Some would say that we are biased when we claim Scotland to be the most picturesque and beautiful country in the world.
Recently we were delighted to host the cast and crew of 'The Nest', a BBC drama starring Martin Compston, who played the part of a well-off couple living in Glasgow struggling to conceive. It is easy to see why the surrounding area would make such an atmospheric backdrop to filming.
From rugged shorelines to sweeping glens tucked away between towering mountains and stunning castles set on the banks of tranquil lochs, we offer a unique and rich landscape.
The film most closely associated with Argyll and the Isles is Ring of Bright Water (1969), based on Scottish author and naturalist Gavin Maxwell’s semi-autobiographical tale of a writer who brings his pet otter to the West Coast of Scotland. Tigh Beg Croft, one of the secluded locations used in the filming of Ring of Bright Water is now available to visitors as self-catering accommodation.
More recently, one of the west coast’s most iconic buildings, Inveraray Castle, played host to the Grantham Family in Downton Abbey (2012). Scenes of the Armoury Hall, the State Dining Room and Dhu Loch showed Inveraray Castle in all its glory.
In 1975, Argyll saw a French soldier (played by John Cleese) hurl bizarre insults down upon King Arthur from the roof of the Castle of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh!! (Monty Python and The Holy Grail). The castle in question is, in fact, Castle Stalker - a four-story tower house or keep picturesquely set on a tidal islet on Loch Laich, an inlet off Loch Linnhe. The Castle is privately owned but there are a number of tours each year.
Both Brave and Outlander used multiple locations throughout Scotland including Dunnottar Castle, on which Brave’s DunBroch was modelled, and in Outlander, the Culloden Battlefield, one of the most famous Scottish locations and the site of the 1745 Jacobite Battle alongside Bonnie Prince Charlie.
As you approach the Glencoe area from the south, the road passes through Rannoch Moor – a beautiful and wild landscape fondly described as ‘the middle of nowhere’. Rannoch Moor and the village of Kinloch Rannoch were chosen for the scenes in Outlander featuring the famous standing stones of Craigh na Dun (as mentioned above). This mystical place is also the spot where Death Eaters board the train in Harry Potter - The Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
Leaving this wilderness behind, it is possible to board the Jacobite Steam Train in Fort William and travel through the iconic scenery straight out of the Harry Potter blockbuster films. The train that had a starring role as the Hogwarts Express travels over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, featured in the flying car scene in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.