James Cosmo: Games of Thrones, Braveheart and Trainspotting star launches new Scottish film location guide

Braveheart star James Cosmo has spoken of the "magical quality" of films shot in his homeland as Scotland's tourist board launches its new guide to big screen locations.

James Cosmo.
James Cosmo.

The actor, who has also starred in Trainspotting and Game of Thrones, has penned the foreword to VisitScotland's revamped guidebook Set in Scotland. The 52-page guide takes visitors through the more than 150 films which have been shot entirely or partly in Scotland, and details 100 film locations. It includes locations for Braveheart, Harry Potter, Skyfall and the Fast and Furious saga.

The Clydebank-born star, whose film career has spanned six decades, said in the guide: "People still come up to me while in Scotland and tell me they are here because they watched Scottish films such as Braveheart or Highlander. And what is wonderful, is that the films are only the starting point.

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"They then form a strong connection with the real country - it may be because of their ancestors or the feeling they got while they're here. That stays with them."

The revamped guidebook was launched by the actor at Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway on Friday, a location which has itself appeared in several film and television productions including Outlander, Cloud Atlas and The Railway Man. VisitScotland said screen tourism was a global trend in which film and television fans are inspired to visit a location after seeing it on screen.

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The tourism body said the trend was long term, with many visitors citing film titles released long before their trip as motivation, and it said the trend can provide ongoing financial support for regions and businesses linked to popular locations.

Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at VisitScotland, said: "Some of the world's biggest film franchises have chosen to come to our shores in recent years, from Batman to Avengers. This not only boosts the local economy in the short term, which is particularly important for the recovery of tourism, but can provide an ongoing presence in popular culture - and streaming services - that can continue to reach new audiences and lead to visits long after a film's release."

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The tourism organisation said it hoped its new look guide, which boasts more featured productions than the previous one, will offer further inspiration to visitors.

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