Scotland is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And its capital, Edinburgh, is a wonderful city – it is historic and versatile. Both the Old Town and the New Town has its own unique and breath-taking architecture. No wonder that Edinburgh is a popular destination for movie makers. Has the popularity grown over the past few years? Yes, maybe it has – see it for yourself. Here is our selection of recent movies filmed at stunning locations all around Edinburgh.
Trainspotting 1 (1996) & Trainspotting 2 (2017)
Of course I am going to start with these amazing black comedy drama movies. These films are based on Irvine Welsh’s novel of the same name. In the first movie, Renton (Ewan McGregor) who is deeply involved in the world of drugs tries to clean up his life and get out – despite the influence of his friends. The second movie is pretty much the same. After 20 years, (which is indeed 20 years in real life too) Renton reunites with his friends and he starts his journey down memory lane. Scotland as well as Edinburgh played a massive part in the production of these movies. The iconic chasing scene through Princes Street up until Calton Road appears in both movies – it really has a nice nostalgic feeling. Just like Regent Bridge, Holyrood Park, Forth Road Bridge and The Parliament.
~ Holyrood Park
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
This movie is based on the bestselling book of Dan Brown. It provoked a huge controversy at that time though, mostly because of religious reasons. In the movie, the characters of Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou start to investigate a murder in Paris and following the clues of a mystery they eventually end up in Scotland. Yes, surprisingly, the final “battle” of the movie was shot in the historical Rosslyn Chapel near the Rossyln Castle.
~ Rosslyn Castle
One Day (2011)
This romantic drama is about a couple (Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess) who meet at the Edinburgh University and fall in love. But obviously, that’s not it. They go on separate ways and the movie follows both lives that connect from time to time. The film has many Edinburgh locations, for example Moray Place and Forres Street where the iconic kissing scene was shot. But it also portrays Calton Hill, Arthur’s Seat, the Parliament Square and Victoria Street.
~ Arthur’s Seat
Cloud Atlas (2012)
Believe it or not, this epic sci-fi movie also features famous locations around Edinburgh. Even though this movie is hard to understand (if it is even possible) the main plot can be described using one word only – butterfly effect. Okay that were two words, apologies. The movie has scenes of the Scott Monument, the India Buildings, Royal Mile and Victoria Terrace.
~ Scott Monument
Yet another adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel. It is about a corrupt and junkie cop with bipolar disorder. Sounds awesome, right? James McAvoy (the junkie cop) tries to get a promotion in order to win both his wife and daughter back while fighting his inner demons at the same time. Obviously, he plays dirty. One scene was filmed at the Edinburgh Castle while a few others were shot near Grassmarket.
~ Edinburgh Castle
I know, this is not a movie… But this series is all about Scotland – not only they are still shooting a lot of scenes around here, the whole series is about Scottish Highlanders. It is a romantic adventure through time. Literally through time. A British army nurse (Caitriona Balfe) mysteriously travels through time and finds herself in the middle of the Jacobite uprising in 1743. Strange huh. Obviously, she meets a handsome highland warrior and she starts to feel more attached to the Scottish people than her own. Edinburgh locations include the Craigmillar Castle as the Ardsmuir Prison where Jamie (Sam Heughan, the handsome highland warrior) was held captive or Bakehouse Close as the lovely Malcolm Print Shop.
~ Craigmillar Castle
Avengers – Infinity War (2018)
I couldn’t leave out the Marvel Universe’s epic Avengers movie where the “snap” or “blip” happened. Well, that exact moment didn’t happen in Edinburgh, but guess what. It was the only location outside the US! I’m sure fans remember to the scene where Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) were saved by Captain America (Chris Evans) and other Avengers. That amazing action scene was indeed shot at the Waverley Train Station in Edinburgh. Just before that scene, you can also see other parts of the Old Town – for example, Cockburn Street and St. Giles Cathedral.
~ St. Giles’ Cathedral
Outlaw King (2018)
Another movie where Craigmillar Castle played a big part. Netflix’s Outlaw King is a period drama which follows Robert the Bruce’s (Chris Pine) battle to regain control after being made an outlaw for taking the Scottish crown. Although, the movie didn’t have a huge success and it rather provoked a controversy for many people, the Craigmillar Castle appears as a lovely medieval village in the film.
~ Craigmillar Castle
Mary Queen of Scots (2019)
This historical epic follows Mary’s (Saoirse Ronan) attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie), Queen of England until Mary is imprisoned for years before facing her execution. One of the main locations was Seacliff Beach which is not exactly in Edinburgh, but North Berwick is easily approachable and Seacliff Beach is not far from there. Trust me, it is definitely a must-see place.
Fast and Furious 9 (2020)
Not long ago, parts of the city were closed for an entire month in September. The next movie of the Fast and Furious franchise is going to have sights of Edinburgh. Not sure how many or which parts exactly, but I look forward to catching glimpses of our beautiful city while cars are rushing all around – hopefully not destroying anything.
It is a perfect time to plan your winter getaway. If you happen to like these movies and would love to feel being a part of it too, book your accommodation now. Good news, our apartments are located just in the heart of Edinburgh therefore giving you a chance to explore all these amazing filming locations. Use the code SEASONAL and book your accommodation now.