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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hollywood - Made in Scotland

Not only is Scotland home to some of the best hotels, exclusive use venues and purpose-built conference centres, it has also provided some of the most memorable locations for award-winning films and Hollywood stars. 



In the movies, Scotland has always been a place of misty mountains, heathery glens and rugged landscapes.  But it is the venues themselves that often take a starring role, most recently with Edinburgh Castle appearing in animated form in L'illusionniste (2010).


With Awards season in full swing, and the Oscars just around the corner, we take a look at some of the most famous (and not so famous) venues that have also provided a film set for Hollywood’s finest, from Chariots of Fire to Harry Potter.



The Assembly Hall on the Mound, Edinburgh
– Chariots of Fire


Among the many Scottish locations which feature in the Oscar-winning 1981 film, the Assembly Hall makes a cameo appearance featuring Ian Charleston as Olympic athlete, Eric Liddell, who is attending a meeting there.  As the erstwhile home of the Scottish Parliament, the venue is steeped in history. The oval-shaped hall can seat up to 1,000 people in its tiered galleries and the venue can offer broadcasting and voting facilities, plus full technical support.


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Gosford House, East Lothian
- The House of Mirth



A stunning, neo-classical mansion, which was completed in 1800, Gosford House offers a grand and opulent venue for corporate events. 


The House in East Lothian has featured in several feature films.  The most notable of these is The House of Mirth (2000), the award-winning adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel starring Gillian Anderson.  Situated just 20 minutes from Edinburgh, Gosford House offers a dramatic venue for conferences, product launches, activity days and incentives. 


Added to its appeal is its multi-award winning golf course and clubhouse, Craigielaw, and the 5-star exclusive use villa Green Craig, both set on the shores of the Forth. The large dining room can host up to 120 guests for a gala dinner. The two tier Marble hall can host up to 400 guests for a larger reception.


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The Royal Scotsman Train
- Harry Potter Series


One of the most iconic non-human characters from the Harry Potter series of films and books is the Hogwarts Express train. Travelling the length of the UK, through the ever-changing landscapes of sweeping glens, towering peaks and mirror-calm lochs, the Royal Scotsman passes through many remarkable Scottish scenes used in the Harry Potter film series.


The Royal Scotsman offers corporate packages that allow guests to enjoy the splendour of Scotland’s west coast as part of one of the world’s greatest travel experiences.  The Royal Scotsman steams over the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct just as The Hogwarts Express and flying Ford Anglia did in the second film of the series.


Other locations from the films can also be seen along the way and guests can customise their journey in advance by developing itineraries around many themes, including golf, fishing, shooting, food and wine and heritage. These special journeys offer exclusive off-train visits and the chance to explore the settings of these famous films. 


The Royal Scotsman experience represents the very best in Scottish hospitality with exclusive visits and activities carefully chosen to be educational and fun which can make corporate incentive or special celebrations unforgettable.


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Culzean Castle, South Ayrshire
- The Wicker Man


Standing dramatically on a cliff top with sweeping views across the sea to the mountains of Arran, Culzean Castle offers a unique setting for functions and events. Located in picturesque Ayrshire, the castle was used in The Wicker Man (1973), as the Castle of Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee). Culzean is mainly seen in exterior shots although one scene was filmed in the entrance hall.


The Eisenhower Apartments, on the top of the Castle, offer accommodation and facilities for small board meetings. Ideal for entertaining VIP guests and incentive groups, Culzean Castle offers an experience like no other.


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Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
 - The House of Mirth


The recently refurbished Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum offers a spectacular setting for an event amidst the museum’s 22 themed, state-of-the-art galleries.  Kelvingrove earned a starring role in The House of Mirth and also featured in the recent TV dramatisation of The 39 Steps.


The Centre Hall at Kelvingrove can seat up to 500 dining guests and up to 1000 for a drinks reception. Seated beneath the exquisite vaulted ceiling and ornate chandeliers, guests can enjoy a magnificent combination of culture and fine cuisine.


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Further advice and inspiration on other corporate venues in Scotland can be found at