Scotland has played an important role in British cinema. Earlier this year, I wrote about Harry Potter filming locations to mark the 20th anniversary of the first book. With recent news that Daniel Craig is once again set to make another James Bond film, this blog reveals the links between Bond and Scotland.
From Russia With Love
Scotland’s first appearance in a James Bond film is interesting because the country doubled with the waterways near Venice. The boat chase across the lake was filmed in Loch Craignish after bad weather meant that the original location had to be abandoned. If you visit the lake you could shut your eyes and try to imagine you’re in Italy!
Skyfall took audiences back to Bond’s ancestral home in Scotland and the film shows off some of Scotland’s most picturesque scenery. The film took full advantage of the Highlands as the backdrop for the climactic third act. One of Skyfall’s most iconic scenes is when Bond and M look out over the Glen Etive. Highland Titles revealed that Bond fans can visit the famous glen and recreate the scene. An Aston Martin isn’t required.
The Spy Who Loved Me
A key scene with Bond in his full naval uniform was filmed at Faslane Navel Base. Today, the base is shrouded in secrecy, as it is the home of Britain’s nuclear Trident submarines. While access to base is naturally restricted, visitors can travel five miles northwest to see scenic Gare Loch.
The World Is Not Enough
Eilean Donan Castle was used as the Scottish headquarters of Mi6 in the Pierce Brosnan Bond film. The castle is one of Scotland’s most famous landmarks has a poignant place in James Bond history. While the interiors of the castle were not used in the film, the castle is the fictional setting of Desmond Llewelyn’s final scene as Q before his tragic death.
James Bond history
James Bond is arguably the most famous fictional character in the world. Since Ian Fleming published the first book Casino Royale in 1953 the character has become as much a symbol of British culture as the Royal Family (demonstrated best by James Bond meeting the Queen for the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony).
What you may not know is that James Bond has Scottish roots. Ian Fleming was so impressed with Sean Connery’s performance in Dr. No that he made Bond half Scottish. The character is the inspiration for hundreds of books, films and games, including a spin-off from gaming site Slingo which used a clever play on words for their slot game Agent Jane Blonde. In fact, you will be hard pressed to find a fictional secret agent that doesn’t owe some inspiration to Ian Fleming’s creation.
If you are a Bond fan visiting Scotland, the film locations are well worth a visit.