Skye and Orkney get set to benefit from The BFG boom

The BFG, starring Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill
The BFG, starring Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill
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Scottish tourism chiefs are gearing up for a new “set-jetting” boost – from Steven Spielberg’s latest film.

Spectacular landscapes on Skye and Orkney were deployed on the Oscar-winner’s eagerly-anticipated big-screen version of the children’s book The BFG.

Due for release on Friday, the Roald Dahl story is one of the most high-profile films to feature locations on Skye since the 1986 fantasy Highlander.

It has had brief starring roles in blockbusters Macbeth and Prometheus in recent years, and Skye is also currently home to BBC Alba’s Gaelic drama series Bannan. Skye’s unique landscape has previously been used in a number of other fantasy films, including The Land That Time Forgot, Flash Gordon and Stardust.

Classic Skye locations like the Quiraing, the Old Man of Storr, the Faerie Glen and the Cuillin mountains are all featured, as well as the Old Man of Hoy, one of Orkney’s most familiar landmarks.

The Scottish locations were used to depict “Giant Land” in the film, which sees iconic images of the landscape transformed using state-of-the-art visual effects. VisitScotland chiefs hope the BFG effect will have a similar impact to TV shows like Balamory and Katie Morag, which were filmed on Mull and Lewis respectively.

The BFG is being released weeks after VisitScotland launched a new set-jetting campaign to coincide with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which featured world premieres for golf drama Tommy’s Honour and Hebridean comedy Whisky Galore.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland’s islands play a vital role in this country’s tourism industry, welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

“It is fantastic to see The BFG join a long list of memorable movies to feature our incredible offshore locations, which have been seen in everything from science-fiction classics to fantasy blockbusters.

“With 40 per cent of visitors to the UK inspired to come here after seeing a location on film or on television, the appearance of Skye and Orkney in Steven Spielberg’s latest movie can only be great news, not only for the islands themselves, but forScottish tourism as a whole.”

David Broder, locations manager on The BFG, said: “Scotland provided The BFG with very dramatic mountain and island locations that became our Giant Land, a place of wonder and awe.”