Movies About Scotland: A List of Must-Watch Films Set in the Scottish Highlands and Beyond

Glen Etive Road

Scotland has a super fascinating history, breathtaking landscapes, and a totally one-of-a-kind culture. No wonder it's been the backdrop for so many movies, from epic historical flicks to awesome animated adventures. If you've got Scotland on your mind, whether it's for travel plans or simply seeking some movie inspiration, you're in luck! There are loads of films that beautifully capture the allure and magic of this captivating country.

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Braveheart is like THE movie when it comes to Scotland! It’s all about William Wallace and how he fought for Scottish independence way back in the 13th century. This historical drama totally cleaned up at the Academy Awards, winning five, including Best Picture!

It also played a big role in making Scotland a go-to spot for filming epic movies. If you’re into historical dramas set in Scotland, you should definitely check out Rob Roy, Mary Queen of Scots, and Outlaw King.

Each one offers its own unique take on Scotland’s fascinating past

Scotland has been the backdrop for many movies over the years, showcasing its stunning landscapes, rich history, and unique culture. Here is a list of some notable movies about or set in Scotland:

Historical Movies About Scotland

Scotland has a rich history that has been depicted in many movies.

Historical movies about Scotland are a great way to learn about the country’s past and its people.

Here are some of the most popular historical movies about Scotland:

 

Braveheart

Braveheart” is a 1995 movie directed by Mel Gibson. The movie is based on the life of William Wallace, a Scottish warrior who led his countrymen in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England.

The movie won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography.

Although the movie is not entirely historically accurate, it is still a great way to learn about Scotland’s struggle for independence.

Rob Roy

“Rob Roy” is a 1995 movie directed by Michael Caton-Jones. The movie is based on the life of Robert Roy MacGregor, a Scottish outlaw who lived in the 18th century. The movie depicts MacGregor’s struggle against the English aristocracy and his fight to protect his family and his people.

The movie stars Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, and Tim Roth and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Roth’s portrayal of the villainous Archibald Cunningham

The Queen of Scots

The Queen of Scots is a 2018 movie directed by Josie Rourke. The movie is based on the life of Mary Stuart, the Queen of Scots, who was a cousin of Queen Elizabeth I of England. The movie depicts Mary’s return to Scotland after spending most of her life in France and her struggle to claim her rightful place as queen.

The movie stars Saoirse Ronan as Mary Stuart and Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I.

Although the movie is not entirely historically accurate, it is still a great way to learn about Scotland’s royal history.

Outlaw King

Outlaw King (2018) – Starring Chris Pine, this historical drama depicts the life of Robert the Bruce, a Scottish king who led a rebellion against English rule in the 14th century

Outlander

Outlander is a popular television series based on a book series by Diana Gabaldon. While it’s not a movie, it’s worth mentioning here because it’s set in Scotland and has gained a significant following for its portrayal of Scottish history and culture.

Outlander” follows the story of Claire Randall, a married former nurse who is mysteriously transported back in time from the 1940s to the 18th century Scottish Highlands. There, she becomes involved in the Jacobite risings and falls in love with a dashing Highland warrior, Jamie Fraser.

The series features a mix of historical drama, romance, and elements of fantasy, and it has been praised for its attention to detail in depicting the landscapes and historical events of Scotland. “Outlander” has also contributed to the popularity of Scottish heritage tourism, as it showcases many beautiful Scottish locations.

While “Outlander” is primarily known as a television series, it has gained such a strong following that it’s worth mentioning in the context of movies and shows set in Scotland

Modern Movies Set in Scotland

In addition to historical dramas, there are also plenty of comedies and modern dramas set in Scotland.

Trainspotting, for example, is a gritty and darkly humorous look at life in Edinburgh in the 1990s, while Local Hero is a charming and quirky tale set in a small Scottish village.

Whether you’re in the mood for a laugh or a tearjerker, there’s a Scottish movie out there for everyone.

Sunshine on Leith

Sunshine on Leith (2013) – This musical film is based on the songs of Scottish pop-folk band The Proclaimers and follows the lives and loves of two soldiers returning to Edinburgh after a tour in Afghanistan

What We Did on Our Holiday

What We Did on Our Holiday” is this hilarious British flick that came out in 2014. Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin co-directed it, and they did an awesome job.

The movie stars some incredible talent like Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, and the legendary Billy Connolly.

