When it comes to enchanting stories set among magnificent castles and dramatic landscapes, Scotland draws swarms of travelers every year for its bigger-than-life role in some of Hollywood’s biggest films and TV shows. Scotland is a must-see destination for fans of Outlander, The Da Vinci Code, and Trainspotting, just to name a few. From The Da Vinci Code‘s real-life Rosslyn Chapel to the breathtaking Highland scenery of Harry Potter, Skyfall, Outlander, and The Crown, Scotland is a hit.
This seven-day itinerary will take you along Scotland’s iconic film trail and to the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, to ancient castles and rugged mountains, and to pristine glens and storybook villages. Film buff or not, you’re sure to be a huge fan of Scotland—and its films—when the trip wraps.
William Kiburz of Coronet Travel, a member of the AFAR Travel Advisory Council, is ready to help you book a picture-perfect trip to Scotland.
Itinerary / 7 DAYS
On the first day of your film tour, wander down Edinburgh’s fantastical Victoria Street—thought to have been the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. Next, walk the iconic Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, then it’s a short jaunt to the 640-acre Royal Park. The park’s highest point is Arthur’s Seat; if the view is familiar, it’s probably because the films One Day, Chariots of Fire, and The Illusionist were shot here. Next, it’s over to bustling Princes Street and Calton Road (Trainspotting was filmed at both), and then to Calton Hill, where One Day was shot.
You’ll spend the next two nights at the modern and elegant Sheraton Grand Hotel, located in the heart of the city and overlooking Edinburgh Castle.
DAY 2Rosslyn Chapel
If Rosslyn’s story sounds like a movie plot—it is. The chapel inspired author Dan Brown to write the book The Da Vinci Code, and many scenes for the subsequent film were shot here.
DAY 3Culross & Linlithgow Palace
Next, drive about half an hour south to Linlithgow Palace. Not only is this where Mary, Queen of Scots was born, it’s also where several scenes of Outlaw King were filmed. Fans of the film will recognize the ornate fountain at the center of the courtyard.
Finish off the evening with a trip back to Edinburgh City to stay at Tigerlily, an award-winning boutique hotel located in vibrant George Street.
DAY 4Ardverikie Estate & Dunnottar Castle
Later, it’s off to Aberdeenshire and Dunnottar Castle, which inspired the animators of Brave. Initially, the animators were planning on setting the film’s castle against a loch, but after seeing Dunnottar Castle, they decided to set it on an outpost by the sea. Filming for Mary Queen of Scots also took place in the Aberdeenshire village of Strathdon.
DAY 5Glenfinnan Viaduct
Spend the night at the Limetree, a historic 1850 building where rooms are lined with paintings by Scottish artist David Wilson and offer views of the loch.
DAY 6Glen Etive
Choose from two hotels that look like they are ready for their turn on the big screen: Glencoe House is a luxury hotel in a Victorian mansion built for Lord Strachcona. The more budget-friendly Loch Leven hotel is a 17th-century coaching inn still providing warm beds and meals for weary travelers.
Regardless of where you wander in this fascinating city, the perfect place to end your tour is at the legendary Cafe D’Jaconelli. The artisan ice cream is regarded as the best in Glasgow, so share a milkshake here (just as the characters did in Trainspotting), and recount your most notable Scotland adventures, on- and off-screen.