TEN OF THE BEST
IF THE RIGHT LOCATION IS THE KEY TO A FILM’S SUCCESS, SCOTLAND DESERVES AN OSCAR
Scotland’s most popular film locations are put under the spotlight
1 Rannoch Moor
Trainspotting is a very indoor, urban film which exposes cinema-goers to Edinburgh’s druggy, seedy underside. It does, however, have one scenic location: Corrour Station at Rannoch Moor. Spud, Renton and Sickboy revisit to pay tribute to Tommy in Trainspotting 2. Once again, the appeal of the wild Scottish landscape is completely lost on them. Corrour Station now has a café and B&B run by the Scottish Youth Hostel Association.
2 MOUND, EDINBURGH
Restless Natives (1985) was in a similar vein to Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero. Two broke young men find a solution to their money problems by donning masks (a clown and a wolf-man) and holding up tourist coaches in the Highlands. It isn’t long before these modern-day highwaymen become a tourist attraction themselves – the scene where they run down the Mound to the cheers of adoring crowds remains a truly memorable moment of tartan cinema.
3 Culzean Castle, Ayrshire
The Wicker Man, from 1973, is still rated as one of the scariest films of all time. The story is set in the Summer Isles, in the far north-west, but is actually filmed in Plockton, Kirkcudbright and Gatehouse of Fleet. Culzean Castle stands in as the mansion of Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee), while the film’s nightmarish climax, when the Wicker Man is set alight, takes place at Burrow Head in Dumfries and Galloway.
4 EILEAN DONAN CASTLE
Eilean Donan Castle has been used as a backdrop to quite a few films, but the one that stands out most is Highlander, starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery. The fantasy action film from 1986 tells the story of Connor MacLeod, one of a select band of immortal warriors. The castle at Kyle of Lochalsh is the dramatic setting as Connor and his clansmen set out for battle. Connor is wounded, apparently fatally, but when he fully recovers the next day (thanks to that handy immortality), his friends turn against him and he is banished from the village.