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Lights, Camera, Action!

Itinerary Overview

The rich history, varied landscapes and accessible location of the Falkirk area make it a popular filming location for TV shows and Hollywood movies. Retrace the steps of the stars who filmed in the area and discover filming locations that include fortresses, country estates and historic railways. From classic cars from James Bond movies to iconic Outlander locations, you’ll be surprised at what you discover.

Jump To Day:

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Day 1

Falkirk's Silver Screen Gems
Nightime shot of The Falkirk Wheel showing the ochil hills in the distance

Stop 1 – A Marvel On Screen and Off

A trip to the area isn’t complete without visiting The Falkirk Wheel, a marvel of engineering and the world’s only rotating boat lift. Featured in Channel 4’s Great Canal Journeys, start your day retracing Timothy West and Prunella Scales’ journey with a boat trip on the wheel. It’s also a great destination for families, with activities ranging from a Water Activity Zone, paddleboarding and crazy golf. Landlubbers can explore woodland walks or rent segways to visit the nearby Roman Antonine Wall or rent bikes from Outdoor Trax for a leisurely ride to your next stop at the Helix Park and Kelpies, another Scottish must-see.

The Kelpies & Helix Park, Kelpies from above

Stop 2 – The Kelpies – A Filming Favourite

Timothy and Prunella also visited the Helix Park on their canal journey in the area. Here, you’ll be greeted by the awe-inspiring Kelpies. The towering 30-metre-tall equine sculptures are a must-see on any trip to the area. An iconic Scottish site, you’ll probably also recognise these majestic structures from the backdrops to many TV programmes, from chat shows to news bulletins. Stop for a selfie and marvel at these towering tributes to the area’s industrial past. Learn about their significance at the Visitor Centre, and recharge with refreshments at the coffee shop before continuing your journey.

Stop 3 – Trinity Church: Where Hollywood Meets History

As the last resting place of knights that fought alongside the legendary Scottish hero, William Wallace, it’s perhaps no surprise that Trinity Church in the centre of Falkirk was a filming location for the 1995 Hollywood blockbuster, Braveheart. As you explore the graveyard, you’ll find the tomb of Sir John De Graeme, William Wallace’s loyal knight, who met his end during the Battle of Falkirk on July 22nd, 1298. Talk about a historic backdrop for Hollywood magic!

Stop 4 – A Journey Through Time at Callendar House & Park

For your final stop of the day, make your way to Callendar House & Park, a short walk or drive from Falkirk High Street. Dating back to the 14th century, Callendar House & Park has a rich and ancient history of its own. The grounds are part of a site of national importance as part of the Antonine Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, fans of Outlander will recognise its working Georgian kitchen as part of the home of the Duke of Sandringham, Bellhurst Manor. While you’re there, take the time to explore the rest of the house, which once welcomed such illustrious visitors as Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Victoria and Bonne Prince Charlie himself.

Day 2

From History to Hollywood: A Day of Discovery in Bo’ness and Kinneil

Aerial view of Kinneil House & Estate. Image credit - Scotdrone

Stop 1 – Discover Scotland’s History at Kinneil House & Estate

Start your day at Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness. With over 2,000 years of history to uncover in its grounds, it’s like stepping into a history book right in the heart of Scotland. So, it’s no surprise that Kinneil Estate has hosted the BBC’s Antiques Road Trip. From a Roman fort, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to medieval ruins, a grand country house to key moments in the industrial revolution, it’s all here. You’ll be amazed at how much history you can stumble upon in just one place. It’s a journey you won’t forget!

Stop 2 – Motoring Movie Magic at Bo-ness Motor Museum

From ancient Romans to modern motoring classics! Get ready to be enchanted as you take a journey through movie magic at the Bo’ness Motor Museum. This hidden gem boasts an unexpected collection of classic cars, iconic movie vehicles, and memorabilia from beloved film franchises such as 007, The Saint, Harry Potter, and Thunderbirds. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply curious, the Bo’ness Motor Museum promises an unforgettable experience for all.

Stop 3 – Step into Cinema History at The Hippodrome

No film tour would be complete without a visit to the Hippodrome in Bo’ness, Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema. Dating back to 1912, it’s been lovingly restored to its former glory, complete with state-of-the-art projection and sound equipment. Here, you can settle in for a cinematic journey through the latest blockbusters, indie movies, and timeless classics. And let’s not forget its claim to fame: hosting the annual Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema each March, a celebration of cinematic nostalgia!

Train about to depart Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway

Stop 4 – A cinematic journey at Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway

Get on board a classic train at the last stop of the day. Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway occupies a special spot in Outlander lore, standing in as the London station where main characters Claire and Frank bid each other an emotional farewell. You might also recognise this beautifully preserved heritage railway from numerous films and TV series, including The Railway Man staring Colin Firth and Nicol Kidman and the classic movie The 39 Steps. Experience the magic of steam trains with daily excursions during summer and selected dates year-round.

Day 3

Royalty On Location

Aerial Shot from above Blackness Castle showing the grounds and dock

Stop 1 – Blackness Castle: A Rising Star of the Big Screen

Start your day with a short walk or cycle from Bo’ness along the banks of the Forth to Blackness Castle. This imposing 15th Century fortress is rapidly becoming a star in its own right. You might recognise it from TV drama, Outlander, as the setting of the Fort William headquarters of Black Jack Randall. Or you may remember it the movies, Mary Queen of Scots, and Netflix’s film about Robert the Bruce, Outlaw King. Jutting out into the Firth of Forth, it is known as the ‘ship that never sailed’ thanks to its distinctive shape and location. Over the centuries, the castle has been used as a garrison, state prison and munitions store and its fascinating history make it well worth a visit.

Battle Scenes from muiravonside Country Park - Outlander

Stop 2 – Muiravonside Country Park: Scotland’s Cinematic Battlefield

The final stop of your tour takes you to the stunning Muiravonside Country Park. Located between Linlithgow and Falkirk, it served as the backdrop for the dramatic Battle of Prestonpans in Outlander. With acres of unspoiled woodland and parkland, it also doubled as both a British encampment in the series and featured as Selkirk Forest in the Netflix movie, Outlaw King. The picturesque country park includes many beautiful sites, with the River Avon and the John Muir Way running through it. Look out for the dramatic sight of the 247-metre-long Avon Aqueduct, the biggest in Scotland, towering over the river below as it carries the Union Canal between Linlithgow and Falkirk.

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