The Scottish landscape and scenery has provided a source of inspiration to artists, photographers and novelists for hundreds of years. Most recently, Scotland has been the star of the silver screen on numerous occasions, with the dramatic skies, rugged mountains and perfectly still lochs of the Scottish Highlands being a particularly favoured backdrop of film directors, both here in the UK and further afield.
We’re sure you’ll be aware of some of the most iconic movie locations in Scotland already; Harry Potter and Ron Weasley flying the stolen Ford Anglia underneath the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber; Daniel Craig’s James Bond surveying the landscape at Glen Etive in Skyfall, and of course Pennan, which portrayed the fictional village of Ferness in Local Hero.
So while you’re driving the North Coast 500, take the time to go off the beaten track – you never know what you’ll find! Did you know that the following movie locations can all be found within the North Highlands?
Suilven – Edie
Released in May 2018, Edie stars Sheila Hancock as Edith Moore, an elderly woman, who in the aftermath of the death of her controlling husband, decides to fulfil a life-long dream and overcome a lifetime of bitterness and resentment. At the tender age of eighty-three, Edie sets out to try and capture a little of the magic she had as a young girl by climbing Suilven. Against her daughter’s wishes, she heads to Scotland and employs Jonny (Kevin Guthrie – Dunkirk, Whisky Galore!) to help her prepare for the gruelling climb ahead – which sparks an unusual friendship.
Follow in Edie’s footsteps
Incorporate a hike up Suilven into your North Coast 500 trip, and see for yourself the inspiring landscape where this heart-warming film was shot. Located within Inverpolly Nature Reserve in the west of Sutherland, Suilven forms a steep-sided ridge over a mile in length. The highest point, known as Caisteal Li- ath – or the Grey Castle – lies at the northwest end of this ridge. There are two other summits: Meall Meadhonach (Middle Round Hill) at the central point of the ridge, and Meall Beag (Little Round Hill) at the south-eastern end.
There are multiple ways to climb the mighty iconic mountain of Suilven. Many say the easiest and fastest route to summit the mountain is the walk in from Glencanisp Lodge.
However, Tim from Hamlet Mountaineering’s favourite is ‘Suilven 3 ways’ – Tim combined his canoeing and hill walking expedition with a helicopter ride when he assisted in the Film Edie as a mountain guide for Sheila Hancock. Find out more here..
Black Rock Gorge, Evanton – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
While you’re exploring the east coast, take a moment to stop by Black Rock Gorge, just a short woodland walk from Evanton. This deep, narrow red sandstone cleft was used as the setting for one scene in the fourth film adaption of J. K. Rowling’s iconic series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, during Harry’s duel with a dragon as part of the Triwizard Cup tournament. Much of the area consists of paths and treks through the woods – and it can be muddy in places, so take care near the edges of the gorge!
Red Point Beach, Gairloch – ‘What We Did On Our Holiday’
The small settlement of Red Point is best known for its two spectacular sandy beaches, Near Beach and Faraway Beach – both must-sees for visitors to the area. Red Point, which takes its name from the iron in the hills which has turned the sands a reddish-brown colour. Both beaches have high dunes that serve as lookout points, from which you can see the Outer Hebrides, Skye and Loch Torridon on a clear day. This idyllic coastline featured in the British comedy-drama What We Did On Our Holiday, starring David Tennant, Rosamund Pike and Billy Connolly. If you’re staying at the nearby Sheildaig Lodge Hotel, the concierge team can provide you with a scenic route to follow as you stroll along the coast.
If you recognise any other filming locations while you’re exploring the North Coast 500, get in touch and let us know!