The real Scottish locations which inspired Brave

IT HAS been hailed as a potential bonanza for Scottish tourism, and while the new Disney-Pixar film Brave may not offer an authentic history lesson, the real places which inspired the filmmakers have now been revealed.

IT HAS been hailed as a potential bonanza for Scottish tourism, and while the new Disney-Pixar film Brave may not offer an authentic history lesson, the real places which inspired the filmmakers have now been revealed.

A production team from Pixar - the animation studio responsible for hits like Toy Story and Shrek - made a trip to Scotland which took in evocative sights like the ancient Dun Carloway broch on Lewis and Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness during the early stages of the project.

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Now Historic Scotland have produced a map of the places which inspired the film, offering descriptions and visitor information for seven locations.

Brave is set in 10th century Scotland and follows the story of a young archer called Merida who defies an ancient custom and brings chaos to her father’s kingdom.

Writer and director Brenda Chapman has said that the film’s story can be read in the fairytale tradition of Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm.

Following screenings at international film festivals including its UK premiere in Edinbugh, Brave finally goes on general release in the UK on August 13.

It features the voices of an array of Scottish screen stars, including Kelly McDonald in the lead role, as well as Billy Connolly, Kevin McKidd and Robbie Coltrane.

Visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/places for more information on the sites

ON THE MAP...

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Calanais Standing Stones

The evocative stones of Calanais were raised some 5,000 years ago on the Hebridean island of Lewis. This place swirls with myths of vengeful witches, petrified giants and fallen warriors.

12 m west of Stornoway off the A859, Isle of Lewis

• Postcode: HS2 9DY

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• Telephone: 01851 621422

Dun Carloway

This is one of the best-preserved brochs – ancient stone towers – in Scotland. Built in the last century BC, its walls still reach up to nine metres tall.

• 1.5 m S of Carloway, about 16 m NW of Stornoway, Lewis on the A858,

• Telephone: 01851 710395 (The Blackhouse, Arnol)

Blackhouse, Arnol

A fully-furnished, traditional Lewis thatched house with a central hearth. It provides an evocative insight into the way our ancestors once lived, sharing their home with their livestock.

• In Arnol village, Isle of Lewis, 14 m NW of Stornoway on the A858,

• Postcode: HS2 9DB

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• Telephone: 01851 710395

• Admission: Adult £4.00 Child £2.40 Concessions £3.20

Kildrummy Castle

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This mighty castle was the stronghold of the earls of Mar. In 1335, the defence of Kildrummy against a powerful army was led by Lady Christian Bruce, sister of Robert the Bruce.

• 10 m SW of Alford on the A97

• Postcode: AB33 8RA

• Telephone: 01975 571331

• Admission: Adult £4.00 Child £2.40 Concessions £3.20

Urquhart Castle

The largest medieval castle in the Highlands guards Loch Ness. It was subjected to battles and sieges but was also a base from which royal hunting parties rode through the surrounding forests and according to legend was home to Mary Grant, whose love for the bard Domhnall Donn was forbidden by her father, the Laird of Grant.

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• On Loch Ness near Drumnadrochit on the A82

• Postcode: IV63 6XJ

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• Telephone: 01456 450551

• Admission: Adult £7.40 Child £4.50 Concessions £5.90

Edinburgh Castle

This mighty fortress has dominated Scotland’s capital city for a thousand years. Brutal sieges were fought over it, tournaments were staged beneath its battlements and royalty entertained at lavish banquets within its walls.

• In Edinburgh at the top of the Royal Mile

• Postcode: EH1 2NG

• Telephone: 0131 225 9846

• Admission: please visit website for details

Kilchurn Castle

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This spectacular ruined castle, home of the Campbells of Glenorchy, is surrounded by mountains and stands at the head of Loch Awe, the longest freshwater loch in Scotland. A local story claims that will ‘o the wisps seen around Loch Awe are the spirits of sinful women and that their appearance foretells bad events.

• At the NE end of Loch Awe, 2.5 m W of Dalmally off the A85