The Film Trail

Have you ever watched a film or TV show just for the location? Or been distracted from the storyline by trying to work out exactly where something was filmed? You’re not alone.

Apparently one in five travellers has visited a destination because they saw it originally on a film or TV show. And Edinburgh has a wealth of such locations to experience.

TransPennine Express’s research has led to a celebration of iconic movie and TV destinations across the North and Scotland. The train company is bringing filming locations to life via a series of interactive walking tours in Edinburgh, Manchester and Liverpool. The Edinburgh tour allows people to transport themselves – via their mobile phone – to ‘behind the scenes’ of ten filmic locations.

There are two suggested routes, both beginning at Waverley Station via the exit onto Princes Street). Figuring that 8.5 miles would probably stretch the 8yr old’s legs just a bit too much, we opted for the second tour (going from the Grassmarket to the Meadows and missing out Arthur’s Seat and The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby) at 5.5 miles long.

Edinburgh is beautiful to wander at any time, but having a focus – a sort of cinematic treasure hunt – and a digital map feels like a very pleasant way to introduce visitors to the city. I’m not a film or TV buff; I’ve seen only a couple of the titles (I have heard of the rest, honestly) but our visitors were far more knowledgeable and very enthusiastic. And really, the selection of films/programmes to trace is varied enough, too, for a group of all ages and tastes to find something they recognise.

From Cloud Atlas at the Scott Monument, via Cockburn Street and the Avengers, depending on your route there’s Great Expectations (Parliament Square) and The Angels’ Share (Castlehill). There’s Taggart, Chariots of Fire, Trainspotting…and more.

A lovely autumn afternoon, fun company, and an endless selection of coffee and cake stops en route, I’d call this a big-screen-crawl worth doing. Obviously you could do it yourself (and do it with books and historical events, too – the options are limitless depending on your interests) but Transpennine have taken the planning, especially for those of us who are geographically challenged, away. Get your online map out and go!

Just take care of cobbles, uneven surfaces, and prepare for steps and walking up hill – it might be challenging for those of more limited mobility.

To experience the Edinburgh tour, visit A PDF is also available to download to save on mobile data.


Until 1st November, there is also the chance to win a city break for 2 that includes a behind the scenes tour and weather masterclass at the ITV studios in ManchesterTo enter, take a picture  at any destination on the route (don’t be like us and keeping forgetting!) and share it on Instagram or Twitter using #TPEBehindTheScenes with the tag #Edinburgh


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