Must-see sights for true film fans in and around Edinburgh

Must-see sights for true film fans in and around Edinburgh


With the filming of Trainspotting 2 currently under way and on-location in Edinburgh, what better time to reflect on Edinburgh’s cinematic history. Here are just a few of the places worth visiting around the city for film fans.


1) George Heriot’s School and Greyfriar’s Kirkyard:  Harry Potter series


George Heriot’s School

The Harry Potter series was written by J.K. Rowling, of course, but the series deserves a mention on this list due to the huge success of the film franchise. The charm of the wizarding world that struck such a chord with fantasy fans is visible all over Edinburgh. Fans of the film series will know that Rowling started the first novel from the humble Elephant House Cafe.

A must-visit for Potter–heads is George Heriot’s School in Old Town, built in 1628, this long established school with its four magical turrets, traditional school houses and rich history is a clear source of inspiration for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. WJust think how different the novels and films might be without this vivid setting.


Greyfriar’s Kirkyard

No magical mystery tour of Potter’s world would be quite complete without a visit to Greyfriar’s Kirkyard. After all, this is where one can find the man who inspired the Dark Lord himself – or his resting place anyway. The graveyard surrounding Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh is home to the grave of Thomas Riddle, thought to be Rowling’s inspiration for the iconic dark wizard, Voldemort aka Tom Riddle. Located by George Heriot's School it is worth a stop by – a respectful one of course.


2) Princes Street and Waterloo place: Trainspotting

Of course, no list would be complete without the mention of the cult classic, Trainspotting. Based on the novel written by Irvine Welsh it was adapted for film in 1996. As any true movie fan will tell you, much of Trainspotting was actually shot in Glasgow, but nevertheless the Scottish capital – and in particular, Leith – has an important role to play in the film.

Probably the most iconic scene was filmed in Edinburgh, the opening shot of Ewan McGregor’s Renton running manically down Edinburgh’s streets to the music of Iggy Pop’s ‘lust for life’. Take a visit to Edinburgh and you may want to dash down Princes Street into Waterloo Place Renton-style to celebrate the imminent arrival of the sequel. 

The film is set to be released in the Uk in January 27th, 2017


3) Rossyln Chapel, Roslin: The Da vinci Code

Enjoying a whole new lease of life as a tourist attraction, Rossyln Chapel attracted massive attention due to its starring role in best seller, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. The subsequent film, of the same name starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou filmed back in 2009 has made it a popular tourist attraction.

Rossyln chapel lies in the small village of Roslin, just 7 miles from Edinburgh City Centre. It is worth a visit for the stunning architecture alone but also is fantastic as part of the Da Vinci code tour. Listen to the stories of the Nights Templar and imagine your very own search for the Holy Grail.


4) Hallam Foe: All across Edinburgh

Described by its very own director as ‘a Freudian fairytale’, the charming offbeat, ‘Hallam Foe’ opened Edinburgh’s International Film Festival back in 2007. The Edinburgh film starring Jamie Bell shows many famous Edinburgh landmarks including the Caledonian hotel where Hallam works, and stunning shots of Edinburgh’s skyline.

Strangely enough, they avoided including Edinburgh Castle in any of the shots despite it being visible from its various set locations across the city. Either way this quirky coming of age tale is made all the more magical thanks to Edinburgh’s scenery.

Wish you lived in and amongst the stunning architecture, beautiful views and rich history of Edinburgh. Make the move to Quartermile and you can have it all on your doorstep. Check out the gallery here.


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