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On Location: Famous Films Shot In Edinburgh

Discover These Great Movies Set in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is very photogenic, with its historic architecture, magnificent castle and surrounding natural landscapes. So, it’s no surprise that the city is a popular film location. From modern-day classics to period pieces, our cobbled streets and ancient landmarks light up the screen. So, today we’re taking a look at some of our favourite movies set in Edinburgh …

Fast and Furious 9 (2020)

The latest blockbuster to be filmed in Edinburgh is the ninth instalment of the Fast and Furious series, due for release next year. Starring Charlize Theron, Vin Diesel, Helen Mirren and Nathalie Emmanuel. Amazing high-speed car chases were shot just around the corner from our hotel! We are all very much looking forward to this hitting the big screen soon.

Car speeding through tunnel

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Last year, you may have spotted Iron Man, Thor, Captain America or The Incredible Hulk wondering the streets and closes of Edinburgh, as they filmed the biggest movie to be shot in Scotland. With a star-studded cast including Samuel L Jackson, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson and Benedict Cumberbatch. As the battle for earth gets underway, look out for Edinburgh locations such as the Royal Mile, Cockburn Street and Waverley Station, as you’ve never seen them before!

Sunshine on Leith (2013)

A film version of the stage musical Sunshine on Leith, which features songs from Edinburgh folk duo The Proclaimers. Set around Leith and Edinburgh, this movie really shows off our stunning city. With spectacular aerial footage of the skyline and scenes shot on the Grassmarket, Royal Mile, Princes Street and Leith shore.

The Angel’s Share (2012)

This crime movie features filming locations in both Glasgow and Edinburgh. The story is about how a whisky distillery helped turn around the life of a new Dad who has narrowly escaped prison. Though mostly set in Glasgow, the film uses several Edinburgh locations. The Pompadour Rooms at the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian Hotel were the setting for the whisky meeting. You’ll also catch sightings of Edinburgh Castle, The Mound and Princes Street in this Scottish film. If the film puts you in the mood to try the local tipple, you can visit the Scottish Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile.

One Day (2011)

This British-American romantic film stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. The film follows the lives of Emma and Dexter who meet at their Edinburgh University graduation. We then catch up with them on the same day of the year, 15th July, during different years of their friendship. Locations in Edinburgh include Parliament Square, Moray Place, Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill. Our central Parliament House Hotel sits at the foot of Calton Hill, so you’re just a short stroll from its views and monuments.

The Illusionist (2010)

A French-British animation, which was made by Sylvain Chomet here in Edinburgh. Part of the film is set here, as an illusionist moves to our city to perform in the theatre. Featured locations include Princes Street and Jenners Department Store, George Street and Broughton Street.

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Murder, mystery, secret organisations and Tom Hanks all came together to tell the story of this Dan Brown novel. The penultimate moment in the The Da Vinci Code story features Rosslyn Chapel, just south of the city. This ancient medieval chapel is still used today as a place of worship, and is available to visit throughout the year.

Entrance to Rosslyn Chappel in Edinburgh

Festival (2005)

Whilst many good Scottish movies feature locations in Edinburgh, the film Festival focuses on one of the city’s most popular annual events. This comedy follows the lives of several performers and judges at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Starring Lucy Punch, Stephen Mangan and Chris O’Dowd. They filmed many of the scenes at the actual comedy festival in 2004. The annual event takes place over three weeks every August. It features some of the world’s leading artists, comedians and musicians, along with new up-and-coming acts. It’s a fantastic time to stay with us in Edinburgh.

Trainspotting (1996) and T2 Trainspotting (2017)

Arguably, the most famous film shot in Edinburgh would have to be Trainspotting.

Trainspotting’s opening scenes show Ewan McGregor making a dash down Princes Street to Calton Road, with the police in hot pursuit. While they shot other parts of the film elsewhere, this iconic moment in Edinburgh’s film history has secured our place on the silver screen. 

The sequel, T2 Trainspotting, made better use of Edinburgh’s landmarks and scenery. Including the view from Arthur’s Seat and a tram ride through the city centre. They also recreated that classic Princes Street scene, for some movie nostalgia. 

Restless Natives (1985)

This 80s comedy follows two teenagers from Edinburgh, who become armed robbers in the Scottish Highlands. There are some great scenes in the city centre, as the friends speed along Victoria Street, down The Mound and along Hanover Street on their motorbike.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)

This classic British movie is an adaptation of Muriel Spark’s novel of the same name. Set in Edinburgh in the 1930s, it stars Maggie Smith as a teacher at Marcia Blaine School for Girls. Smith won an Oscar for her performance as lead actress. The film includes scenes at Greyfriars Kirkyard, the National Museum of Scotland and Dalmeny House.

So, if you fancy a tour around some great film locations, take a look at our special offers and book a stay with us. Experience the magic of the most iconic locations of movies set in Edinburgh. 

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