Mar Lodge Estate: from Michaela Strachan to Christopher Nolan
Batman villains and BBC presenters have filmed on this Cairngorms estate
Right in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, the expansive Mar Lodge Estate offers visitors plenty to explore, from the mysterious, picturesque Highland landscape to the sumptuous rooms of the Lodge itself.
Mar Lodge Estate’s splendid interior and dramatic grounds have attracted several film and TV crews over the years. In January 2014 and 2015, the estate hosted BBC’s Winterwatch. Presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games spent several days at the Lodge, exploring the estate’s harsh, snow-covered landscapes, exquisite natural beauty and wildlife.
The estate has also featured in Channel 4’s Walking Through History. In the show, broadcast in winter 2014, presenter Tony Robinson delved into British history through guided walks. The estate features in the episode entitled ‘Victoria and Albert’s Highland Fling’, which follows a four-day walk that starts at Pitlochry and ends at Balmoral, with days two and three featuring Mar Lodge Estate. If you’d like to re-create Robinson’s journey, you can download a walking guide at channel4.com.
Elsewhere, Christopher Nolan fans will recognise the landscape of the Cairngorms in one of the director’s most famous action sequences. The opening scene in the third of Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises (2012) – in which villain Bane (Tom Hardy) hijacks a plane – was filmed in the Cairngorms over the Mar Lodge Estate (see below).
And celebrated fashion photographer Tim Walker once used the ballroom at Mar Lodge for a Vanity Fair photoshoot featuring singer-songwriter Patrick Wolf and dancers from Scottish ballet school, Ballet West.
Mar Lodge Estate, Aberdeenshire, AB35, 5YJ