Starring role for the Borders in new film location guide

When it comes to film locations, Scotland is a real A-lister. From Braveheart to Bollywood, it has an enviable reputation as a cinematic destination.

Tarzan and Jane at Floors Castle.
Tarzan and Jane at Floors Castle.

Research has shown no fewer than 40 per cent of visitors to Scotland and the UK are inspired to come after seeing it on film or on television – and VisitScotland wants entice even more with a new guide.

Set in Scotland, A Film Fan’s Odyssey contains details of more than 100 different films and television programmes either shot or set in Scotland.

Available free of charge in VisitScotland Information Centres throughout the country, in branches of Waterstones and for download at, it’s the first Scotland-wide film locations guide the national tourism organisation has produced.

The spectacular scenery of the Borders and its stunning heritage attractions have appeared in a selection of films through the years, including Mary Queen of Scots (1971) and Mrs Brown (1997).

The ruins of Hermitage Castle, in Newcastleton, near Hawick, were used in Mary Queen of Scots which starred some of British acting’s ‘royalty’, including Vanessa Redgrave, Glenda Jackson, Trevor Howard and Ian Holm.

In Mrs Brown, meanwhile, Duns Castle doubles as Balmoral, the Highlands holiday residence of Queen Victoria, who is played by Dame Judi Dench.

The film, a huge critical and commercial success, also featured Manderston, a magnificent Edwardian mansion in Duns, as its stables doubled for those at Windsor Castle.

Manderston also appears in The House of Mirth (2000), starring Gillian Anderson of The X-Files fame, in a stunning adaptation of Edith Wharton’s novel about 1820s New York society.

Another Borders gem, Floors Castle in Kelso, took a central role in Greystoke – The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of The Apes (1984), which was based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ famous 1912 novel, Tarzan of The Apes, starring Christopher Lambert.

Specialist research and consultation was provided by David Martin-Jones, Professor of film studies at the University of Glasgow.

Paula McDonald, VisitScotland regional director, said: “The beauty of The Scottish Borders has long cast its spell on visitors and film-makers alike, with our landscapes inspiring movie talent both in front and behind the camera.

“While the list of films featured in ‘Set in Scotland’ is not exhaustive, it’s fantastic to have so many of the region’s golden movie moments highlighted as part of this new guide.

“We look forward to welcoming movie enthusiasts from across the world to the Borders as a result.”