Glencoe: road to the ancestral home of James Bond

  • The List
  • 18 August 2015
Glencoe: the ancestral home of James Bond

Travel through iconic Scottish landscape recreating scenes from Skyfall and Harry Potter

Even before Skyfall (2012) was released, James Bond had strong ties with Scotland. Sir Sean Connery, who’s from Edinburgh, played the first Bond on screen – and writer Ian Fleming was so taken with this Scottish connection that he wrote 007’s Scottish ancestry into a later novel.

In Skyfall, Glencoe is used to stunning, dramatic effect. It’s a thrilling interlude after an action-packed sequence of events: Daniel Craig’s Bond has just chased former MI6-agent-gone-bad Silva (Javier Bardem) through the London Underground. After a bomb goes off on an empty tube train, Silva attacks M (Judi Dench) at a public inquiry, before she’s saved by Bond and two other agents. In an attempt to keep M safe, Bond takes her to his family home, Skyfall. It’s in this memorable scene that the two drive up the A82 – not the A9 as the film states! – before the film’s explosive ending.

Fancy yourself a Bond in disguise? Come to Glencoe and recreate the scene from Skyfall as you drive through the magnificent valley in your car – Aston Martins not required.

Harry Potter fans will recognise Glencoe too. In the third film in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), the scenes featuring Hagrid’s hut were filmed on location in the glen. Scenes in the sixth instalment, The Half-Blood Prince (2009), were also filmed here.

Before anyone had heard of Taken, Liam Neeson filmed Rob Roy (1995) – a romantic adaptation of Walter Scott’s classic novel – in Glencoe. And 80s movie buffs should visit Buachaille Etive Beag in the glen, near which the battle scene at the start of Highlander (1986) was filmed.

007’s route to Skyfall

Look at a picture of Glencoe and it’s hard to believe you’re not staring at a painting: the rugged peaks that line this stunning valley are Scotland’s gift to the natural world. With its striking cliffs, clamouring waterfalls and dramatic skyline, Glencoe is a filmmaker’s dream. It’s no wonder then that Sam Mendes used it as a location in a pivotal scene in 2012 Bond instalment Skyfall, when 007 and M escape to his ancestral home in the Highlands.
Glencoe, Highlands, PH49 4HX

Hunting Harry

Remember that scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) where Ron and Harry fly a Ford Anglia? That sequence was filmed near Glencoe, by the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which features in three of the Harry Potter movies. You can also visit the nearby Glenfinnan Monument, which looks out over Loch Shiel.
Glenfinnan Monument, Highlands, PH37 4LT

A Glenfinnan Monument
NTS Information Centre, Glenfinnan, Inverness, PH37 4LT
Glenfinnan Monument, situated on the scenic Road to the Isles, is set amid superb Highland scenery at the head of Loch Shiel. It was erected in 1815 in tribute to the clansmen who fought and died in the Jacobite cause. Despite its inspired beginnings…
B Glencoe & Dalness
NTS Visitor Centre, Glencoe, Argyll and Bute, PH49 4HX
Glencoe is one of Scotland's most beautiful places and you can find out about its history, landscape and wildlife in the Trust's visitor centre. The site offers a dramatic backdrop for some of the finest climbing and walking in the country. Red deer…

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