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Five Films and TV Shows to Embrace the Edinburgh Experience

Time is flying by and it’s already the second semester. Your parents may be asking whether you’ve tasted any of that fine Scottish whiskey or gone to see Nessie at Loch Lomond, not truly understanding your student budget nor the amount of free time that you have. Alas, fret not. These five films and TV shows have your back for some impersonal sightseeing.

1. Outlander (TV series)

Google “Scotland tour” and you can’t miss the number of results that come up for “Outlander Scottish Tour”. Featuring landmarks such as Kinloch Rannoch, Rannoch Moor (Craig na Dun), Doune Castle (Castle Leoch), or Linlithgow Palace (Wentworth Prison), the show tells a riveting tale of a young English woman who travels back in time to find herself amid the Jacobite rising of 1745. Especially for the history students out there, this show is a great crash course for Scottish history class, while simultaneously taking in all the beautiful sights.

2. Harry Potter series

Despite The Elephant House burning down last year, Harry Potter still has a special place in Scotland’s heart. Hogwarts Express is, in fact, the Jacobite Steam Train which you can really go on, and you may recognise the iconic scene as you go over the renowned Glenfinnan Viaduct. Near the viaduct is Loch Shiel, where the students dived underwater for the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. If you want a more local experience, take a stroll in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard where JK Rowling would stroll around, and try to spot Thomas Riddle, or shall we say, “He who must not be named”.

3. Avengers: Infinity War

You might recognise the very street that Wanda and Vision get all cutesy on- Cockburn Street. But don’t be fooled – if you’re heading over there hoping for some late-night kebabs, you will be disappointed. The signs were specifically made and set up for the film, so today you’ll find Miss Katie Cupcake in its place, a lovely jewellery shop. While the fight scene between Thanos’ thugs and the Avengers isn’t too exciting just because it’s at Waverly, a station we see all the time, what you may not know is that Marvel spent around £10m prepping for the Scotland shoot and shot some of their scenes for New Asgard in the village of St Abb’s. Amaze friends and family with this newfound knowledge as you watch this Marvel classic.

4. Stardust

Based on Neil Gaiman’s novel Stardust, Matthew Vaughn’s 2007 version is a delightful adaptation starring Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Ricky Gervais, Rupert Everett, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, and narration by Sir Ian McKellen. As you get warped into Tristan’s adventures of chasing after a star to win the heart of his true love, the lush green scenery of his travels is in fact the Isle of Skye. Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer), also in pursuit of the star to eat her heart to stay young (gory, I know) stands on a cliff with her goat-drawn chariot overlooking lush hills. These hills are the famous Quiraing. In one of these grey, dark Edinburgh days, pop Stardust on to enjoy Scotland weather and views at their finest.

5. One Day

We wouldn’t be Edinburgh students if we didn’t mention our claim to fame: One Day. Based on David Nicholls’ 2009 novel, Lone Scherfig’s 2011 rom-com features Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess as two Edinburgh University students whose lives become intertwined after one day together. Granted, the film makes it seem as if the University campus is in Moray Place, where they filmed the university scenes, but these are only quirks you will know as an actual Edinburgh student. In addition to coverage of the city, we get spectacular views of Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat, two locations that are essential to our university experience. You never know, one day you may meet the Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess) to your inner Emma Morley (Anne Hathaway), or vice versa. 

Image courtesy of Extra Medium via Flickr