech delivered by Wallace in the film’s climax. Much of the film was shot in Scotland, particularly Aonach Eagach, Ballymore Eustace, Bective Abbey, Curragh Plains, Dunsany Castle, Dunsoghly Castle and Glen Nevis.




We hope you enjoyed our list of the top 5 TV shows and movies filmed in Scotland! Scotland is a fascinating country, and it has played host to some truly iconic films and TV shows.

Scotland is a truly unique place, and its rich history and distinct culture make it the perfect setting for many a film.

If you want to experience the country for yourself, you can book one of our Scotland tours.