A Travel Guide:
Those that know me, know I love James Bond and I've taken several trips to see filming locations. From Casino Royale in Karlovy Vary, Czechia and Prague to the casino in Monte Carlo from Goldeneye and Never Say Never Again, Eilean Donan Castle from The World Is Not Enough, several London locations, and even the little road at the beginning of Goldeneye (a tough find), where Bond and Onotopp race down the hill in the Aston Martin and Ferarri.
So it only made sense that I would try find some James Bond locations in Scotland. Especially since Ian Fleming created the origin story in the book "You Only Live Twice" establishing him as a Scot, born to Andrew Bond and his Swiss wife Monique Delacroix in Glencoe, Scotland.
Being a fan of the movies though, this legacy was less known. The movie Skyfall changed all of that. We were suddenly taken back to Skyfall Lodge, the fictional home of James Bond the boy.
Was There Really a Skyfall Lodge?
There definitely were scenes in the movie that were filmed in real locations. The lodge model was built at Hankley Common's in Surrey, England. This is also the location where Bond takes on a helicopter blade in The World Is Not Enough. Too far away for me to visit on this trip. Plus, as you remember from the movie, the lodge met with a few issues at the end of the movie.
But the magnificent Scottish Highlands that are used as a backdrop for the drive in are real. And you can reach them in Ian Fleming's imagined home for 007, Glencoe.
Getting To The Skyfall Location
Location: 56°37'10.3"N 4°55'51.2"W
Prepare for a single track road - and a crowded one the day I went there. Know that you won't be afforded an easy place to turn around. But the views are incredible. I can imagine how very Scotland this is when the clouds are hanging low over the mountains. I had the distinct pleasure of a very sunny day.
The road you're going to drive down is unnamed, so if you can plug coordinates into your GPS use the ones above. Or better yet, Google Maps will take you right there. Just use the link I provided and use Google Maps starring feature to mark it.
The coordinates mark the spot where Bond and M stop the car to talk about Bond's past. You'll see a small bridge off in the distance. It is at the point of seeing that bridge that you know you're in the right spot.
Other Things To See In The Area
Don't go all the way to Glencoe without enjoying the drive through the Meeting of the Three Waters and past Loch Achtriochtan to Glencoe along the A87. The view is magnificent and majestic. Fort William and Ben Nevis Distillery are not far away, nor is the Harry Potter train to Hogwarts at Glenfinnan Viaduct.
Other James Bond Movie Locations In Scotland
From Russia With Love (Boat Chase) - The lovely setting of Crinan and Loch Craignish was used for this scene that was supposedly Turkey.
From Russia With Love (The Helicopter Scene) - Remember the yellow helicopter chasing after Bond in a pickup truck? That marvelous scenery was from Lochgilphead, Scotland, just south of Oban and not far from Crinan on the way to Islay and Campbeltown. Unfortunately, I'm not sure of the exact location.
The Spy Who Loved Me (Naval Base) - The spot where Roger Moore is being briefed at a naval base was in Faslane Bay where the HMNB Clyde now resides. This is the largest active naval base in Scotland.
The World Is Not Enough (MI6 Scottish Headquarters) - Eilean Donan Castle, which was also used in 2008's Made of Honor and 1986's Highlander staring the Scot Sean Connery as a Spaniard and Egyptian, is shown for about 5 seconds from the exterior. Not a long time in the film, but definitely worth a visit.
Bond 25 (Car Chase in Highlands) - There has yet to be full confirmation of the name of the movie and I will need to speak to a local when I return to Scotland to see if we can pinpoint the location of the latest James Bond film. This will be the 4th Bond movie filmed in the fictional character's ancestral home country.
I hope you enjoyed the trip through 007's home country. On to Oban, Islay, and more magnificent castles!