The story revolves around a family trip to Scotland for the 75th birthday of a terminally ill father 

What We Did on Our Holiday” is a real gem when it comes to balancing laughter and heartwarming scenes.

It delves into the dynamics of family, love, and the messy yet beautiful connections we form with others. Plus, it’s set against the breathtaking backdrop of Scotland’s gorgeous landscapes

Trainspotting

One of the most famous modern movies set in Scotland is Trainspotting. This 1996 film, directed by Danny Boyle, is a darkly comedic look at a group of heroin addicts living in Edinburgh.

The film is known for its fast-paced editing, memorable soundtrack, and gritty portrayal of life in the city.

Trainspotting has become a cult classic and is often cited as one of the best British films of all time.

Local Hero

Local Hero is a 1983 film that tells the story of an American oil executive who is sent to a small Scottish village to negotiate the purchase of land for a new refinery.

The film features stunning Scottish landscapes, quirky characters, and a charming soundtrack by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits.

Local Hero is a heartwarming comedy that celebrates the beauty and uniqueness of Scotland.

Edie

Edie is a British drama film released in 2017. While the movie primarily takes place in the Scottish Highlands, it also features stunning Scottish landscapes as an integral part of its storyline.

“Edie” is a touching and inspiring film that showcases the breathtaking landscapes of the Scottish Highlands while exploring themes of personal growth, determination, and the pursuit of one’s dreams, regardless of age.

Sheila Hancock’s performance as the titular character received critical acclaim, and the film’s depiction of the Scottish scenery adds to its appeal.

The Angel's Share

The Angel’s Share is a 2012 film directed by Ken Loach that follows a group of young Glaswegians who hatch a plan to steal a rare cask of whisky.

The film is a mix of comedy and drama and explores themes of poverty, family, and redemption.

The Angel’s Share won the Jury Prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and is a must-watch for anyone interested in Scottish cinema

Scottish Folklore in Movies

Scotland has a rich history of folklore and mythology that has been passed down through generations.

Many filmmakers have been inspired by these tales and have incorporated them into their movies.

Here is the movie that have successfully brought Scottish folklore to life on the big screen

Brave

Brave” is a 2012 Pixar animated movie that tells the story of Princess Merida, a skilled archer who defies an ancient custom and inadvertently unleashes chaos in the kingdom.

The movie is set in a fictitious medieval Scotland and draws heavily from Scottish folklore and mythology.

The movie features the use of the Scottish Gaelic language, traditional Scottish music, and the portrayal of mythical creatures such as the will-o’-the-wisps.

Documentaries About Scotland

Scotland is a country with a rich history and culture that has been captured in various documentaries.

These documentaries offer a glimpse into the lives of the Scottish people, their traditions, and their beautiful landscapes. Here are two documentaries that are worth watching:

The Bridge: Fifty Years Across the Forth

The Bridge: Fifty Years Across the Forth is a documentary that tells the story of the construction of the Forth Road Bridge, one of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks.

The documentary was produced by the BBC and was first broadcast in 2014, to mark the 50th anniversary of the bridge’s opening.

The documentary takes viewers on a journey through the history of the Forth Road Bridge, from its inception to its construction and eventual opening.

It explores the challenges that the engineers faced during the construction of the bridge and the impact that it has had on the people of Scotland.

Scotland: The Edge of the Land

Scotland: The Edge of the Land is a three-part documentary series that explores the rugged coastline of Scotland. The series was produced by the BBC and was first broadcast in 2012. The documentary showcases the stunning beauty of Scotland’s coastline and the wildlife that inhabits it. From the Shetland Islands to the Mull of Galloway, the documentary takes viewers on a journey through some of Scotland’s most remote and untouched landscapes.

The documentary also delves into the lives of the people who live along Scotland’s coastline.

It explores their traditions, their livelihoods, and their relationship with the sea.

The series is a must-watch for anyone who wants to experience the beauty of Scotland’s coastline and learn about the lives of the people who call it home.

These new movies set in Scotland are like a love letter to the country. They show off its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and the incredible talent of Scottish filmmakers. Whether you’re into dark comedies or heartwarming dramas (or anything else), there’s definitely a Scottish film that will sweep you off your feet.

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Scotland Itinerary planning

My name is Kate and I created Scotland Itinerary Planning to give you those life-changing experiences right in the beautiful country I call home.

I’m proud to live in Edinburgh, Scotland, one of the world’s most beautiful capital cities. Living in Edinburgh has provided me a base to explore extensively around this magical little country.

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