Discover award-winning film locations
15 February 2019
There’s no doubt that Hollywood is known as the home of movies but across the pond, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire acts as the backdrop to some film-famous locations that not even the bright lights of Hollywood can match.
Ancient castles, untouched coastal towns and majestic countryside create picture-perfect locations loved by some of the world’s greatest story tellers and film makers.
So, pack that camera and explore a star-studded line-up of locations to see awe-inspiring sights that not even the silver screen can do justice.
Before the days of travelling time in the Tardis, Peter Capaldi had dealings with another famous telephone box which stays firmly on the ground in Pennan. The red telephone box featured in Local Hero back in 1983 and continues to lure tourists in to visit.
Head 20 miles north along the Banffshire coast to find the picturesque 17th century harbor of Portsoy the location for malt smuggling film Whisky Galore! starring James Cosmo and Eddie Izzard.
Make an escape to the storybook surroundings of Craigevar Castle, where it’s been said to have been the inspiration for the Disney Castle with its mesmerising pink walls and tranquil setting.
Walk in the footsteps of the Queen (well Helen Mirren) at Cluny Castle and Castle Fraser both used as filming locations for Oscar-winning The Queen. Rolling with the Royal theme, over at Cruden Bay, scenes for Netflix hit The Crown were shot at Slains Castle where Bram Stoker also took inspiration for Dracula’s sinister lair.
One of our most Instagrammed castles, Dunnottar Castle, has captured the attention of location scouts set high above roaring waves and inspiring the design of Merida’s castle in Pixar animation Brave. Dunnottar has been no stranger to famous faces either, doubling as 16th century Denmark for Mel Gibson in Hamlet and providing an eerie setting for Victor Frankenstein starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe.
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• Aberdeenshire is... ...Cluny Castle... • 🇬🇧[AD]Who else has ever dreamed of living in a castle? I must say that Cluny Castle definitely looks like a dream castle! The place is not only gorgeous (that’s rather obvious!) but also welcomes every now and then some big names of the movie industry: It’s here, for instance, that The Queen with Helen Mirren has been filmed! Classy or what? That said, I had to say no to my dreaming of owning a castle myself someday. Well, have you seen how many windows you have to clean? I am already struggling with the two I have in my living room so I think I’ll stick to visiting castles only! 😆 . Paid partnership with @visitabdn . 🇫🇷Qui d’autre a déjà rêvé de vivre dans un château? Je dois bien avouer que le Château de Cluny a tout pour faire rêver! En plus d’être absolument magnifique, il n’est pas rare d’y croiser quelques grands noms du cinéma! C’est ici qu’a été tourné notamment The Queen avec Helen Mirren! La classe hein? Ceci dit, après avoir visité le château, j’ai du dire non à mon rêve d’en posséder un un jour! Vous avez vu le nombre de fenêtre qu’il faut nettoyer? Ça calme, je vous assure! Du coup, je vais me contenter de continuer à les visiter, c’est encore beaucoup plus simple comme cela! 😆
Aberdeenshire’s breath-taking countryside was prominent in the movie adaptation of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song filming at the village of Fettercairn, Invercauld Estate, Glenmuick Estate, Birsemore Lochmirror and Glen Tanar estate.
Moving further west from Glen Tanar to Mar Lodge where the rich landscape of the Cairngorms National Park acted as the backdrop for Tom Hardy’s plane take-over in the opening scene of The Dark Knight Rises.
The Poldullie Bridge in Strathdon is the latest addition to our local movie location, acting as a recurring feature in Mary Queen of Scots starring Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie and David Tennant.
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Heather spread across the glen at Mar Lodge Estate, carpeting the hills in purple. It was glorious to see, not just because the shafts of sunlight were spotlighting the beauty of the Cairngorms, but also because we (Paul Tomkins was assisting me on this Scottish Moors story) had been looking for it for a week across Scotland — and here it was. I was in a delirious panic to capture the light that fleeted, quick like a fox down towards Braemar. Landscapes in Scotland do not hold still for you, but dare you to see them in their moment. If you find yourself near any of the National Geographic Fine Art galleries you can see gorgeous prints of it. Follow them @natgeofineart for more. #scotland #cairngorms #heather #mountains #sunrise @natgeotravel @natgeoimagecollection @natgeo
Whatever edge of the North-east you visit, you’ll never be too far away from a blockbuster location to explore. Discover more about the locations in our film-spotting itinerary here.