The Edinburgh International Film Festival is currently underway, and GLT has been inspired to seek out some of the best Scottish locations for groups to visit, that you might have seen on screen.

The film festival – an annual fortnight of cinema screenings and related events taking place each summer – is running from 21st June until 2nd July this year. 2017 marks the festival’s 70th birthday, too.

Scotland’s abundance of dramatic scenery and historic towns has acted as a backdrop to some major blockbusters over the years, ranging from Shakespearean tragedies to cult classic comedies. So there are no end of locations for groups who want to see an ‘on-screen’ location during their next visit to the country.

Midlothian for The Da Vinci Code

Start your explorations at the historic 15th century Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian. Situated just a short drive from Edinburgh’s Waverley Station, this chapel featured in the 2006 film adaptation of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code as a key location in the quest for the Holy Grail.

Rosslyn Chapel

Pictured: Rosslyn Chapel. (Photo credit: VisitBritain and VisitScotland).

Visitors can spot mysterious carvings and ornate stonework inside the chapel, plus visit the state-of-the-art visitor centre that explains the building’s history. Who knows, you might even determine your own theory about the Knights Templar.

Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle for Brave

Animated fantasy film Brave captures the surroundings of Loch Ness, and offers a glimpse into Medieval Scottish history and the remaining heritage sites that visitors can enjoy today. Urquhart Castle, one of the largest Medieval castles in the Highlands, guards the banks of Loch Ness and is said to have inspired many scenes in the film.

Urquhart Castle

Pictured: Urquhart Castle. (Photo credit: VisitBritain and VisitScotland).

Groups visiting the castle can take in the Grant Tower and Great Hall, plus see the prison cells and a full-sized, working trebuchet (stone-throwing machine). You can enjoy picturesque exterior views of the castle by taking a Loch Ness cruise with operator Loch Ness by Jacobite.

Edinburgh for Sunshine on Leith

Scotland’s capital was used extensively for the filming of the musical Sunshine on Leith in 2013, which features a series of songs by Scottish duo, The Proclaimers. Many Edinburgh landmarks were captured throughout the film, with one of the most memorable being the finale set to 500 miles outside The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA).


Pictured: Edinburgh. (Photo credit: VisitBritain and VisitScotland).

The RSA building was designed by William Henry Playfair and opened to the public in 1826. Today visitors can enjoy a great selection of exhibitions and events which are independently funded and led by artists and architects whose purpose is to promote contemporary Scottish art.

Dunnottar Castle for Frankenstein

For the thrill seeker in your group, head to Aberdeenshire’s Dunnottar Castle. Sherlock director Paul McGuigan took to this castle to shoot the remake of gothic horror Frankenstein, which was released in 2015.

Pictured: Dunnottar Castle.

This formidable fortress is perched at the edge of the North Sea and is believed to have been graced with the presence of William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots and King Charles II. Visitors can spend time examining the ruins and imagining the events that once took place in the dramatic lodging, stable and chapel buildings.

Glen Coe for James Bond

Starring Daniel Craig as 007, the 2012 film Skyfall sees secret agent James Bond returning to his Scottish roots, with the main part of the action taking place at Bond’s family home, Skyfall Lodge.

The River Coe by Signal Rock and An Torr, Glencoe

Pictured: The River Coe by Signal Rock and An Torr, Glencoe. (Photo credit: VisitBritain and VisitScotland).

This is located in mountainous Glen Coe, the village of which is picturesquely located between the banks of Loch Leven and the mouth of the famous glen, making it a great base for exploring the area of Lochaber.

Groups might also like to visit Eilean Donan Castle, the Scottish headquarters of MI6 in The World is Not Enough (1999).

Group travel organisers seeking further inspiration when it comes to visiting Scotland’s filming destinations can visit, where there are plenty more places suitable for groups to explore.