Did you know that the incredibly majestic settings of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have inspired some of the world’s greatest storytellers? This part of Scotland has been the inspiration for famous novels. You can also spot some local places in the backdrop of Netflix series and even blockbuster films. Check out this blog to discover our film locations connected to The Crown, Disney, Peaky Blinders and even a Batman film!
Our castles are pretty impressive so it’s little wonder they appear at the top of this blog. Have you seen our pink castle on Instagram, Craigievar Castle? It’s so magical that it is said to have inspired Walt Disney’s fairy-tale Cinderella castle.
Another Aberdeenshire castle inspired Disney to create their first Scottish princess. Indeed, the iconic Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven sparked the idea for Disney’s animated film “Brave”. However, the breath-taking location wasn’t only used as inspiration. Indeed, parts of the film Frankenstein, featuring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, were filmed at the dramatic castle ruins. Mar Lodge in Braemar also impressively featured in the Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises!
You might think that Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire (the holiday home of the British Royal Family) would be the most popular and iconic filming location, but that isn’t always the case. In the Netflix series, “The Crown”, a different castle ‘played the part’ of Balmoral. Slains Castle, on the coast of Cruden Bay, was one of the filming locations for the show. The castle is also famously said to be the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Cluny Castle and Castle Fraser in Aberdeenshire also appeared in British drama “The Queen”, starring Helen Mirren.
Towns and villages
Aberdeen is surrounded by picture-perfect (literally!) towns and villages. With epic mountainscapes, colourful coastal villages and vast sandy beaches, it’s little surprise these are popular filming locations.
In 2021, “Peaky Blinders” filmed scenes for the upcoming series in the coastal village of Portsoy. And it’s not the first time film-makers have used Portsoy as a backdrop. It also featured in the 1983 romantic comedy “Local Hero”, along with Pennan, another village in Aberdeenshire. The film has made its famous red phone box a tourist attraction in its own right!
The incredible Cruden Bay Beach, just 25 miles from Aberdeen city centre featured in “The Crown”. And the series seems to be fond of Aberdeenshire as its upcoming season will be featuring the village of Macduff.
Finally, the 2018 blockbuster “Mary Queen of Scots”, starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, filmed scenes in Strathdon in Aberdeenshire.
Our sparkling granite city has also made it to the movies and has its fair share of film locations! In 2021 Aberdeen was the filming location for the Hollywood film “Tetris”, featuring Taron Edgerton. You will have to wait a couple of months before seeing Aberdeen on your screen though as the film release will only take place later this year.
In 2018, a car chase scene from the 2020 film “Repression” put the Aberdeen Beach Esplanade to a halt. The psychological thriller also used Rosemount Viaduct, Skene Street, Summer Street and Shore Lane as backdrops.
Explore and learn more
Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire is easy to explore, with public transport options available to take you from Aberdeen city centre out to the surrounding areas of Aberdeenshire. As a student, you even have access to discounted bus tickets. It’s the perfect opportunity to organise day trips with your RGU friends to go explore your favourite film locations.
Find out more about these famous film locations on the Visit Aberdeenshire website.