Scotland’s breath-taking castles have provided the perfect, atmospheric backdrop for many famous films and TV shows. As soon as the camera rolls, before a word of script is spoken, the viewer is in no doubt about the setting of the story.
There have been well over two thousand castles in Scotland, although many are known only through historical records. Their inclusion in modern film and TV making ensures that their grandeur reaches across the globe for future generations.
Popular castles, regularly appearing in movie sets include: Eilean Donan Castle, Drummond Castle, Doune Castle, Floors Castle, Duns Castle, Culzean Castle, Inveraray Castle, and Dunnottar Castle.
Eilean Donan CastleHighlander
Drummond Castle GardensRob Roy
Duns CastleMrs Brown
Culzean CastleThe Wicker Man
Inveraray CastleDownton Abbey
Dunnottar CastleVictor Frankenstein
Doune CastleMonty Python
Scottish Castle Film List includes
- Bonnie Prince Charlie starring David Niven (1948)
- The Master of Ballantreee starring Errol Flynn (1953)
- The New Avengers (1976)
- Highlander (1986)
- Loch Ness (1996)
- James Bond – The World is Not Enough (1999)
- BBC One Television Idendity (1997 – 2002)
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
- Game of Thrones
- Rob Roy (1995)
- Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
- Mrs Brown (1997)
- The Wicker Man (1973)
- Downton Abbey
- Victor Frankenstein (2015)
- Brave (2012)
The castle is a popular location for films and TV. Eilean Donan has starred in many films: Bonnie Prince Charlie starring David Niven (1948) The Master of Ballantreee starring Errol Flynn (1953) The New Avengers (1976) Highlander (1986) Loch Ness (1996) James Bond – The World is Not Enough (1999) BBC One Television Idendity (1997 – 2002)
Drummond Castle Gardens have featured in many films, TV programmes and adverts, most notably in the United Artist feature film Rob Roy and the Outlander series. Drummond Castle Gardens is one of Europe’s and Scotland’s most important and impressive formal gardens. Located in Perthshire near Crieff, it dates back to the 17th Century.
Scenes for Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) were shot at Floors Castle in Kelso — built for the 1st Duke of Roxburgh in 1721. Hugh Hudson's 1985 film based on Edgar Rice Burrough's novel Tarzan of the Apes, starring Christopher Lambert and Andie Macdowell. The film received three Oscar nominations.
Standing proudly since the 14th century, Duns Castle is in a unique location in the Scottish Borders, surrounded by tranquil parkland, on the outskirts of the small market town of Duns. Mrs Brown (1997) is a British drama film directed by John Madden starring Judi Dench and Billy Connolly. Both Balmoral and Windsor Castle are played by Duns Castle.
Culzean Castle in Ayrshire was used as the castle of Lord Summerisle. Culzean is mainly seen in exterior shots although a scene was filmed in one of the first rooms you enter while going round the castle. Most of the interiors of Lord Summerisle's castle were filmed at Lochinch Castle in Dumfries and Galloway.
Inveraray Castle was the chosen location for the Downton Abbey Christmas 2012 episode. In a nail-biting two hour special, the Grantham family and staff travelled north to the home of their cousins, the Marquess and Marchioness of Flintshire in their mythical Scottish home, ‘Duneagle Castle’.
This dramatic and evocative ruined cliff top fortress was the home of the Earls Marischal, once one of the most powerful families in Scotland. The castle appears to have been the inspiration for Princess Merida’s home of Dunbroch in the Disney animated classic, Brave. The castle has also appeared in Victor Frankenstein (2015).
Marvel at the splendour of Doune Castle, built as the home of Regent Albany, ‘Scotland’s uncrowned king’. Doune is a popular filming location and has featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Game of Thrones and Outlander. Actor/director Terry Jones narrates an audio tour that reveals Doune’s exciting history and tales from the Holy Grail film set.
With over 2,000 of them Scotland is truly the land of castles. So far I have visited over 300 and this page will eventually showcase them all. Use the search bar to find a specific castle, or browse by region below.